Working with Agent Academy over the summer has been a hugely useful experience for me. As a final year Physics student at the University of Liverpool (UoL), I have found that within my degree, I tend to get a lot of academic and theoretical experience, but so rarely do we touch on how the skills we learn would be used in industry or the workplace. I personally lacked a lot of confidence at the end of the last academic year and I, like a lot of people, suffered from few opportunities to develop social and networking skills due to the pandemic. I didn’t have any real work experience to fill my CV and I knew that I needed to do something before graduating. Ultimately, without this, I would be at a disadvantage to other graduate candidates applying for the same things I was.
In April, I applied to be a Digital Coach with the UoL. This role consists of a 12-week summer programme starting in June, working with both the university and Agent Academy. I was part of a cohort of 18 students aiming to develop our digital skills and knowledge of marketing and business. Over the last few months, we were given so many opportunities that put us outside of our comfort zone. Whether it was networking directly with employers, engaging with Liverpool businesses to understand digital skills gaps, or trying to create engaging marketing content, we were consistently given a challenge that was never too steep or too easy.
What was probably the most enjoyable part of the programme was meeting all the other coaches in person. We had been working online over Zoom for several weeks before all getting together to go to Avenue HQ for a day with the Agent Academy team. It was great to finally talk to people in person and most importantly, this was a great boost to my confidence as I’ve generally struggled in large group environments like this in the past. Once we all met, it was surprisingly strange how quickly everyone got on with each other after we’d spent weeks limited by the strained connection available in an online workspace.
The end goal of the internship was to produce a learning session on relevant digital skills we had identified through our research. These skills sessions are to be delivered to other students in the new academic year to give them the opportunities to become more successful in their careers post-graduation. Obviously, public speaking is a massive part of being able to deliver an entertaining and informative learning session and prior to the internship, I’d always shied away from anything like this. Now, I have made a conscious effort to improve my own confidence to rise to this challenge. This, combined with the activities over the course of the programme, have given me not only the motivation, but also the time and opportunity to work on developing this area of myself.
I am now in a position where I feel not only more confident generally, but I also feel comfortable enough to present my session to others. The whole experience has been a positive one and I’m looking forward to seeing where I can take the skills I’ve developed this summer into the next stage of my life.