Summer for most students is a welcome break from the pressure of homework and school. However, for 30 Caymanian students selected to participate in Dart’s Minds Inspired Work-X programme, summer instead offers an opportunity to gain valuable experience in the workplace. I am one of those lucky students.
The “X” in Work-X stands for experience, and it is the reason this programme is so much more than just a summer job. Work-X helps students hone their skills in an area of interest, gain practical experience and build long-lasting relationships with peers and professionals. Students are placed within a department that complements their field of study, where they are exposed to an array of opportunities to help them develop new skills for success.
Throughout the summer, students take part in project-oriented assignments and daily tasks, and receive a solid overview of their department while making valuable contributions to their assigned team. In addition to these responsibilities, Work-X provides opportunities for future success through various networking events. These university students have the chance to engage fellow peers and mentors while they learn to build relationships and make meaningful connections.
“Lunch and Learn” is one example of the programme’s activities, in which students sit down with the Dart staff and have the opportunity to ask questions over lunch. There are also various information sessions available to Work-X students on topics such as job interviews and social media monitoring.
The real-world experiences, leadership-driven culture and valuable mentor contributions are just a few components of Work-X that cannot be taught in school. In 2017 after completing my second year of university, I was accepted into the Work-X programme and assigned to Dart Enterprises’ marketing and communications team. From the start, I had tasks and responsibilities similar to those of the full-fledged team members.
Over my two summers as a Work-X student, I have been entrusted with responsibilities that challenge my communication skills and creativity. I have had the opportunity to write press releases, work on a public relations campaign, organise a company-wide photo shoot, run social media accounts, attend a professional conference and now to bring you this article.
During this time, I truly began to develop an understanding of what it means to be in the world of communications.
When people stop to ask me, “What is Work-X?” or “Why do you spend your summer months working?” I answer by saying that in the current competitive global environment, an enriching experience in the workplace is an investment for the future. Work-X is a way to make that investment possible.
Chloe Addleson is a Dart Minds Inspired Work-X student attending Florida State University.