'Best work experience ever' spent with Mencap

Psychology student Gabriela Otero reflects on employability placement with mental health charity.
Michaelis and Wass

Gabriela earned 300 Employability Points from a variety of activities ranging from workshops and conferences, to student mentoring and the Kent Union Buddy Scheme. Using some of these points, Gabriela secured a two-week placement with East Kent Mencap (EKM) working on the charity’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Policy. 

During my placement, another student and I reviewed East Kent Mencap’s EDI policy and presented a project to help them achieve a more diverse workforce. The presentation provided extensive research on other organisations’ approaches towards tackling inequality, as well as interactive slides explaining unconscious bias, intersectionality, workplace culture, and tokenism. In addition, we addressed points to improve on based on EKM’s Equal Opportunities Report. Subsequently, we provided a systematic action plan tailored to the organisation. Weekly meetings were held with the HR team and other members of the organisation (e.g. support workers), to get an insight into what their roles were and what they did on a day-to-day basis.’ 

Gabriela stated this was the best work experience she has undertaken thanks to the amazing people she worked with. She had the following to say about the impact the time spent with EKM had on her skills/experience: 

The placement helped me improve my presentation skills and surprisingly, my creativity. It also helped me obtain an overview of how organisations work in real life. Moreover, I was quite unsure of what to do in the future but completing this work experience made me realise how passionate I am about organisational and business psychology, and I cannot wait to start off my career within this field. 

East Kent Mencap provided two fantastic work experience opportunities and more can be found about the charity here.  

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