Sixth form student – Archie Day – joined Yellow Jigsaw for a week of work experience with a set of skills he had in mind that he wanted to increase including communication, IT, teamwork and building confidence. Here, he talks about his experience with us and learning more about what a social enterprise is along the way.
“One thing that was evident from my first day of working at Yellow Jigsaw – was that there will always be a variety of jobs to do – which would keep it fun; from working on a film shoot with children to creating TikToks, writing blog and news content , IT skills, business development and training.
“On my first day, I was certainly thrown in at the deep end (or should that be taken to new heights) as I joined the team on a filming shoot at GoApe with three young reporters from Yellow Jigsaw’s Media Cubs project. They got to experience the high ropes activity and report on it.
“I was able to join them on the activity and my role was to ensure they were having a good time – so I had to make sure that I didn’t seem nervous either. I was a little nervous, but not because of the activity – more because I had not worked with children before and also not been part of filming before. It was great to see how much they enjoyed themselves and learn about the process of creating the content.
“My next experience was joining a training session for Media Cubs crew members – this was a full day of learning about the project, how it helps give young people new skills and also build confidence. I met some brilliant people, and took part in group activities as part of the training – which really took me out of my comfort zone as I took part in role play – but definitely helped with my communication, teamwork and confidence building.
“As part of the work experience, I also joined a Yellow Jigsaw team catch-up meeting in which I was able to talk about my experience of my training for Media Cubs the previous day. From this, I gathered that a supportive atmosphere is needed so that the positive aspects of the previous week are praised, and improvements are carefully thought through together.
“As I have played team sports throughout my life, I had thought that my understanding of teamwork would be completely transferable, which to some extent it was. However, working at a company which is so diverse in what it does, I quickly realised that teamwork can come in different ways that I had never experienced before, such as delegating work to get the benefits of each person’s work style but also something as easy as working through something together like doing a TikTok, which I had never done before. But, by doing a 30-minute work-through with Jodie, senior social media and content producer, I now have a good understanding of how to work on and post TikToks. She was very patient and made me feel at ease to ask questions.
“One thing that came hand in hand with teamwork and also a skill that was an aim to develop was communication. While doing my work with Yellow Jigsaw I have encountered the full range of age groups- from primary school children working with Media Cubs to writing a blog for parents and also doing social media content for Talking About My Generation, meaning that I had to adapt my communication skills to suit the needs and likes of the different age groups. This was great to learn as it is not a skill which you encounter at school as you only really work with your teachers and classmates.
“Something again that comes conjointly with teamwork is problem-solving. I had to work on multiple different sites to complete the tasks set and this was, at first, an issue as I had no idea how to operate some of these sites.
“Editing websites was daunting to me, as there are so many options on what to do, but with the help of another run-through of the app from Kirsty- both my boss and Mum, it soon became easily understandable and I was able to upload my blog to the Media Cubs website and a news story that I had written to the Talking About My Generation news site.
“This meant that I could get on with what I needed to myself, and really develop my independent learning and work- another skill I wanted to target. I had also never worked in the scheduling platform for social media – Hootsuite – and after training, I found this easy to adapt to and I was pleased to hear that what I produced meant it would lighten the load for the Yellow Jigsaw team over a busy summer period.
“Leading on from this I found that my IT skills have come on leaps and bounds as I have spent a lot of time doing different things on my computer that I have never done before. From Facebook post designs and scheduling, to writing an online article these were all new skills that I have picked up this week and therefore, have developed my technological confidence and ability massively. This is one of the areas I felt that I lacked before and so it was brilliant to see myself working well in something that I felt I struggled with – and now typing with more than one finger!
“Business development officer William talked me through what he does to gain new ways to secure sales for Yellow Jigsaw and the associated projects, and I also joined a media training session. I have spoken to multiple people from different organisations and felt confident due to some advice/tips gained prior to the Zoom meetings from both William and Kirsty.
“An area in which I think is most important in both life and business is confidence. Following on from work experience, I will be working with Media Cubs as a crew member in the summer holidays. And I am going to need a lot of confidence working with the young people, so this work experience and training has been vital for that.
“I think, what I have learnt about Yellow Jigsaw, is that they do a lot of diverse work and they demonstrate a really good work ethic.
“Overall, it has been a great work experience with Yellow Jigsaw and it has been perfect for me as it has helped me to develop certain aspects of my skills that I wanted to improve upon and link in nicely with what I would like to do in the future.
“I would highly recommend it to others as the staff are very supportive but also, I cannot think of anywhere else you could get such a wide of a spread of experience from than a social enterprise like this.”