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York College

Read about students' work placement experiences.

Eleanor Ryder: The Rowntree Players, Aladdin Pantomime, York | Lauren Clark: Civil Engineering Project on the A14 Cambridge - Costain Skanska, Carillion and Balfour Beatty | Phoebe Bates: Sunshine and The Beauty Within, York | Calum Abernethy: Hunters Estate Agents, York | Thomas Darwin: The Oak Tree Inn | Sophie Lang: Sue Overton Applied Practice | Sabrina Coultas & Alyssa Mayall: Ragdale Hall | David Law: Hotel Indigo, York | Cameron Elcock: Home and Cook | Alex Press: SESRuby Mitchell: Pro Makeup Academy | Jessica Addison: Marriott HotelHarry Coutts: Ebor GT Ltd | Joshua Haig: John Minford Associates, Chartered Accountants
Joseph Savage: Scunthorpe Hospital | Hannah Savage: Selby South Children’s Centre
Maria Baker: Julian Sturdy MP – Office | Jake Stewart: S T Stead Veterinary Centre
Alice Ramage: Clifton with Rawcliffe Primary School | Chloe Cargill: Vion Food Group, Malton
James Pratt: Elmhirst Parker Solicitors | Emily May: Copmanthorpe Primary School
Caroline Longley


Eleanor Ryder

Eleanor Ryder Work experience College case study

Work Experience:The Rowntree Players, Aladdin Pantomime, York
Formerly of Richmond School and Sixth Form College

Eleanor said: "Trainign to be a make-up artist, I wanted work experience in the theatre, TV and film industry. My work placement with The Rowntree players, a local amateur dramatics society, gave me the perfect opportunity to connect with local actors and directors and network with people in the industry.

"As part of a team of make-up artists, I applied make-up to principal and chorus cast member, including facial hair and glitter, cosmetically camouflaged a big scratch on the leg of a principal cast member, learned how to apply make-up in a confined space and to time limit and applied make-up to an actor during a qucik change between scenes.

"I hope to become an on-set make-up artist or designer working in theatre and film and this work placement gave me an insight into the role of a theatre make-up artist. It was a great experience which will make me more employable in the future. I was particularly pleased to make some conections which will help with sourcing placements in the future."



Lauren Clark

Lauren Clarke Work experience College case study

Work Experience: Civil Engineering Project on the A14 Cambridge - Costain Skanska, Carillion and Balfour Beatty
Formerly of Millthorpe School

Lauren said: "I worked hard to find this 4-day work experience. Being in a group of nine girls, from all over the country, it was a fantastic opportunity to gain an insight into the workings of the UK’s biggest civil engineering project, and to meet other females who want to forge careers in the construction industry.

“The work experience was the perfect fit for my College course where I am learning about the different types of jobs within the construction industry; everything from sustainability to structural mechanics. The A14 project involves every aspect of the construction industry and it was fascinating to meet people with a range of skills and specialisms, each carrying out their jobs with a common goal to complete the project to a high standard, to timescale and on budget. I took part in team building activities and this really helped me to understand the impact of the different construction roles from planning and surveying, to project management and health and safety."



Phoebe Bates


Phoebe Bates The Beauty Within at Sunshire Emp 2

Work Experience: Sunshine and the Beauty Within, York
Formerly of Archbishop Holgate's School

Phoebe said: "“This was the perfect work experience at a local salon, with professional staff who were so kind and helpful. My duties included keeping the shop neat and tidy, cleaning the sunbeds and greeting clients. I also carried out valuable reception work; answering the phone and taking bookings. I am thankful I was given this opportunity to build my confidence. I feel more prepared to out into the workplace where this experience will hopefully give me a better chance of getting where I want to be. Once I complete this year at college I would like to return to the salon and hopefully get permanent a job.”

Salon Owner Ray Neal wanted to train a placement student to take on the salon’s working ethos saying it was essential any future employee fitted in the team: “Taking on a work placement student gave us the chance to evaluate the person before making a long term commitment. Phoebe made initial contact with us and we worked with the York College Placement Team to evaluate any weaknesses and develop her skills accordingly. Phoebe definitely matured during the placement and became more comfortable communicating with clients.”



