Haydn, aged 15, was selected to take part in our Words for Work programme when he was in his final year at Bishop David Brown School in Woking.
"I was alright talking to people my own age because I thought they would listen, but I didn't know how to act with adults who I didn't know,” said Haydn. “I had the attitude that ‘adults don't understand’. I was worried that they wouldn't listen, they wouldn't care.”
Business volunteers from the local community visited Haydn’s class to work with students through a variety of activities designed to improve their communication skills and help them in their future jobs.
Haydn and his classmates were a little unsure initially. “At first, everyone was sitting around the table in silence thinking ‘what do we say, what do we do?’” he explained. “But after the first day, we were interacting with the volunteers. They got us involved in everything.”
One of the areas the volunteers helped the students with was preparing for interviews. "I would say the turning point of the programme was realising interviews are really important,” said Haydn. “We were like, ‘really?’. Before the programme I was really informal - I thought you just go along to an interview and you get a job.”
The volunteers also spoke to the students about their experiences in the workplace. “They told us what their jobs consist of,” explained Haydn. “One of them works at McLaren and met Louis Hamilton. And he said 'carry on acting like you are from this programme, and you can have the skills and the grades to do that kind of job'. I found the volunteers inspiring.”