Supporting Devon's Young People: Robert's story

My name is Robert Mahoney, I am 20 years old and I am looking for my dream job in IT, I ended up at DCT because of this.

I live at the Amber Foundation, for those of you that don’t know this is a rehab that also homes the homeless. At Amber, they aim to help homeless, unemployed young people move on to positive, independent futures. They told me about numerous courses at the Exeter YES centre and I did them, they were fun and offered rewards at the end like a tablet etc. I am currently waiting for my provisional license to come in the post. I then got told about a course called Train to Succeed at Exeter City Football Club, I was told how they help you get your English and maths grade c if you didn’t have it already. They also offered work experience for numerous fields of interest like working at the club or Crealy etc. but nothing caught my eye. Very much my job of interests was video game development which is far beyond anything they could have given me.

The tutor was Scott Walker, he looked at me and told me there was a placement and Devon Communities Together, I was curious but reluctant to start with as it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do. I was a bit low on hope and was saying how I wasn’t excited to come to work experience. Scott took me to a meeting in order to meet who I would be working with, as we spoke and discussed what work I would be doing I accepted this was the closest I was going to get at this moment in time to my dream job.

It slowly drew closer to the time when I started and the part I was dreading most wasn’t the fact it wasn’t anything to do with gaming, but more the fact I had to be on a bus at 7:20 in the morning in order to get to the work placement. The day finally came along and I was on the bus tired and non-excited I just wanted the day to end even though it just started. I finally got into the work placement and started doing the work placement.

My first job was to go through a list of websites etc. and check if the emails was the same as we had saved, I wasn’t sure what it was but as I got through the list I started falling asleep here and there, I mean I am not used to office work especially not like this, but I went on. After a week or 2 of doing this work placement I started to realise that this wasn’t as bad as I thought, this was a door to my dream job and learning what I would here was a way for me to get my foot in the door, a way for me to get into the jobs I needed. It was like a maze and this was the entrance to get to the next part and I was suddenly excited, I was happy to be working here and I couldn’t wait to learn the next part, then the next, then the next. I started learning how websites worked and that opened my mind to different jobs that I could get, I went on to learning how to change a picture on a website and how to put up new pages etc, then I went on to finding out how Google Ads worked and I started enjoying it all more and more. I realised how it is like a job as a kitchen porter in a kitchen it may not be a lot but if you work at it you can become a chef, only in this case I was aiming to be a game developer.

Time passed and I was happy to wake up at 7:20 in order to get to my work experience I was willing to go in early and get started before my supervisor even arrived sometimes, over a space of 12 weeks I went from a normal guy going to a boring job to a normal guy going to the same job only loving it instead, with a wider line of experience and a better influence on what working life is. I’m now looking into apprenticeships in marketing and tech administration work, this work experience has really helped me and has hopefully helped me get an apprenticeship soon.