Introducing… Charlie, 16, year 10 at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts and have just completed my work experience at Etihad Airways.

My work experience week in a nutshell… I spent a week in the marketing office with the Marketing Manager Australia as my supervisor at Etihad. I assisted the marketing and sponsorship departments with a range of impromptu tasks.

Why I applied… As the dreaded subject selection and HSC discussions began, I started contemplating what I wanted to do after high school. Work experience was mandatory for school and I originally looked for something hospital/health care related, as that is what I intended to do after school. However after months of research and inquiries I learned that this was a very difficult industry to get into for Work Experience. Marketing was next on my list. It was something I was vaguely interested in but did not have extensive knowledge about. I decided to demystify the industry and discover if it was actually something I would be good at.

How I applied… I was very fortunate (in fact a bit spoiled) that my mum took care of the application process for me. She had a contact through work and after hours of brainstorming and mind-map drawing she emailed the Marketing Manager Australia at Etihad Airways and asked if they’d take me on!

What I did… The job required me to put together spreadsheets and documents as well as partake in a whole lot of research for my supervisors. I had to do some errand running and Officeworks trips to get supplies for the office. I was able to observe and take notes during a meeting and conference call in order to understand the working ways. It was a very relaxed week and I spent most of my time sipping cups of tea and talking with other employees about the industry, how they got into their job and asking their advice.

What I learnt… This week gave me some true insight into the world of marketing and the different aspects that go into selling a multi-national brand like Etihad Airways. The airline industry is especially fascinating as it is largely influenced by world events and is therefore constantly changing. It is a very competitive environment and can be quite stressful given the huge amounts of money that are being invested in the brand. The people were all friendly yet somewhat reserved, so I really enjoyed working with the more laid-back and charismatic ones. The supervisors were definitely my favourite part of the job and I found that by the end of the week I didn’t want to leave. I’m not 100% sure if I am suited for this industry, however I do think that marketing will be a real contender when deciding what I’m going to do with my life.

Do this if you like..People, being creative and scoring freebies!

Don’t do this if you don’t like… Consumerism, sitting at a desk and having to dress ‘smart casual’

The best advice I got… The corporate world is full of very confident people and this can make you doubt yourself and your working ability. In this industry you must always remember your worth and always remember your value.

Any tips/advice for those thinking about this career and/or work experience… For those of you about to embark on work experience, the biggest thing I have learned is that work experience isn’t about doing the job, it’s about getting the feel of the workplace environment and taking the opportunity to ask the people about their careers and experience. The work you do will probably be boring and tedious but just know that it is all working towards something! Marketing (and the corporate world) is a who you know industry, so take this opportunity to make as many contacts as possible and make sure that you maintain that relationship!

To find out some practical tips for work experience click here.