In 2014, the United Nations declared the 15 July as World Youth Skills Day to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship. This year, World Youth Skills Day takes place at a challenging time for all workers, but especially young workers. Here, social media intern, Corey Waters-Long, and technical intern, Paula Amores Morillo, share their working experiences at BioCote® and what it means for their final year at Coventry University and their future career.
Gaining skills to rebuild societies
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, people aged 15-24 were three time more likely to be unemployed than adults and often faced a prolonged school-to-work transition period. The unemployment rate of young people is one out of six being out of work due to the current pandemic.
This year’s awareness day is highlighting the importance of developing skilled youth, as young people are called upon to contribute to the recovery effort in post-Covid-19 societies. They will need to be equipped with the skills to successfully manage evolving challenges and the resilience to adapt to future disruptions.
Keeping digitally connected: Corey reflects on the impact of his Social Media Internship
I joined BioCote® in summer 2019 as the first commercial student to support the company’s social media presence. This represented unchartered territory for both BioCote® and myself. My experience has been a rich and fulfilling one, that has provided me with industry insights, commercial awareness and social media know-how that I could not have obtained otherwise.
On this journey with BioCote®, I have been able to develop and hone a variety of skills, from copywriting and content planning to designing. I have also learned how to work as part of a team and also independently, making commercially sound decisions to drive my work. The pandemic has shown how important digital tools and channels of communications are, and as a team we have been able to drive the social media activity whilst working remotely from home. I have been able to take on additional tasks and expand on my learning experience.
The knowledge and experience I gained allowed me to grow in confidence and believe in my capabilities as a digital marketer. Alongside my placement, I have also been able to showcase and reflect on my experience in multiple projects with Coventry University, allowing me to be an influential voice by advocating the importance and the benefits of placement experiences to students who have yet to embark on their placement journey.
I am looking forward to my final year in my BA Advertising & Marketing course, where I will be able to apply my new and developed skills along with my newfound understanding of the B2B Digital Marketing Industry in my dissertation and other projects. My placement experience has not only provided me with focus for my studies, but also with tools, practical knowledge and insights that will hopefully give me a head-start in my professional journey.
Growing skills in a laboratory: Paula shares her experience as Technical Intern
A large portion of students have seen their placement experience cut short or cancelled before they even started. I was lucky enough to start my 12-month placement as microbiology intern at BioCote® in summer 2019 and have even continued working throughout the pandemic.
Whilst being rather nervous about leaving the familiar life at Coventry University behind for a year and embarking on a work experience journey, a warm welcome and sound introduction by the BioCote® team allowed me to settle quickly into the new routine and provided me confidence to challenge myself with new tasks.
The focus of my placement lies in supporting the preparation and testing of a variety of samples to measure antibacterial activity. Whilst we train in a laboratory at university, testing in a real-life work environment has increased my confidence and enabled me to vastly improve my laboratory techniques, performing faster while maintaining accuracy.
In addition, I have been able to participate in and also conduct several projects by myself. Increasing my confidence in working by myself, I have been involved in the planning of the test method, evaluating the results and act in accordance to them. My honed organisational, testing and planning skills will no doubt significantly and positively impact on my final year project at university.
Pandemic life has temporarily changed the focus of my placement and has allowed me to explore my copywriting skills. Working closely with the marketing team, I have produced a number of scientific blogs that were featured on the BioCote® website and also social media. Not only has this given me a massive confidence boost and allowed me to share my voice in a commercial arena, but it has also provided me with great research and written communication skills, which I’m looking to apply to my dissertation and hopefully future research work.
During my placement at BioCote®, I have been able to apply my academic knowledge from my BSc Biological and Forensic Sciences course in a real-life business environment and gained further skills, which has not only made me feel really accomplished with myself but will be incredibly helpful for my future career as a scientist.
Future Placements at BioCote®
Every year, BioCote® employs students in the technical and commercial arms of the business. Whilst we are sad to see Corey and Paula leave the business to continue on their academic journey at Coventry University, we are also excited to welcome two new students in September.
Sharing our knowledge, skills and experience in both the antimicrobial industry and also in the respective disciplines the students are focusing on, has long been an important part of the BioCote® philosophy. Fostering young, resilient talent and supporting their development for future growth and employability will continue to be a strong focus for our business and we will keep sharing their stories as inspiration.
To find out more about our placement opportunities and any other vacancies, please get in touch with us on +44 (0)2477 712 489.