Student Placement Journal
Published on 08 August 2022
My first day of work experience at Monash Youth Services started off with me being very shy but I quickly warmed up, due to the environment. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly. I started off with a meeting with Pat, just a run-through of the day and my tasks and worked on my review of their social media page and website. I then had a meeting with Jia and Pat about the gaming event MYS hosted the next day and what my part in it would be. I was eager to volunteer as someone who would help start activities with young people not interested in the gaming aspect. I oversaw the catering and formed a list of what will be provided tomorrow, considering the dietary requirements. We stopped for lunch, and it was really comforting being able to sit down with Laura and Dave and just get to know each other. They were both so funny, especially Dave with his vanilla coke. After lunch, I started comparing the different Youth Council websites, which was a wonderful way for me to be able to really understand what Monash Youth Services is all about, what it's strengths and areas for improvement are regarding other councils. For Tuesday's event, I went shopping with Tan for snacks and then sat down individually with Jia and Dave and explored their roles in depth. It was pretty daunting to ask them to sit down, even though they were so approachable. But they really helped me settle in and they were really laid back but informative about their role descriptions. I didn't have any expectations going into the week, but I was pleasantly surprised at how productive and enjoyable my first day was.
This day was the most practical of them all, with their gaming event being held. I helped entertain and chill with all the young people that were not super into participating in the gaming. We painted and played several games of Chinese checkers and connect four. It seemed like all the kids had a lot of fun and I definitely learnt a lot about how difficult it is to make sure a group of children are engaged in the activity. The event lead to a reflection meeting with Jia, Laura and Pat, trying to analyse the successes of the day, and where we could improve for next time. I had some spare time left over so I wrapped up my comparisons of the different council youth websites in preparation for tomorrow's meeting. I also started planning my icebreaker activity to present to the team, drawing inspiration from a conversation I had the previous day with Laura and Dave.
This day was just a whole bunch of meetings. You'd think they'd be pretty boring but it was the most interesting day I had. I joined the team's weekly whiparound meeting, which was an update about what everyone was working on for the past week. I was even able to contribute my own findings from comparing the websites. It was really cool to be able to literally have a seat at the table. Following this, I joined Pat and Dave in their Quiksound meeting, and helped generate ideas for their Instagram reel campaign. Laura had a spontaneous idea to have our role breakdown/discussion through a visit to buy a chai latte, and her role being separate from MYS but still incorporating similar aspects was pretty cool to hear about. Sammy and I had our chat in the Youth space, and it was the longest conversation I had. She was really sweet to talk to and I found her insight into life and its unexpected plot twists really inspiring and different to what I’d heard before. She seemed so genuinely passionate about her job and what she was doing, which just further proved to me that these people really wanted to help. It was a very genuine conversation and a definite highlight of my time there.
I came in earlier and spent the time finalising my social media post - showcasing the gaming event. I very quickly realised it took so much more time and editing than I first expected, which was a little bit frustrating because of how time-consuming it was but just provided more insight into the behind-the-scenes of it all. I had to send it to Pat and Jia to help finalise it. Once that was all done, I had my last interview with Pat and gained a further understanding of the Youth Outreach that they do, and how they go about it. He also lead me on a tour to the Civic centre, which was somewhere I never even knew existed. It was really cool to explore and understand the place of the Council. We stopped at the library to hand off some flyers for the Film Festival. After lunch I finished my journal and met with Pat for the final time and had a review of the week. It was rewarding to be able to look back and see what I have accomplished in my time at Monash Youth Services
Although this experience was something that I knew was mainly for informational purposes, and to help me gain perspective about potential career paths, it was the little things that stayed with me the most. Being able to have my share of bullpen conversation and join in on the coworker mingling was unexpected but incredibly valuable. It helped me realise that age really does not reflect much, and so many people from so many separate places can come together for a cause that they are passionate about.