Hear From Our First Ever Work Experience Student!
As part of Willoughby Girls High School’s compulsory curriculum, each year ten student must take part in Work experience. I had the pleasure of working with Good Return from the 2nd to the 7th of June. The week started steadily. My supervisor, Joni Freeman, started by taking me through the basics: what the organisation does, how it sets about achieving its goals, how microfinance works, and, of course, where the stationary cupboard is.
I can tell you now, five days have passed, 120 hours, 7200 minutes and I am still not entirely sure how microfinance works. But I also know that all you really need to understand is that it is the provision of funds to the poor to help empower them and lift them out of their situation. And really, this underlying goal is fantastic. It’s a completely ethical and clever way for people who live in wealthy and stable environments to help the families that most need it in other, poorer countries.
On the first day I was also shown what my end goal was to achieve: the design of a campaign to bring this organisation into the school community of Willoughby Girls High School. As soon as the initiative came out, the ideas came flooding in. There were so many things I could do with the fundraising, the speech and the administration of the campaign. I was excited to say the least.
I started that afternoon. With the help of Sandra Carvajal, my campaign was soon underway and my first day was a success.
The next day, after fetching myself a cookies ‘n’ cream milkshake from Gloria Jeans, I met Claire Maddocks, the office co-ordinator. She was going to show me how the office runs, essentially showing me the main events of a traditional work place.
This involved filling, name tagging, copying, scanning, answering the phone and other usual workplace events. After lunch I would scoot back to my campaign and get to work on it so I could present it on the second last day of my work placement.
This was the basic overview of my week. It was fantastic. I have learnt so much from the women and men I have met here and I am really grateful for the opportunity that I was given to learn about and work in such a great, ethical environment. From this experience I plan to extend my knowledge of Good Return and to help others become aware of them, especially through the campaign I have designed for my school.
I was also really encouraged by the way Good Return is not just a charity that pats itself on the back after giving money away. Instead, it is about helping women and families gain knowledge and find a better future for themselves, in areas that are in desperate need of help.