A Day in the Life of… a Work Experience Student

Long-term Zeta work experience student Emily Santos discusses her education and aspirations for the future after breaking for the summer after a years’ ‘practice’ in the working world.

A Day in the Life of… a Work Experience Student

Emily has been working in Zeta’s Marketing department one day a week for the past academic year. She attends Bicester Technology Studio (BTS) studying Business at A Level.

The School offers a new approach to learning and champions various subjects more commonly associated with University level learning for example; Engineering, Product Design and Computing, alongside the more traditional subjects; Art, Biology, Physics, Maths, etc.

Zeta’s CEO, Phil Shadbolt, was instrumental in bringing the school to life. He was part of the steering committee who presented the case to the Department for Education in Westminster which successfully secured funding for the school to be built. Zeta continues to support the Studio today through curriculum development, providing product samples to aid in the students’ learning and also through Emily’s Work Experience program.

How did you come to hear about Bicester Technology Studio and why did you choose to go there over a more traditional sixth form?

I first heard about Bicester Technology Studio when I was in the middle of year 11. I was researching local sixth forms and what they had to offer, as well as what they were expecting from their pupils. On results day I visited several different sixth forms but still didn’t feel completely comfortable making my choice. I visited Bicester Technology Studio to meet with the Vice Principal and find out what they were offering. I liked the fact they focus on aspects of study other than just classroom learning and offered their students work placements, as many universities and businesses look for skills like that. It was hard to decide as I had no information from the school’s previous years to help me make the decision as its brand new! But it was a risk I was willing to take, and one that I am now glad I took!

What drew you to Zeta in particular for your placement?

Zeta offered me a placement in their Marketing department following an informal interview shortly after I started sixth form at BTS. I came to Zeta because it is a small business that has a bright future and I wanted to be part of it. The placement they offered me also worked well with my Business Studies course and I knew I would learn a lot, having no previous knowledge of LEDs! All of the staff are friendly and welcoming so it made the decision easy for me.

What do you like most about working at Zeta?

I like that I’m given a steady stream of different tasks to do as I am constantly learning new things and never bored. I’ve also had the opportunity to work in other departments and learn how projects are managed behind the scenes in world of LED lighting products.

What do you feel is the most valuable thing you’ve learned in your first year here?

The most valuable thing I have learned is that so much work goes into everything that is done in every single department and that teamwork is so important. Being able to start in a new workplace and fit into the assigned role is challenging but has also been really rewarding. Overall, everything that I have done and learned will help me for the rest of my working life.

What are you hoping to do after finishing sixth form?

I am hoping to go to University and study Business and Marketing. Zeta has allowed me to see the inner workings of a technology-based business that is constantly evolving and has given me a taste of the type of business I would look to join in the future. It has showed me that a technology focussed business would be a high contender for me.

Has Zeta helped you to decide what path you might want to take in the future and if so, how?

When I decided to do Business Studies it was a risk as I had never done it before, but I soon realised how much I enjoyed it. Coming to Zeta and aiding in the Marketing Department helped me narrow my choices down and understand what exactly I wanted to do. I have learned so much already and done things I would have never thought I’d be doing a year ago. I look forward to coming back to Zeta in September and beginning another year of challenges and learning!

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