 Calum Abernethy

Calum Abernathy Work experience College case study

Work Experience: Hunters Estate Agents, York
Formerly of Millthorpe School

Calum said: "I undertook a work placement as I wanted to gain experience in the working world as a Graphic Designer. The placement at Hunters was really helpful as I was able to use my skills to help solve problems, learn how to use design programs and develop my knowledge of computer-based programs. Working in an office environment boosted my self-confidence and improved my time management skills when working under pressure to meet deadlines."

"The placement was really helpful for students who decide not to go to university but want some real-world work experience to help them move onto the next phase. Overall, I learnt a lot on the job at Hunters and really enjoyed the atmosphere within the office."

After successfully completing his work placement, Calum received a full-time job offer as a Junior Graphic Designer from Hunters. Justyna Hill, HR Manager at Hunters, spoke of the benefits of offering a work placement: "Offering a work placement was a great way of establishing a working relationship with York College. It was a great experience for our staff, who had the chance to do some mentoring and training, as well as helping us to understand the type and amount of support we require within our business."

Thomas Darwin

thomas darwin york college case studyWork Experience: The Oak Tree Inn
Formerly of Boroughbridge High School

Thomas said: "I chose to do my work placement at The Oak Tree Inn as I currently have a part time job there and wanted to develop my existing skills whilst expanding my knowledge and learning new techniques."

"Whilst on my placement, I learnt new presentational techniques and now have a more in-depth knowledge of what equipment/utensils can be used to enhance the final look of a dish. I also enjoyed taking on a higher level of responsibility than in my part time job and was able to show my boss techniques that I don’t usually get a chance to use."

"This placement confirmed to me that I would like to become a chef in the ‘fine dining’ area as it requires a great deal of creativity and imagination to create new and exciting dishes – which is something I believe I have. As confidence isn’t my strongest point, the thought of going into a new environment was quite daunting but this work placement really boosted my confidence levels. I feel that my communication skills have improved greatly as a result of this placement and I am now able to speak more confidently which has had a positive impact on my work in the kitchen. Also, as my general cooking knowledge has been extended, I have now been offered part time job at Betty’s Tea Rooms in Harrogate which I am thrilled about."


Sophie Lang

Sophie Lang Work experience College case study

Work Experience: Sue Overton Applied Practice
Formerly of Darlington College

Sophie said: "I was given a fantastic opportunity by York College to do the make-up for an Early Years entertainment production and thought it would be a great way to gain an insight of working on a TV production film set. The placement entailed being professional at all times; listening to instructions and carrying out requirements of the organisation; working to time scales and schedules; deciding the type of make-up for the cameras; and touching-up when needed for filming purposes.

My aspirations for the future are to work within film and TV; this placement gave me a taster of what it would be like and has encouraged me to grasp every opportunity that is thrown at me. The placement was very helpful and informative and the staff said they will contact me if they have any more work in the future. It gave me real experience of working within a professional environment and a good insight into the pressures of the job role too, I feel as if I learnt a lot working in a hands-on environment."

Sue Overton, of Sue Overton Applied Practice said: ‘‘We pride ourselves on creating opportunities for students to practically apply the skills they gain at college. It allows us to make contact with new, raw talent and form relationships for the future. I was delighted with the calibre of student we worked with - the production team held a de-brief following the work placement and we all felt that it was hugely beneficial."

Sabrina Coultas & Alyssa Mayall

Sabrina Coultas Alyssa Mayall Work experience College case studyWork Experience: Ragdale Hall
Formerly of Ryedale High Schooland Tadcaster Grammar School

Sabrina said: "My tutor informed me of the opportunity to do a work placement at Ragdale Hall and Alyssa and I jumped at the opportunity to work at such a prestigious spa. We went for a trial assessment before finding out we had both been successful in gaining placements. It was such a great experience, we practiced giving facials, used the dry flotation beds and worked behind the reception desk and in the shop. We also learnt how to give a pressure point massage, a technique we now use every time we give facials at College."

