Dream Placement 2017 Showcase Celebration

In their own words...

The achievements of seventy Dream Placement 2017 candidates who won placements with forward-looking and enterprising companies and organisations across Cumbria were celebrated with a special event at Energus attended by almost 200 people including representatives of host companies, students, parents and teachers.

There were presentations by students relating their experiences on Dream Placement 2017: Aoife Bannon (West Lakes Academy) and Jasper Lithgow (St Benedict's Catholic High School) who went to GlaxoSmithKline, Ellie McMinn (Keswick School) who spent her week with NuGen, and Jemima McKenzie (Keswick School) and Matthew Wishart (St Benedict's) who won places with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

They each talked about the profound impact Dream Placement had on their plans for the future, and the insights they had gained through being inside those organisations spending time with leaders, senior managers, graduates and apprentices. They also each praised their hosts for the effort they had put into organising the placements which were shaped by the interests and ambitions of the students.

Aoife Bannon from West Lakes Academy and
Jasper Lithgow from St Benedict's Catholic High School

Aoife Bannon Aoife Bannon from West Lakes Academy and Jasper Lithgow from St Benedict's Catholic High School spent their Dream Placement 2017 week with GlaxoSmithKline.

Jasper Lithgow: "Our understanding of leadership skills was developed by Dream Placement and the discussions we had with people like GlaxoSmithKline site director Phil Wilson who told us about his leadership style. It was great just to be able to talk one-to-one with someone in such a high position within that organisation.

"For many years I had been looking at a career in medicine, but more recently I thought that wasn't the right thing for me. My experience at GSK was sensational and it convinced me that I want a career in the pharmaceutical industry, science-focused with problem solving and team working. When we were in the manufacturing centre in Barnard Castle watching the tablets ready to go into the blister packs, I realised that those tablets could save someone's life, and it cemented in my mind this is what I want to do. You don't get this chance in any way other than Dream Placement — to go into industry and see how business changes people's lives.”

Aoife Bannon: "It was fascinating to see how the science we learn in schools works in the real world, and it cemented the fact that I really want to work in a scientific career. We got the chance to see the labs which was fascinating but we also got the chance to see all the other roles within manufacturing and other areas across the offices which you aren't aware of when you think of a company like GlaxoSmithKline."

Ellie McMinn from Keswick School

Ellie McMinn Ellie McMinn from Keswick School spent her week with NuGen. She recalls: "Every single member of the team at Nugen was possessed by a kind of passion and a determination to get to a goal. That's not the sort of thing that you can get from a text book, or a PowerPoint on the Internet or an open university course about project management. It has definitely given me increased determination to get into project management. My manager Katherine — I call her my 'mumager' because she just nurtured me through the process, and she taught me exactly what you needed to do as a project manager. I hope that Dream Placement continues and more young people get the opportunity to do it, because the placements are so, so useful."

Jemima McKenzie from Keswick School and
Matthew Wishart from St Benedict's Catholic High School

Jemima McKenzie and Matthew Wishart Jemima McKenzie from Keswick School and Matthew Wishart from St Benedict's Catholic High School won Dream Placement 2017 places with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

Matthew Wishart: "Dream Placement really opened by eyes to the variety of jobs there are in Cumbria. I always thought it was just engineering or nuclear, but the sheer variety of jobs is hard to comprehend — for example within the NDA the amount of work in organisation and communication is probably the most significant within the organisation."

Jemima McKenzie: "One of my main subjects at school is business studies and I found it so interesting that from doing all this theory at school I was actually placed inside a big business like the NDA where I could see in real terms all my theory notes coming to life; things like change management which was 'Wow' — I could see it in action at Sellafield."


Student comments

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Students who took part in Dream Placement 2017 organised in Cumbria by the Centre for Leadership Performance told guests at a Celebration Event about their experiences seeing leadership and business at close quarters.


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Organisations who offered Dream Placements in 2017

-------------------------------------------------Abbey House

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