Careers Academy students at CAVC go from stength to strength

26 March 2015

Careers Academy students at CAVC go from strength to strength

Students at Cardiff and Vale College who have signed up to the Careers Academy are feeling the benefit of the extra training and skills that the Academy offers. One has won the regional heats of a nationwide competition and another has secured an internship with the world’s largest law firm.

Tereza Kavalova arrived in Cardiff from the Czech Republic two years ago. At first she could not understand her tutors or peers and had to translate her notes into Czech every night so that she could complete her work.

Now in her second year at the CAVC Career Academy Tereza has transformed, winning the regional round of the Sir Winfried Bischoff Award for Career Academy Student of the Year and has received five university offers.

“Winning the award is an amazing feeling,” Tereza said. “I was really glad and very happy but I didn’t expect it because of my background as an international student so my English isn’t perfect.”

The Coordinator for the Careers Academy, Tracy Bird, explained: “What is so impressive about Tereza is that when she first came to the College she had to translate all of her notes back into Czech and now she has become an integral part of the Careers Academy. She is am ambassador for the Academy and mentors a Year 1 student – she has taken some massive steps.”

“The Academy is something that I did not expect at all from a college,” Tereza said. “I came to a new country and I didn’t know how it would work but the Academy has been so good and it has given me lots of skills to add to my CV and prepare me for employment.”

Since her time at CAVC Careers Academy, Tereza has had an internship at Lloyds, and work experience at RBS and NatWest. “Through the Careers Academy I have been able to do things and gain experience that I would never have had the opportunity to have done before,” she said.

Tereza has since had five university offers and has decided to take the plunge and go to London Metropolitan University to study International Business and Management.

“Tereza has made a life for herself here in Cardiff but the Careers Academy has given her the confidence to make the move to London,” Tracy said. "Being part of the academy has raised Tereza’s aspirations ”

Meanwhile, another Careers Academy student – 18-year-old Megan Harrington from Cardiff – has been given the opportunity of work experience in the London headquarters of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, the world’s largest law firm.

Megan had been part of a group of 15 CAVC students that went on a visit to Freshfields, who were given a ‘behind the scenes’ tour and a question and answer session. But she was amazed that her application for an internship was a success.

“It was a shock more than anything – but a good shock!” Megan said. “I really didn’t think I was going to get the intern post.”

Megan will be based at Freshfields for five weeks. As the Level 3 Business student wants to pursue a career in the law the internship will be perfect for her.

“I’m counting the days until I go – I cannot wait,” Megan said. “It’s definitely going to be a good experience for me and for my career. Having Freshfields on my CV is going to be really good as it’s the biggest law firm in the world.”

CAVC has been affiliated with Career Academies UK since 2009. The charity links education with business to prepare young people for the world of work. Through the Academy, the College offers a structured programme of internships, mentoring by employee volunteers, master classes and workplace visits.