During her time as a media student at Forth Valley College, Naina Bhardwaj supported CDN’s 2015 Employer and College Partnerships event, here she shares her experience.

My first experience of the workplace was as a retail assistant at a local newsagents on the weekends. This gave me first-hand view of what needs to happen in order for the workplace to run smoothly. But I needed experience in the media industry, which is what I aspired to work in.

This was where the opportunities available through Forth Valley College came in. Through the college, I produced a magazine show, edited a motorsport documentary, recorded and edited acoustic sessions for musicians, created promotional content for Scotland’s first 3D printing company, became an intern for The Stirling Fringe as well as becoming a regular contributor in several magazines and securing placements in print media. Getting taught about how the industry works is one thing but getting a hands on experience is quite another.

I have found that it can be extremely difficult to find opportunities for work experience and distinguishing yourself from the crowd. The CDN event was an ideal opportunity to gain a thorough understanding of what experiences were available to students as well as colleges. The event was live-streamed online to 40 delegates across the country. It was key to allowing delegates to reflect on the approach of their own organisation to implementing the recommendations of Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce, network with others. The attendees included colleges and organisations from all over Scotland (with some even coming down from Orkney) who spoke on a vast range of topics, including everything from working in broadcasting to working in the dairy industry.

The points which were most emphasised included the Certificate of Work Readiness. This qualification is SQA approved and is an award for young people who are ready for their first experience of the world of work, but need some guided support. Many employers believe that experience is key when getting a job: however opportunities are often limited.

I know from my own personal experience that the chances of sourcing relevant career opportunities can be tricky and the CDN event definitely played a fundamental part in allowing showing many programmes are out there to help students search for relevant experience in their chosen field.

The CDN event definitely played a fundamental part in allowing showing many programmes are out there to help students search for relevant experience in their chosen field.

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