Work placement case study

“This week I spent my time at Sussex Academy of Music for work experience. It was a chance for me to gain skills in a working environment and it was a very interesting week, full of different opportunities to gain all sorts of experience and knowledge.

“On the Monday, I was taught about the accounting and shown the many documents they use to run the company. At first it was a bit confusing and disorientating as there was a lot I hadn't been taught about before but after awhile I started to really get to grips with how it worked. I did a lot of research for them- finding out about vending machines, external hard drives, online questionnaires and a new printer. I also looked through an appraisal form which is something I'd never seen before. My job was to check to see if the questions suited an admin job and to see if there were any spelling errors. That day I realised how little I knew about working and how companies like SAM actually run. But it's all part of the learning process during work experience.

Tuesday was an exciting day as I went to my very first auction. I went with Rob to the auction to see if we could get some drumsticks, headphones or new guitars at a low price. During the auction, I learnt ways on bidding and what certain terms used by the bidders actually meant. When I came back, I had to sort out the rest of the research for the vending machines. This put me out of my comfort zone as I was asked to call up the companies that Rob had chosen and speak to them about costs etcetera. I have never been good with speaking on the phone, especially to people I don't know, but it was a chance to try and get over my nerves. I'm still a little bit nervous yet it helped me a lot.

“During the week, some Swedish girls were doing an EF course. On Wednesday morning I was told to observe the lesson and write notes based on how they were being taught. I got to see a few of the other things SAM did and it gave me some insight into how the company ran. Later on, after checking the stock of plectrums, Ben taught me how to use the recording equipment so it was set up for me to record one of my songs. It was a bit too technical for me at first and it took me a while to actually figure out what he was doing yet it was interesting to learn about it.

Thursday was a relaxed day and I helped clean up the place and later on went over the online questionnaires I'd found with Ben. Not much happened however I did learn a bit more about accounting and was taught what happened when people bought something from the collection they had. It's definitely not simple that's for sure.

Friday was my last day and quite a busy one. At midday we prepared for a party and I was there to help out with small things like putting on the same song on the laptops in two rooms. I got to watch Ben teach two of the kids the part of the song they'd be recording on piano and guitar and helped him with the music so he didn't have to keep running back and forth. It was a bit hectic at first yet they settled down and it was fun to watch them perform.

“Overall, the week was intriguing and something different. It helped me learn a lot about working in general and I realised how much work goes in when you want to run your own business. It's also given me ideas on what I could do in the future.”

Rachel Carter