I am Cadet Ben Emery from 8F (1st City of Coventry) Squadron. Last week I did my work experience and, instead of going somewhere where I’d be stacking shelves all week, I decided to write to the RAF and try to get a placement on one of the bases.
It took a while and many letters, but eventually I was accepted onto RAF Henlow for the week. Living in Coventry, it would’ve been a long journey each morning to get down to Henlow every day, so instead I booked into a hotel for the week down there. On Monday morning, when I arrived, I was given a timetable of what I’d be doing in the week. It was a good choice doing it through the RAF, as each day I was in a completely different section of the base, doing new things I’d never have done had I gone anywhere else.
On the first day I was working in the base's gym. I was set a few tasks throughout the day , such as tidying up the hall, sorting out benches and putting away equipment. Once I’d done all my jobs for the day however, I got to use the equipment in the gym, and learnt how to play squash.
The second day was brilliant as I worked in the part of the base that was the reason I chose Henlow. When I’m older I’d like to become a doctor in the RAF and so spending a day in CAM was ideal for my work experience. I had a jam packed schedule on this day and did a lot of activities including: trying out the NVG’s, using the flight simulator and talking to lots of people with different roles in the RAF. I found it really useful as I got to speak with people who are in the position I’d like to be in once I’ve finished my studies.
I had a biology exam on Wednesday and had to come home to take it, and since it was such a long journey I was unable to do any more work experience, but that was more than made up for on the next day when I joined the regiment flight. I followed a group of sergeants on a course for the day, sitting in on some of their lectures and even taking part in activities like shooting on the laser range. I enjoyed my experience here greatly and learnt lots including some of the fighting techniques the military use.
On the final day I was only in work for the morning. I was taken around the police HQ and given a general idea of what they do there. Whilst the job seemed exciting at first, their biggest case at the time was a stolen ladder from an Officer's garden!
If any other cadets are considering doing their work experience on a RAF base I would highly advise it. Overall it was a great experience: I had loads of fun all week plus I got a much better idea of what life in the RAF is like in all different sections. Beats a shop any day I think!