I first thought work experience was a waste of time, an excuse to get the kids out of school for a week. But how wrong I was.
Doing work experience at Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has been one of the most eye-opening and exciting opportunities I have ever had. From Human Resources to Reception, from the Rangers to the Communications teams (which I worked with), everyone is so welcoming and friendly.
I didn’t thoroughly know what a National Park was before – despite living right next to one for 13 years – but thanks to everyone wanting me to learn as much as possible, I feel as a sponge must do after being submerged in a bucket of water: absorbing everything it can, in the time it has.
This week has been more jam-packed with activities than I ever imagined: learning about photo editing and video post-production, finding out what it takes to be a Human Resources manager, selecting photos for the Dales Young Rangers Facebook page, an annual Authority meeting, learning about journalism in the National Park, having a go at writing some events to post onto the Authority’s Facebook page, helping to prepare for a Young Rangers expedition, and writing this very blog post, to name just a few! Everyone has so many skills and talents that only a fool wouldn’t take full advantage of everyone’s expertise.
There have been many highlights to this week, but one of my favourite days was Wednesday, when we went to a BBC Look North filming opportunity with reporter Luxmy Gopal. I learnt all the different skills involved with producing a short news report and watched the recording process taking place. It was an amazing experience. The piece was about a payment pilot for farmers – more information on this blog article.
Although, don’t get me wrong, the rest of the week has been amazing as well. I’ll be sad when it’s over and have enjoyed waking up every morning certain of the fact that I will receive a welcome greeting, enthusiastic teaching and a smiley goodbye. I only hope that they have enjoyed my being here as much as I have.
I believe, if you are able to do your work experience at the National Park, then do so. Because if you listen and engage with what people are saying then you can learn an awful lot in just one week. Not just about one specific area of interest, but how important it is to work as a team, so that each individual person can do their individual job and the National Park can continue to be a beautiful, thriving community, friends to local businesses and sheep alike.