Can you think back to your first encounter with the world of work? Not summer or occasional jobs during the school holidays… It is more about the “cross-road” moment when school years are over and you are thinking which life path to take. Do you remember how you felt? Excited, nervous? May be thinking that it would be good to “test the water”, i.e. to “open the door to have a look around before stepping in”?
This is exactly what “work experience” activity is for: it is an opportunity for young people to experience what a place of work is like before they set off on professional path of their own.
It is about meeting real people who do real work. Young people may also be given some tasks to do to make their experience more authentic.
This is how we, the GLAD team, happened to meet Izabella.
Izabella and I met and talked, and had a taste of “virtual” working space too. The best way to learn about something is by actually doing. So, I asked Izabella to visit GLAD website as a “critical friend” and let me know of her experience: what she liked, did not like or was puzzled by. So, our website was put to a test …
Izabella rose to the challenge with great poise, set to work and in no time covered a whole notebook page with notes!
And here is the abstract of her notes (the original style has been preserved, some editing was used for brevity):
“The initial question I asked myself was ‘What is the European NREN community?’ … I had many other unanswered questions…
I started thinking whether it (the website) was appealing, or not, and if the website itself was informative enough. Not long after this, I found myself in a position of having a confident understanding of the organisation’s services and how they aid NRENs with learning services; which in fact was very interesting…
The only sparking question I had remaining in my head … was ‘Why an acorn?’ The webpage is about the learning development so surely the logo would be related to education, like a book? I was asked to explain what I personally thought it (the logo) represented. I answered: “Something squirrels grab and eat”.
That said, Irina went on to explain the meaning behind the idea of the chosen logo – “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow” which made perfect sense… After the time that I had spent browsing the website – I was clearly able to understand what they provide as a team”.
I think we can safely say that the website has passed the test of user-centricity!
It was a light-hearted conversation but there was a lot of learning for both of us. Hopefully, for Izabella it was a taster of Learning and Development activities at GEANT. For us, GLAD Team, it was an insight into the power of perception and complex nature of communication.
We would like to thank Izabella for her sincerity and inquisitiveness, and wish her the most exciting and fulfilling life adventure!
We (GLAD) passionately believe that the opportunity to grow one’s skills and abilities is for everyone, in any job, anywhere in the world, and age is no barrier.
We look forward to welcome more young talented professionals on these programmes in 2020 and we value an opportunity support them on this stretch of their exciting professional journeys.