Spending my 6-week internship at Smart Works Reading!

Securing an internship with Smart Works has been an amazing and worthwhile experience. In the short time I’ve been here, I feel that I’ve grown and learnt so much. The events in my first week of being here told me that this internship would be an engaging time and valuable experience. I began my first day with some induction training and shortly afterwards found myself on the phone with a client. It was slightly nerve racking but also a chance to tackle a new task and as Audrey says you only really learn by doing. At this point, I was left thinking that the rest of the week would be a steady transition into the new role but once again I found myself at an event in my first week talking to and meeting new faces, but this was made easier by having volunteer Bridget with me. 

Meeting the community that keeps Smart Works going has been a fulfilling experience. A lot of the fond and wonderful memories I’ve created during my time at Smart Works have come from Audrey, Claire, Laura, Emily, and the volunteers. They’ve provided me with teaching moments, supportive and guiding care as well as infectious laughter. It was exciting to see the new faces that soon became familiar faces, names, and personalities. Thank you to Audrey, Claire, and Laura for being so patient and accommodating. I really appreciate how open and okay you were with any questions and thank you to Emma and Sophie for the kind words mentioned before I left. Thank you to Sally for so kindly listening to my plans for the future and all the advice. Thank you to Anne Marie for bringing me a treat before I left! Ultimately, these were just a few names mentioned. But thank you so much to the whole Smart Works team, it was lovely to meet you all!

Learning with a team like Smart Works is an incredible experience where you’ll feel cared for and find yourself a valuable member of the team. You’re provided with many opportunities and tasks. And because of all these amazing things, I know there’ll be another intern. So, I’m leaving you a note of all the things you might want to know.

I’d say that my days at Smart Works never looked exactly the same. Sometimes I’d come in get comfortable and have various emails to reply to or work on spreadsheets. But I could also be whisked away into being an active part of the service. Supporting clients in their dressing appointments is an incredible experience. Where you get to see them completely light up and leave with confidence. They then get supported by all the capable coaches to feel secure in their answers. On a serious note, though you might want to know about the best time for a Tesco trip. Anything after 2pm and it’ll be ransacked. Two – don’t let Claire pick up your Tesco order if she’s still around, you might only get a tub of mayonnaise. Three – keep up with your stretches because you never know when the volunteers will need the parking pass hung a string!