Remember work experience? Two weeks spent making cups of tea and doing some oh so interesting filing or lifting boxes? The time of year has come around again when we start to get calls from eager school kids or even more eager parents and teachers looking to arrange work experience.
Here at Foundry34 we try to make life a little more interesting, giving placement students daily briefs that teach them different aspects of working in the design industry. These can include typography exercises, non-literal shapes, photography and Photoshop. After a week of this, if they’re on any longer, we give them the chance to work on an imaginary brand identity brief which can include putting moodboards together, designing logos, and whatever else inspires them. In the space of ten days, these kids can learn as much as they would in a year at school.
For us though, work experience can be a real headache. For starters, there can be a full day of simply doing health and safety. Then of course there is having to take time out of busy schedules to set the kids up with what work they’re doing that day and helping them out when they get stuck. But if we didn’t think it was worth doing, we wouldn’t do it.
It’s an invaluable opportunity for school kids, whether they come to our studio or anywhere else! Work experience is a chance for placement students to be treated like a grownup and a professional, and nine times out of ten they respond very well –it’s great to see someone who is struggling at school fit in and show their hard work and dedication. For us it is about offering an opportunity and showing some trust rather than the work they produce though it is great to see the ideas they come up with. Or at the very least, we can still get a few cups of tea from them!