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Case Study - Harley: Career Ready Intern

We supported Harley on a month long work experience placement through Career Ready this year. Here is what he wrote about his time at HMS Unicorn:

My name is Harley, I’m 16 years old and I started my internship in June 2023 through Career Ready, which I was placed  on through my school, St Johns RC High School.

I’ve had some work experience through my part time job at Anfield Road Motors, which is amazing but a completely different environment from HMS Unicorn. I have also helped coach at Goal Academy for all different ages which has also been helpful work experience.

My experience at HMS Unicorn has been really beneficial for my future and my working life.

The thing I’ve done while I was on work experience here that I am most proud of is the children’s activity ‘Battles and Brawls’ that I planned and ran by myself, with support from Caroline. I had to write a description of the event in a fun and professional manner to post online on HMS Unicorn’s website and social media pages, design a poster, make feedback forms, write a risk assessment and create games that were challenging for the children but easy to adapt if they were finding it too hard. I was able to have a  practice run at the activity with a children’s group from Boomerang and was able to evaluate myself how to adapt and change the games for my real event. I received a lot of positive feedback from the event, even a gentleman coming up to me after the event and saying how good it was which really boosted my confidence.

Some of the other things I did was on my first day I went on a full tour of the ship with Bob, currently Unicorn’s longest serving volunteer. He explained everything in high detail and made sure not to miss anything out and made it fun and enjoyable too. I didn’t have time to learn the full Unicorn tour myself but I did learn all about the cannons on board the ship so I could speak to visitors, and the children who came to ‘Battles and Brawls’, what everything was and how they worked. I helped out with Graham, one of the Maintenance volunteers, to weed the dockside area and find out what goes into keeping the ship tidy. I shadowed the front desk with Beth and Tony, who are amazing at what they do, and got familiar with greeting and speaking to customers, working the till, restocking the shop and making sure everything was labelled. I assisted Caroline with the other summer holiday activities that she was running for children and also the ‘Brew and Blether’ event. Helping out at these gave me a preview of what it would be like at my event.

There is so much more that I have done but I cannot cover all of it so those are just the highlights.

My communication skills have skyrocketed since most of my time here I have been communicating with all sorts of different people including visitors, volunteers, staff and people online through my social media posts. I was also able to change the way I speak to kids and adults so the kids wouldn’t get bored I made it more fun for them and for the adults I made sure they had better detail and I was more straightforward with more focus on information than fun.

Another really important skill I have developed is working independently which Caroline has trusted me to do. I set a deadline for my event and stuck to it, keeping my time right and making sure that I had everything organized well in advance. This also improving my event management skills and being able to write for different audiences. Creativity was a huge part of my event and I didn’t think I had any creativity to be honest before this but I came up with three different games and different plans for all of them, showing that I do have some.

I have matured significantly since starting at HMS Unicorn when I first came here, I didn’t know what to expect as I have never been in a work environment quite like this but it is different but that has helped with my maturity a lot, coming across as nicer with my tone of voice and just overall polite responses. I have definitely seen a change in my maturity level.

It’s also great socializing with everyone; visitors, staff, volunteers even the postie it’s always nice to have a chat with people. Also, on HMS Unicorn you learn something new every day from the history of the ship to other ships even skills that you need in life, everything about working here is great and beneficial.

This placement has helped me in getting a job when I am older or even a head start with it on my CV and references but the most valuable thing is experience its great to see a different aspect of work is like and has really helped me develop skills you only get with experience.

I think a lot of the enjoyability of a placement at Unicorn comes from the people around me such as Caroline who has been great to me and has been so helpful to me in my time here and to anyone else who needs help with anything, she knows everything about the ship, really approachable and friendly just the perfect person for a museum. Everyone else like Tony, Beth, Matthew, Bob, Graham, Gary, Esther, Gordon, David and so many more have made this way more enjoyable for me and really made me feel like I was meant to be here, honestly couldn’t have asked for better this. I was never into history or anything but since coming here it’s been so interesting and I have really enjoyed it. This internship has been amazing.






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