My week at the Scottish Government

October 11, 2016 by 1 Comment | Category Engagement, Our work

Fraser Steele – West Calder High.

During your time at secondary school it’s common that you do a week’s work experience. Some schools give you a selection to choose from or let you choose your own work with permission from the business/organisation. The Government wasn’t my first choice of work, however I enjoyed my stay just as much if not more.

During my first week, my mum, who works there too, would bring me into work every day and home again. When I first arrived I realised how big St Andrew’s House really is…it’s huge! I was given a general tour of the building by my mum and Susan, my supervisor for the week. I remember first stepping into the office and being greeted by everyone.

I was nervous all day; I knew two people – my mum and older brother –  who also work in the building, but although I was new I was made to feel welcome and quickly felt like I was part of the family.

On my first day I was given a massive introduction into the Scottish Government, taught how to sort newspapers by Iain, and a blogging class at the end of the day with Barry which was great fun (and hopefully effective!). On my second day I moved about the departments to get a taste of what other staff members were doing. I visited Healthier Marketing and the Media Centre where I was shown how to work all the equipment and how to set up the stage for interviews and press.

During my third day I visited McLaren High School, Callander, with the SG’s Video Production and Broadcasting Unit. Today’s brief was to film and photograph the First Minister who was making an inspiring speech about mental health disorder. After her speech I was told I’d be meeting and interviewing her! I was lost and didn’t know what to ask her. I had 2 minutes to prepare and think of some reasonable questions. One of the Production Unit members gave me a starting point and I thought on my feet from there.

On the way back from the event I was shown how to edit and create a video from the clips we took that day…it was amazing.

On Thursday I was taken down to Parliament to look at how the First Minister answered questions under pressure. The First Minister handled her questions amazingly and came across very well. After Parliament I was shown how to read and reply to Private Office emails and even got to reply to one myself. I enjoyed this because it really made me think about how to respond.

On my last day I was introduced to the SG Media Monitoring team. fraser-and-johnThey talked me through how they listen in to the radio and TV, picking out important headlines. I was then introduced to John Booth (Head of Communications) and presented with a certificate and a framed photo of me with the First Minister which was a very nice gesture.

My week at the Scottish Government was a brilliant experience and has given me a wider view of how government functions. I think this has opened a new career path which I would find very enjoyable. For anyone thinking of work experience at the Scottish Government I highly recommend it, the staff treat you like you have known them for much longer than a week.



  • Patricia Fenwick says:

    Well done Fraser we are always so pleased when one of our pupils does so well at their work experience placement. Thank you to everyone at Scottish Government for making your week so worthwhile.

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