Joe’s experience on Education to Employment
In early 2020, I first came into contact with Blind in Business, and it was during this initial meeting that I signed up for their Education to Employment event. Over the course of this event, I learnt so much and I felt that I came out of it in a much stronger position, as I felt more confident when it came to looking for work.
Education to Employment is split over two days. On the first day, we all met up as a group and took part in a fun, team building activity. For this particular event, the activity was white water rafting. It was extremely fun and extremely wet! What was great about the white-water rafting was the fact that we all got to bond together as a group and it helped us become comfortable around one another. It was a fantastic way to break the ice and it kicked E2E off in the right way. After we had finished up with the activity, we headed back to the hotel and freshened up before heading down to the dining toom for a delicious three course meal. During the evening, we heard from various members of the BiB alumni network, as they were kind enough to come along and talk to us about their experiences and how they were able to succeed in their careers despite living with a visual impairment. It was truly inspiring, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to them all speak. We had a chance to talk with them individually, which gave us a great opportunity to network and to ask for tips and advice.
The second day of E2E was all about employability skills, and this is where the real work started! We all participated in a mock assessment centre, where we took part in group tasks that tested our team working skills. One of those tasks involved working together to decide which essential items we would take on a desert island with us. As well as the group tasks, we also had to give a presentation about ourselves, assessing us on our individual presenting skills. It can be quite daunting doing this, especially when it is in front of people you have just met, but I feel it really helps to boost your confidence and goes a long way in improving how you deliver information to a group presentation. After the mock assessment centre, we took a break for lunch and in the afternoon, we had the chance to take part in a number of mock interviews. These interviews were conducted by people from several different fields, including some of the BiB alumni themselves. We were asked a variety of questions, which tested us in many different ways. We had four or five interviews each, and after they had finished, we received feedback on our performance. We learnt what we did well and what we could improve on, which was extremely helpful and insightful. To conclude the event, we worked on a group task along with the employers, which we then had to present to the group. It was a really fun way to end the event, and it capped off such an enjoyable experience.
If you ever get the chance to attend an Education to Employment event, I would highly recommend it. You will learn so much and gain a huge amount of confidence by taking part in the activities that are set out over the two days. For me, one of the best things about E2E is the fact that you get a chance to meet other people with visual impairments, giving you an opportunity to talk about similar challenges and difficulties that we all face. I found it very reassuring as I was able to relate to their stories and I didn’t feel as if I was the only one facing these problems. Overall, Education to Employment is a wonderful event and it is one not to be missed!
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