When it comes to work experience, much of the focus of this blog is concentrated around university students as this is where the majority of work placements in motorsport are targeted.

However, as we saw with my recent post about NatSKA cooperating with Force India F1 to provide one of their students with a placement, there are in fact many opportunities for school age children to begin learning about what it really means to work in F1.

If you can get involved in racing there is no downside whatsoever about getting involved in Formula 1 sooner rather than later. Even 1 week of work experience at an F1 factory will stand out on your future CV especially if it is something which you earned yourself rather than via a family member.

Work experience with a difference

Williams F1 are again offering the opportunity of a taster week or “Five days in the life of Williams” to potential F1 people of the future. Available to a maximum of 10 school students, Williams have opened up this experience nationally having previously run it only for schools in the local area around where they are based in Wantage.

I am sure that first and foremost any such experience will be an exciting and privileged experience for any of you but I hope it motivates you to know that teams are looking to develop their future staff from such a young age. If you are lucky enough to be selected you will soon know whether or not the realities of Formula 1 are for you or not. I would hedge my bets that it will only help to solidify your desire for a career in the sport and motivate you further to push towards that goal.

The language of the advert is interesting for anyone who wants to work in F1 even if you do not apply for this particular scheme. You can see in the quoted section below that Williams are keen to see a range of science and technology (STEM) subjects and involvement in relevant extra-curricular activities.

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They invite you to share with them any your career goals, motivations and why the taster week would be beneficial for you. Imagine that many school student’s academic standards will be very similar or hard to distinguish at this age so the reality is that your application will be judged on what you write in these sections first and foremost and so they are tremendously important.

The text alludes to what qualities Williams would consider the best candidates to have :

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They key thing when comparing yourself against these qualities is to DEMONSTRATE that you have them rather than just to say that you have them. Anyone can write that they are passionate, helpful and hard-working but it will not sound very convincing to the reader and your application will probably not be a very different to the majority.

The best candidates will show that they can work on their feet by describing how they persuaded a competitor to loan them a spare kart engine when the driver they were mechanic for blew a piston during the first heat of an important club race. The best candidate will recall when they helped find a tow rope and 4×4 driver who was willing to retrieve a spectator’s car from a muddy car park which they had volunteered to marshal at the Somerset Stages rally. It doesn’t really matter what they experience is, just that you got out there and did it and broke free from the crowd. Whatever it is will likely be much more impressive than “I work really hard at school and I watch all of the Grand Prix on television”.

You might think that the examples above are unrealistic but believe me that there will be people applying who have experiences just like these to share. If you let them, those people will beat you to the prize so you need to try your best to match this kind of level.

The importance of getting out into the real world, wherever that may be is never so crucial than when you face opportunities such as this. I hope you are ready to make the most of it or can use the next 12 months to boost your credentials and come back fighting next year.

The deadline for applications is 23rd December 2015 and you can find details of the scheme by following the link below
or in the attached pdf if that link has expired.
Williams F1 Work Experience 2016

Good luck.