One day I had a dream... and work experience got me one step closer
Porchers Marsters’ dynamic video application of how she’d love to help the next generation build a better future won her a day’s work experience with Robett Hollis, an entrepreneurial giant in the media, tech and startup world.
With her own entrepreneurial dream of working in the creative arts sector in schools, Porchers was ready to observe how Robett operated with his business networks. Spending the day shadowing Robett “was a total success,” she says, and enabled her to see first-hand what contributes to a successful company. Instinctively she realised it’s the people skills that largely make or break a business.
So what was the most valuable part of the day?
Like a celebrity on the move, Porchers spent her day on the go, meeting and greeting and being a part of Robett’s business conversations. She says the most valuable part was seeing the way Robett functions with his staff and networks. His motto is, “Nobody’s a client, it’s all about partnership”.
“I saw that it took a lot of team building to make his dream work,” says Porchers. This involves developing long-term relationships, which Robett did by setting clear boundaries.
“When we were at our lunch meeting he put his phone down and didn’t answer any calls until after the meeting. I learned that face-to-face interactions are the most important way of establishing relationships – streets ahead of phone calls and email.”
Porchers also learned how valuable it is to be yourself and allow others to feel comfortable being who they are so there’s mutual respect. “That’s the type of boss I’d like to be,” she says.
What would you say are the key benefits of work experience for a young person?
“It’s the emotions connected with experience that helps your memory,” says Porchers. In a combination of the poetic and philosophical, she sums up work experience as being “more caught than taught – you remember things better when you learn from other people and gain from experience, rather than from being isolated and buried away in books.”
And there’s nothing like the emotion of being put on the spot to help you grow and learn. When Robett asked Porchers to quickly come up with a list of new questions for a rapid fire session, she was up for the challenge. “I definitely got hands-on experience of being pushed out of my comfort zone.”
Do you have any tips or advice on how other people can get work experience?
“You need to take up every opportunity to develop face-to-face skills – like volunteering at a library,” says Porchers. She recognises that because young people are so used to doing everything on social media they can miss out on developing valuable interpersonal skills.
“It’s great if you can call an employer and organise a meeting to talk about work experience, but the meeting might never happen. So it’s best if you take that one step further and go into the business and talk with the receptionist. If you say, ‘Hey, I wonder if I can have chat with your boss about getting some work experience,’ then usually they’ll make time for you on the day.”
“People don’t go after what they want because they don’t think they’re good enough,” says Porchers. “But don’t be afraid to step out and try again. Only when you keep persisting will you know what you’re made of.”
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Updated 21 Dec 2017