When I decided to work at PECT during my gap year, as opposed to travelling the ‘four corners of the world’, most people I disclosed this to clearly thought I was missing out on something. This was evident by their reactions: ‘but this is your chance to go exploring’, ‘not going to spend the year travelling then?’, ‘you’ll be working all your life, you’re missing out!’.
Luckily, I’m not one to take things too much to heart and besides, I had no reservations in deciding not to devote my year to travelling because instead, I had the opportunity to travel the four corners of the ‘Big City’ that is Peterborough. Community is something that is close to my heart, and whilst I could have been experiencing communities across the world, where best to invest than the community that is closest to home.
I first recall starting out at PECT as a fairly shy, inexperienced 16-year-old school girl in a voluntary position with little confidence in my own ability – I can hardly recognise myself looking back then. However, over the course of my time at PECT, I have massively gained in confidence through the many opportunities PECT has given me. These include things like: networking at events, interacting with the community through our projects and ultimately delivering a lunch and learn presentation to staff members – much to my reservations – to which I am now grateful to Laura, my manager, for encouraging me to have the nerve to do so!
Deciding on my best moment at PECT is certainly a difficult one because of the many memories I have. However, my fondest memory at PECT ties in with my combined competitive nature and love of baking. The occasion was our Great PECT Bake-Off. This meant a lot of baking and a lot of cake-eating! It comprised of all staff members taking part in a series of bake-off challenges each week to synchronise with the Great British Bake-off programme.
For the first year that I took part, I was still at school at the time, and recall running to the PECT offices, eating endless amounts of cake and then darting back to school all in the space of my lunch break. Certainly worth it for those showstoppers!
In my eyes, I have had just as much experience in a new and exciting working environment as I would have had whilst travelling; loving every opportunity I have been given. Now as I turn a page and venture on an International Business degree at Loughborough University, I will take the skills, experience and most of all the PECT values I have gained during this invaluable placement year on the next step of my journey.
And, as the saying goes – once a member of #TeamPECT always a member, which means I exPECT to be back in the not too distant future!
Michaela Anthony – Digital Marketing Apprentice at PECT