Learning the Ropes

In August, Gazette Life was lucky enough to count on the assistance of 17-year old Shay Rourke, from Playa Blanca, who arrived at the magazine on a work experience placement for five weeks. We chatted to him about his time at the magazine.

HOW DID YOU END UP HERE, SHAY?
My English Literature teacher at the Colegio Hispano Británico, Anna Meldrum, contacted the magazine and they agreed to take me, so I’d like to thank her for the opportunity.

WHICH BITS DID YOU LIKE BEST?
I liked going out and about with the editor and photographer a lot. I helped show them around Playa Blanca, which is where I live, and it was great chatting to people. I also enjoyed learning how to use new software, which was great because I’m studying computer sciences.

WHAT WAS THE WORST BIT?
Getting the bus every morning from Playa Blanca. I was having a long, lazy summer, getting up after midday, then all of a sudden I had to be up by 7. I’ve done this before with my pool cleaning job, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy it any more.

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YOU ALSO GAVE OUR DESIGNERS PLENTY OF TIPS ON SOFTWARE. IS THAT YOUR PLAN WHEN YOU LEAVE SCHOOL NEXT YEAR?
Not really. I’m planning on taking a year out and working in pool cleaning, which is something I do part-time already. I hope to save a bit of money and take a decision about what I’ll study later.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN?
When you see the magazine in the street, you don’t really have any idea how it’s produced. In my five weeks I saw it turn from a pencilled plan on a clipboard to the finished article, taking part in researching, writing and designing pages, as well as proof reading. I’ve also learnt how to adapt to a working environment. Previous to working at Gazette Life, I had been cleaning pools on weekends for over a year. That’s good for earning some pocket money, but it’s simply not in depth enough to serve as work experience for a University application.

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND WORK EXPERIENCE?
Yes. My experience at the magazine has broadened my mindset and opened more doors for me to explore. As a student, you’re told what is possible from the mindsets of your peers and teachers, which can be a somewhat limited view. Going out into the working world on my own, has given me a unique and independent experience which I will never forget.

GAZETTE REPORT: Outstanding
We miss Shay already. He was punctual, keen and always willing to do what was asked of him, which he achieved efficiently and to a high standard. Young people today are like fish in water when it comes to computers and social media, and Shay’s perspective on that helped open our eyes and give us new tips. He also provided us with some surprising information about the lighthouse at Playa Blanca.

It was great to have a young person with fresh attitudes and a delightfully dry sense of humour working alongside us, and, while we wish him luck, we’ve no doubt Shay will do just fine whichever path he chooses.