Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Why not work for UNICEF? A work experience account

Read about how Kathryn discovered a future vocation at UNICEF.

"Yesterday I think I discovered my dream job... for a while now I have been interested in a job where you can organise events".

By Kathryn

Hello, my name is Kathryn and for the past week I have been doing a weeks Work Experience at the UNICEF office in Billericay.

When our school told us in January that we must pick somewhere to do a work experience I must admit I completely panicked. I had no idea where I wanted to go, or what I wanted to be when I was older. To make things worse the majority of my friends all had very good ideas of what their futures held for them. After a lot of thought and deliberation I settled on working in an office...and then it hit me why not work for UNICEF? It is so close to my house and I had always wanted to see how a charity worked as I didn't believe it could be as simple as just sending money in and it being sent to the people who needed it. I was not mistaken.

On my first day I was nervous but everyone was so friendly I soon felt at ease. I was given a timetable informing me what I would be doing all week, and it surprised me how many different departments there were. So I spent Monday working at the Helpdesk, inputting details and then printing off letters for people. I also learnt about all the different websites that UNICEF have, and was interested to discover the Tagd website, especially for younger people.

I woke up on Tuesday morning and found myself tired, from not being used to working a 9-5 day, but still eager to work. I spent the day with Internal Services, and again everyone was really friendly and welcoming. I logged the Schools participating in Day For Change, and when I return to school in September will mention it to the Sixth Form Committee and see if they are interested. I also had to cut up ten banners to be sent off with a packet for a run, and sadly using a pair of scissors is not my strong point, but I managed and they came out fine.

A visit to Head House in London was in store for Wednesday and I was looking forward to seeing the other office. I had three meetings and learnt a lot about the different campaigns, the Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA) and alternate ways of fundraising. After eating our lunch on the balcony, in the sunshine, it was time to return to Billericay. After a delay and kerfuffle at Liverpool Street we finally caught a train and arrived back in time for me to help sort the cheques in the Donations department. After putting so many letters in envelopes the day before it was a nice change to be taking letters and cheques out. The following day I was to be putting the donations onto the system. It was lovely to see how many people were willing to donate to such a good cause.

Yesterday I think I discovered my dream job. Not only at UNICEF can you sit and look at pictures of some of the celebrity ambassadors...but in the Baby Friendly Department Karen told me all about her job which involved researching the hotels and train times for all the different courses on breast feeding around the country. It sounded amazing. For a while now I have been interested in a job where you can organise events and this sounded perfect.

Now sitting here reflecting my week, I've decided it's true what our teachers told us. "After work experience you will know what career you will want to go into." Which at the time I thought unlikely, now however I am now definitely considering working for a charity once I have hopefully been to University.

So with a huge thankyou to everyone at UNICEF who have all been so lovely and welcoming to me this week I will leave my first blog at this.

Find out more information about work experience at UNICEF.