You might have noticed an extra young face, or two, throughout the local workforce this week.
After a COVID-19-filled 2020, Newcastle Grammar School (NGS) reopened its Work Experience Program for Year 10 students.
Pupils spend a week at their chosen workplace and are encouraged to choose professions they are interested in, giving them an idea as to which subjects to select in future as well as potential career paths.
It may seem daunting for students to begin with; however, it is an opportunity for them to meet and work with new people in a “real world” environment.
One NGS teen Olivia Johnson opted for Newcastle City Dental Centre as her “dream job”.
“Dentistry has always interested me,” she said.
“When going to dentist appointments, I found the language and equipment used really interesting and wanted to know more about it all.”
Olivia said the things she experienced at the dental centre drew her more towards dentistry as a profession.
“I was able to sit in on appointments and check-ups and watch the cleaning and fluoride treatments as well as tooth extraction, calculus removal, fillings and the fitting of dentures,” she told the Newcastle Weekly.
“I found it really interesting and I enjoyed learning about it all.
“I was always fascinated in how X-rays are taken and interpreted and to be able to see and learn about this, while it was in action, was really cool.”
Olivia went on to say one of the reasons she chose dentistry was because she wanted to know more about what goes on behind the scenes and not just in her own dentist appointments.
“I really enjoyed talking to the patients, particularly the kids, and helping them understand everything that was going on and what each piece of equipment is used for,” she said.
“Especially the ones who are scared of dentists, I really liked having the opportunity to help build their confidence.”
Her experience at Newcastle City Dental Centre has further invested her interest in becoming a dentist in the future.
“I could see myself becoming a dentist, it’s something that really interests me and something I want to learn more about,” she said.
“I think oral health is very important and I want to help people look after it because I think it plays a really important part in people’s confidence.”
Walking into the unknown for a week of work experience was quite nerve-wracking for a lot of Year 10 students.
“I think it’s vital to have an open mind and choose something you’re interested in and passionate about,” Olivia explained.
“I believe that if you’re doing something you enjoy, you’re bound to be successful.”
- Allie Martinelli (A Year 10 NGS work experience student at Newcastle Weekly)