“It was an invaluable and pretty unique experience”
Here at Naked Element we’re big into supporting the future of tech, and that means young people. One work experience recruit was Chelsea, an ambitious school student who went on to be accepted at Oxford to study Computer Science. We couldn’t be more proud! Here she tells us a little about her journey and what inspired her to take up tech and join Naked Element for some real world experience.
How did you start your work experience with Naked Element?
One of my teachers at school was friends with Paul Grenyer (MD of Naked Element), and I was looking around for any work experience in the tech/computing/software industry. I had begun thinking about what I wanted to do in the future and had begun thinking of going into a technology based career. I was introduced to Paul and he asked me what I wanted out of the experience and offered me work experience. After completing a week, he offered to let me come and do another week of paid work!
What skills did you bring to Naked Element do you think?
Not sure I brought too many skills but I had some previous programming experience with python and a tiny bit in Java. I’d done my fair share of teamwork and group projects but this was definitely my first experience in a ‘work’ / ‘professional’ environment.
What did your work experience entail?
I was really surprised when I arrived on my first day and was given a real project to work on, and actual code to edit. It was a vastly different experience to other placements I had done and I loved the hands on experience. I got to work on a couple of projects including one that would manage your social media posts. What was really interesting for me was seeing the difference between the theory we learn in class and how it’s actually implemented in real life, such as client and server side processing. When I came in I thought I would be completely out of my depth, but even though I didn’t understand Java to start with everyone at Naked Element was willing to take the time to explain to me how something worked and what it was doing. Even being given a task as simple as going through previous code and fixing mistakes or inefficient parts was a useful experience for me and has helped in me checking to make sure my A Level coursework is as efficient as possible!
Were there any stand out moments during your time with the company?
Definitely the best part about the work experience was the hands on nature of it. I definitely had never had work experience that was so hands on, it would often just be tours of the departments etc. But with Naked Element I actually got to look and work on code for live projects.
What did you learn while at Naked Element?
What made you choose Oxford?
I’ve always been pretty ambitious, and I wanted to apply for Oxford on the chance I got in. The opportunities a degree from Oxford would provide would be almost unmatched and I adore the city. I’d also enjoyed looking round on the open days and the taster lectures I had. I currently hold an offer to study Computer Science at Jesus College, I just need to get the grades now!!
Do you think your time with Naked Element helped with your application?
I definitely think it helped, it was an invaluable and pretty unique experience that helps make you stand out from the thousands of others who apply. I know a lot of people don’t have the opportunity to get work experience.
Do you have any plans for your career future yet?
I’m not sure about a career future. After my work experience I’m definitely looking at software development. I also like the idea of working in cyber security or even AI. I think Computer Science opens up a vast field of job prospects and I haven’t quite got around to choosing one just yet. Luckily I don’t have to.
Do you have any advice for other young people interested in tech?
Firstly go out and get experience. It’s not easy but there’s no harm in asking and you’re not going to find what you enjoy or what you’re good out without trying things out. I don’t think there is any harm in broadening your skills and any experience is good experience.