Work Experience Blog by King Alfred’s Student, Aimee Surman

Throughout the week of the 10 to 15 July 2023 we (King Alfred’s students) had a week of work experience, giving us an opportunity to discover more about a chosen career of our interest. I have chosen to do my work experience at Penny Post as I believe it is an amazing opportunity to help me understand a bit more about journalism.

Down below is a diary of my experience:

Day 1

Today was my first day of work experience at Penny Post. When I first arrived I met Penny and Brian who were very welcoming (Penny was making pancakes) and after a quick tour of the garden and the place we were to work at we sat down and started the day by making a phone call to a local business.  

After the call, Penny taught us a bit about what it’s like to create and edit articles.

This was a completely new opportunity for me as I had never done it before, which made me slightly nervous. However, Penny soon showed me how to use several editing formats such as MailChimp and Edit with Elementor. After this, we ate lunch outside before carrying on our work of editing a post about upcoming events in Lambourn. Once completed we finished of by link-checking the monthly Lambourn Valley newsletter – making sure all 50 links were correct.

Then it was the end of the day and time to go home to rest up before tomorrow.

Day 2

On our second day (which was the Tuesday) we focused our work on the summer guide of 2023. For this, when I first arrived I set up my laptop and spent time researching various summer events.

After I completed my research Penny taught me how to update the weekly newsletter and include these events.

Before lunch, Brian made a phone call to the Vale of Whitehorse councillor who was in charge of the finance. The councillor was very friendly and informative. You can read about this in the 13 July column of Wantage area weekly news. The call was about the Leisure Centre and we were wondering whether any funds were to be allocated to improve the state of it. (As a swimmer I visit the Leisure Centre regularly). 

After this very interesting phone call it was time for lunch.

After lunch, Penny and Brian introduced us to a bike they borrowed which had a blender attached to the front. The idea of this was to pedal to make the blender spin so we made smoothies. They were delicious; we put in ingredients in such as mint, ginger, blackberries and oat milk.

Towards the end of the day, I watched Penny use Photoshop and learned a bit about how to use it to edit images and logos. For the rest of the afternoon, I worked on my article that I was creating about the benefits of swimming as a form of exercise.

Day 3

Today was slightly different, we took the bus into Newbury. On the bus I asked members of the public to tell me why they took the bus and why it is important that more people take use of it. This was for a survey that we needed to complete about becoming more environmentally friendly. After that we got of the bus and went to Newbury library, where there is something called Educafe.

Educafe is a space where anyone, any age can go to have free coffee and cake and socialize with others.

Whilst we were there we attended a meeting – outlining the need for volunteers and we also asked users of the café why they like to go to Educafe.

 

Penny offered to include the appeal for library volunteers and the testimonials for Educafe in the Penny Post newsletter.

 

I then sat in the library and spent more time on my article, soon after this we got the bus back to Penny and Brian’s house before soon leaving to go home.

Day 4

I started the day by finishing of two posts about volunteering and the Summer Reading Challenge, with help from Penny. Then once finished, Penny showed me how to publish them. 

Then we had lunch, after this I made more progress on my article and carried out research for this (with help and support from the cats). 

Then to finish off I checked over my recently published posts and corrected any mistakes.


 When I got home later that day I started my last paragraph for my article, in time to hopefully publish it the next day.

Day 5

Today was my last day of Work Experience with Penny Post. We visited Shefford Primary School where Penny and Chris Whichelo hosted a presentation about Quakers, including a brief experience of a Quaker meeting. The children seemed very interested in learning about Quakers and especially pleased when the squash and biscuits came out.

 Then we went back to Penny and Brian’s house Penny helped me to select an image for the header of my article, before later completing it.

I have really enjoyed this eventful week. There are many things I have experienced and learned in which I will always look back on and remember how lucky I was to be able to work with Penny and Brian. They have both been amazing teachers and I have definitely learned many new skills. 

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