Aphrael’s volunteer experience

Skills building with WCIA

Volunteer Aphrael with Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language shaking a bucket for Cyclone Idai

From the 8th February to the 7th May, I carried out work experience as a website editor for the WCIA. Initially I believed this work experience would only consist of adding new posts to their website (something I was already looking forward to as I was very excited to learn how to do this) and perhaps I would write some blog pieces of my own. I did indeed do both of these activities (you can see a blog post I wrote here), however, there was so much more to this placement that really sparked my interest.

On my first day, Susie (the Chief Executive) asked me what aspects of international affairs I might be interested in, in hopes of tailoring my work experience to suit me. I explained how I was interested in policy work and she took it on board really well. I carried out work such as reading Welsh Government documents; I once did this to help Susie create a policy piece on a ‘Globally responsible Wales’. I also got to visit the Welsh Assembly to sit in a Human Rights cross party group, and I listened in on a meeting which focused on how the new Welsh curriculum could help created better global citizens. All of these experiences have allowed me to enhance my experience in the political and social policy area. This is something that is very useful as I wish to go into the political sphere as a career, this work experience has given me so much that I know will be useful in helping me achieve this goal.

I also helped out at events during my time doing work experience which was such a brilliant opportunity. As someone who finds it difficult putting herself out there, this was a huge confidence boost (especially when you get the opportunity to talk to Welsh Ministers which I was very lucky to do.) One such event I helped out at was ‘Wales in a Post-Brexit World’. At the start of the event I marked everyone in to ensure those who had a ticket received a seat (the event was quite popular!). During the event I wrote notes so that an article could be created the next day on what people had said and what was discussed. At the end of the evening I helped collect donations for Mozambique who suffered massively due to Cyclone Idai by standing with a fundraising bucket at the door as people were leaving to go home. This was all a first for me as I have never felt comfortable helping out at events, however, everyone at the WCIA were great at making the event fun rather than stressful as I always feared events would be!

I always felt like I could ask for help if I was uncertain about a task as no-one looked down at you for being unsure. They would instantly explain what was required which made the whole work experience process much more enjoyable as I felt like I was constantly progressing and gaining new skills.
I feel like I have gained so many skills from this work experience. From website editing to communicating with others, the list was endless. I think one of the skills I will take away with me as the most useful however, was learning how to effectively problem solve. As much as I knew people were around to help me, sometimes solving the problem through experimenting was more useful as it helped me to not only think outside the box a bit and it also meant that I gained better awareness of what each part of the website was useful for.