Alyssa said: "We were buddied up with a therapist who showed us all the equipment used in the spa and we had a great insight of what it’s like to work there. Living in staff accommodation for the duration of the placement we also developed life skills; cooking for ourselves and making sure we were on time for work each day. Everyone was really friendly and welcoming, they gave us a lot of responsibility, allowing us to use the facilities and develop our skills."

 Lynne Marie-Gallagher from Ragdale Hall said: "I am really pleased the girls enjoyed the experience as they were a joy to have in the spa. They had a lot of good feedback from the staff, they represented York College wonderfully and were extremely mature in their attitude and behaviour."


David Law

David Law hotel indigo case study

Work Experience: Hotel Indigo, York
Formerly of Joseph Rowntree School

David said: "Hotel Indigo wanted someone to create a mural for them;  I took on the placement as I had not attempted such a large-scale painting before and wanted to challenge myself and find out what I was capable of. Also, street art and mural painting are subjects I am very interested in and, as the project involved materials and processes  I have experience using, naturally, I was excited."

"Firstly, I researched York’s history, culture and legendary characters. I then spent several days taking photos and gathering inspiration for elements to include in my mural design. I had to create sketches and a mock-up of the final design and calculate the cost and quantities of the materials I required, with the overall mural taking one month to complete."

"I have learnt many new skills from this experience; dealing with clients on a professional level, painting using different materials and the processes and techniques involved in creating a mural painting. In the future, I aim to establish myself as a professional working artist with my own art studio, as well as working as a professional tattoo artist. I would also really like to do more mural painting and street art."

Mike Sweeting, General Manager at Hotel Indigo said: ‘‘Having studied hospitality myself, I strongly believe in work placements. My own studies and work placement provided a wealth of experience, and taught me the value of skills and ethics, which have since helped me to achieve milestones and goals. At Hotel Indigo we were delighted to support the community by offering students the same kind of opportunity. This was not free labour, this was an opportunity to give a student a mind-set of work and it was an absolute pleasure to see the work placement was well received, with mutual agreed expectations. When I saw David’s work it stood out – it was absolutely what we needed. It was particularly pleasing to see that David was happy with his planning and preparation of the project and we are delighted that he managed to create such a stunning piece of work for Hotel Indigo.



Cameron Elcock

Cameron ElcockWork Experience: Home and Cook
Formerly of All Saints RC School

Cameron says: "I decided to do my work experience at Home and Cook as I currently have a part time job there and wanted to widen my knowledge of the company. I possibly want to work in retail management in the future and I wanted to get an indication to what it’s like in the offices and off the shop floor. I’m very fortunate that the business where I worked at gave me the opportunity to do what I wanted.

My work experience entailed a series of task over my workplace period. Firstly I learned about all the health and safety policies and procedures that my organisation has to follow. Secondly, I learned about sales comparing with the previous year to see how much more or less we made from that previous year and what products were popular at the time. Thirdly I learned about how stock difference and checks the organisation has to do when one or several units of stock doesn’t show up. We have to call the dispatch to see where the missing stock is which can be due to miscommunication of our deliveries going to different stores. Lastly, I learned about why our relationship with McArthur Glen is important because they allow us to advertise what is on offer at the time. McArthur Glen then promotes new offers to our customers which increases the people that come to our store.


My aspiration for the future is to work in retail management. This placement allowed me to experience what happens within a business, other than just sell products! It allowed me to gain knowledge that I never thought I'd be able to gain through any business. This placement has helped me to gather the experience I need to develop into retail management in the future. My placement wouldn’t have been as succesfull without the work placement team as they opened my eye to how much you can learn on work placement!

I believe the main benefit of work experience is that its giving you an insight into a possible career. It allows you to gain some knowledge and ask questions. You have no ties with work experience either so if you don’t enjoy it then that career path may not be for you. But my placement has reassured me that I want to go into retail management."

Alex Press

alex press

Work Experience: SES
Formerly of Fulford School

Alex says: "I took this work placement because I wanted to understand how building services are made and designed using BIM to improve my CAD skills.

