For the penultimate session before the summer break the Go_Girls had a visit from Helena and Menisha, researchers from the Computer Science department at Oxford. As well as giving us some fascinating internet facts (Most popular celeb on Instagram? Selena Gomez with 123 million followers!!), they also led a really important discussion on cyberbullying. Apparently, 40% of young people in the UK have experienced cyberbullying, including many of the Go_Girls. However, Helena told us that only 10% of those facing this issue have reported it to a guardian, teacher or the police. The Go_Girls suggested that ‘fear’, ‘not being taken seriously’ and ‘nothing being done about it’ have stopped them from telling someone about being cyberbullied. Helena and Menisha agreed with these concerns and told the group about their Digital Wildfire project, which has sought to make the internet a safer place for all young people. They also invited the young women to take part in an exciting new piece of research on young people’s internet habits – watch this space for more information as this project progresses!
After some incredibly delicious Indian food (cooked by the amazing Ashmita) we got stuck into some employment-focused activities. It isn’t easy trying to pin down what you want to do with your life, never mind the steps you need to take to reach that goal. Mel brought in some brilliant ‘workstar’ forms, which ask the young women to rate themselves out of ten on different job-related skill-sets, such as ‘social skills’ and ‘basic skills’. Next the Go_Girls were able to fill in a table detailing the areas they would most like to work on, and the next steps that Mel has suggested to help them realise their aspirations.
Paige also led a super useful and insightful discussion on interview tips and techniques. Smiling, eye contact, and ensuring you have a good knowledge of the company you are applying to, are key. The Go_Girls shared their worries about being put on the spot, or not knowing what to say in the moment. Paige reminded us all that it’s OK to take a minute to think, or ask the interviewer to repeat the question. This shows you are thoughtful, and have good problem solving abilities. The young women finished off the session today with a round of knitting – an excellent introduction to logical and pattern-based thinking. The future is already looking brighter for our amazing Go_Girls – we are all excited to see how they progress with their dreams over the coming months.