Doncare is currently working through some significant challenges that relate to the operations of the organisation in the ‘COVID normal’ world. The impacts on our Op Shops, our service delivery and our staff are being keenly felt, and therefore with much sadness we have decided to halt any student work experience or community service placements for 2021. While in normal times, we see a great benefit to hosting students in our organisation, during these challenging times, we sadly do not have the resources available to adequately supervise and provide a meaningful beneficial experience to students.
We look forward to resuming work experience placements for students in Year 10-12 in the future.
"I ended up learning so many new skills, meeting so many great people, having numerous amazing opportunities and being completely immersed in Doncare"
We are always delighted to have students who show an interest in ‘working’ at Doncare and from the very first communication with Bernard, this Melbourne High student demonstrated keen interest and maturity.
Thank you so much for this week of work experience, it was honestly one of the best weeks of my life. I came in on Monday without particularly high expectations for work experience, I expected that I would learn a bit more about community help and perform some random tasks here and there. I expected a somewhat bland but enjoyable experience that would take up a week of my holidays and then be soon forgotten. Instead, I ended up learning so many new skills, meeting so many great people, having numerous amazing opportunities and being completely immersed in Doncare.
Firstly, I am so grateful for the experiences I had. I had expected a series of mundane office duties that would leave me bored and unsatisfied and was blown away by the variety of my week. On Monday, I was given the jobs of finding possible fundraising partners and sorting the iMatter data and entering it into a spreadsheet. These were real tasks that I was given, tasks that would actually be useful to the company. Up to this point, school had sort of accustomed me to pointless tasks that were designed solely to teach me skills or keep me occupied, so the fact that on the first day alone I was trusted with proper tasks made me feel useful and respected. Sometimes I feel that adults see teenagers as untrustworthy or lazy, and treat them differently than they would adults. I felt none of this during the week, you and everyone else always treated me with respect and for that I am so very grateful.
Throughout the rest of the week, the tasks you gave me only got better. I got to go all over Manningham visiting the op shops, pick up toys from Serpell Primary School and even partake in a jewellery sale! Once again, the trust everyone placed in me with managing the money and EFTPOS during the sale and listening to real clients in a confidential meeting made me feel like an actual member of staff and not just a student on work experience. Even the mundane tasks such as organising files had their purposes clearly explained to me, I always felt like I was useful and never felt like I was doing a task solely to keep me occupied.
Of course, the best part of work experience this week were the people. Everyone I met was so friendly and accommodating, treating me with so much respect and kindness. I would like to thank everyone who talked to me or asked me how I was going, these interactions made what might have been a slow day lively and exciting. I would especially like to thank Loli, Jen, Kerrie and Pam who were always willing to lend a hand or make me feel even more welcome, they brought such great energy and enthusiasm to all the tasks I assisted them with. I also never got a chance to thank and say goodbye to Maria, who made the Tuesday visiting the op shops especially enjoyable, so be sure to thank her for me. Most importantly however, I must thank you, Sue. You helped arrange all the intricacies of my weeklong work experience and always had something for me to do. You could have easily made me file paperwork for a week, but made sure I did something fresh and exciting every day. You were always there to assist with my tasks and I am so grateful to you for ensuring my work experience was so varied and enjoyable.
Now that my work experience has ended and my holidays begin, I feel not excitement but sadness. This last week has been one of the best I’ve had, and the thought that I’ll probably never get to work with or see everyone again fills me with sadness. I am so grateful for the last week and wish that I could do it all again. Maybe one day in the future I’ll come back to Doncare for university or work, based on the last week I’ve had, I would be extremely glad to come back. My time at Doncare might be over, but I will cherish my memories there and always look back fondly at my time with everyone there. Good luck with the future, and thank you so much for the experience.