We were asked to draw 3D BIM designs for services such as plumbing, electrical circuits and ventilation in buildings. When would then apply this knowledge to per 2D drawings for services in a corridor and a building room to see if we were able to draw it in 3D without having any of the services colliding with each other.

In the future I would like to become an architect to design buildings. This did help as it gave me inside to both making a stylish building as well a making it buildable. It allowed me to improve my 3D CAS skills and made allowed me to design buildings exterior and interior quire than I would normally do it in."


Ruby Mitchell

Ruby Mitchell

Level 3 Diploma in Theatrical, Special Effects,Hair & Media Make-up
Work Experience: Pro Makeup Academy with Tally Bookbinder and Collette Casey

Formerly of King James School

Ruby says: "I heard from a friend that Tally and Collette did make-up for a television series and when I looked into their company further I found that they had both had amazing and successful careers in this industry. They had worked with a long line of famous celebrities and had set up their own academy offering make-up workshops – this seemed the perfect place for me to do work experience. During my placement, I learnt what it is really like to work in the media make-up industry through helping out at a three-day workshop covering every-day, bridal and special occasion make-up looks. I watched the daily demonstrations where I learned new techniques; was a model on one of the days and even did the make-up on one of the ladies. Tally and Collette also gave me invaluable advice about their careers and experiences and gave me a good insight into how to progress in this industry. I really enjoyed my time at Pro Makeup Academy and this placement confirmed to me that I would love to work in make-up and special effects in TV/film or theatre."

Tally Bookbinder and Collette Casey of Pro Makeup Academy said: "Having a student on placement builds them as a person and helps them approach the world of work. Confidence building is one of the main benefits as Ruby developed a great deal throughout the little time she spent with us. She was able to work in a new environment with new people, which can be hard for even some adults. It was really gratifying to see how much Ruby enjoyed herself and how she came out of her shell whilst learning. By day three, Ruby was part of the team; she saw how a business operates and this increased her social skills and manners." 


Jessica Addison

Jessica Addison

A Levels: Business, Psychology and Sociology
Work Experience: Marriott Hotel

Formerly of Barlby High School

Jessica says: "I really enjoyed my time with the Marriott Hotel. I have learnt a lot about the day-to-day workings of a HR department whilst further developing my interest in pursuing a career in HR in the future. Although I found it to be a stressful environment at times, it could also be a happy and exciting place to work. I found that I easily forged friendships whilst still working hard, even in the short time I was on work experience. “I would certainly recommend this placement to another student as all the employees were very friendly and made me feel welcome. They were always happy to help and give advice, which made for a comfortable environment where I was able to ask any questions I had about HR."

Melanie Stubbs, HR Manager at the Marriott Hotel said: ‘‘ Jess was an absolute star on her work experience placement! She did everything I asked of her thoroughly; has a good attention to detail and was great at both creative and administrative tasks. We’re all sad to see Jess leave as she really helped us out with some important tasks that needed doing. I hope this placement helped her to gain a little insight into the workings of our HR department."


Harry Coutts

Harry Coutts

A Levels: Further Maths, Chemistry and Physics
Work Experience: Ebor GT Ltd

Formerly of Ryedale School

Harry says, "Initially the York College Work Placement Team offered me a placement at Nestle, where I shadowed an engineer for a week. This was very enjoyable and I learnt a lot about how a large company works.

A few weeks later the Team contacted me to explain that Ebor GT in York wanted a student to do some book keeping. I was particularly pleased when they suggested asking the company if I could also do some engineering alongside the accountancy work.

Ebor GT Ltd offer a service which find really interesting; a mixture of car restoration and race preparation. They allowed me to look at different sides of the business both financial and physical engineering. 

Working one day a week for about a term and a half, I gained so much experience. I learned the in-depth workings of high end sports cars such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis and an understanding how a business works and how it builds connections with the local community and individual customers.

I am now studying Engineering at Durham University and I don't underestimate how useful my work placement was. The knowledge I gained is not necessarily taught at University and very few people I have come across have had anything like this sort of work experience. 

My work placement certainly gave me something extra to put on my CV – it made me stand out from the crowd."

Adrian Snook from Ebor GT Ltd said, "We decided to give work experience to a student from York College to help with our small office as we are a growing company and not in a position to employ a person full-time. Harry was perfect for us; completing the office work easily and giving me time to continue running the business (without having to look over his shoulder). I think Harry benefitted from being in a work environment and he appreciated how hard you have to work to run your own business. Harry left us as a more confident person and I think more focused about his decisions for later life."

Joshua Haig

Joshua Haig

Work experience: John Minford Associates, Chartered Accountants

"I really enjoyed my placement and felt like I learned a lot from the week. My time there was definitely worth it and gave me a great insight into the profession.

Everyone was really helpful and I felt like I knew my role. The time I spent there was really valuable and it was a great experience.

I’m very grateful to everyone at John Minford Associates for giving me a placement and for being so helpful and easy to work with."


Joseph Savage

Joseph Savage

Work experience: Scunthorpe Hospital

"I thought that Scunthorpe Hospital put on an extremely good and varied week which gave me great insight into hospital life and how wards operate.

I would like to thank the staff on Ward 17 for a great week. The only problem was that I couldn’t stay longer!"


Hannah Savage

Hannah Savage

Work experience: Selby South Children's Centre

"I thoroughly enjoyed my placement at the Children's Centre. It helped me to gain experience and an insight into how the career path worked. Everyone was really welcoming and helpful, and I got the chance to experience working with a variety of children at different ages. I found it delightful to work with them."


Maria Baker

Maria Baker

Work experience: Julian Sturdy MP – Office

"At my placement I was given a research project to complete. This helped me to get a lot more out of the placement as it was a real experience rather than just doing administration work. It was very relevant to the work I want to go into after university and I left with a piece of work that I was very proud of.

The staff at the office were very helpful, and completing a placement means that I have something interesting to add to my university application, showing a real interest in the subject I want to pursue."


Jake Stewart

Jake Stewart

Work experience: S T Stead Veterinary Centre

"I loved every minute at my work placement. It helped me to realise that a veterinary qualification is the route I plan to go down at university. I wish I could have stayed longer."



Alice Ramage

Alice Ramage

Work experience: Clifton with Rawcliffe Primary School

"I really enjoyed my placement at Clifton with Rawcliffe Primary School. They made me feel very welcome and both the staff and children were very friendly.

It was a great experience that brought new challenges, helping me to gain a wider understanding and knowledge of teaching. It was really good fun. I would recommend this placement to anyone and would love to go back!"


Chloe Cargill

Chloe Cargill

Work experience: Vion Food Group, Malton

"I found it really useful to see what the role of the vet in an abattoir included, in particular how they carried out ante-mortem and post-mortem examinations on the animals.

I feel that I came away from the day with a much better understanding of how the slaughterhouse and meat factory system works, from both a veterinary and consumer perspective. I have also gained some valuable material for my university application and for future interviews."


James Pratt

James Pratt

Work experience: Elmhirst Parker Solicitors

"Throughout my placement I have had a brilliant insight into the legal profession. After sitting in the Magistrates court and client meetings I have been given a sample of the life of a solicitor, including the way they work and how they apply the law to various cases.

The work placement environment has been warm and welcoming while also keeping a professional manner. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Elmhirst Parker Solicitors and am very grateful for the time they spent with me."


Emily May

Emily May

Work experience: Copmanthorpe Primary School

"Working at Copmanthorpe Primary School was a fantastic experience for me. I felt welcomed into the school as part of the team and never felt isolated. I was kept very busy, working with teachers and groups of children as well as individually.

The placement was well organised and I was always given clear instructions as to what I had to do. I was delighted to work with the students and help the staff, and I would like to thank the school for giving me an experience I will never forget."


Caroline Longley

Caroline Longley L

Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator) CACHE Level 3
Previously of Pudsey Grangefield School

“I chose to study Child Studies to get first-hand experience working with children. The course met my expectations and I have learnt a lot during my time at College. I really enjoyed going to placement as it has allowed me to meet different children along the way. I also really enjoyed having the opportunity to take part in Forest Schools in my first year at College.”



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