Discover Your Potential with Work Experience

Operation Basecamp – Work Experience Case Study

An Interview with Julia (Commercial Waste Administrator)


Julia is a local college student who has been a valued member of the team here at Kenny Waste Management since she finished school in 2021. In her role as our Commercial Waste Administrator, Julia’s hard work and dedicated attitude enable our commercial waste team to further deliver an exceptional service.

Having initially joined in order to gain work experience at our main office, Julia has shown an incredible level of commitment both to the business and to her own professional development. She has made a very positive impression, proved her value, and earned the trust of her manager:

“Her determination has really impressed me. From the start, Julia has been willing and wanting to work. We decided to offer her a more permanent position because she was already making our lives easier throughout the department, she has always been very engaged and helpful, and she always asks questions. I think it’s important that we as a business learn from her experience, and that we work to replicate her success in other eager, young people who simply lack that initial experience.”

– Meghann Ritchie, Sales Support Manager

We set up our own Social Enterprise, known as Driving Change, to address the many barriers which exist for some around meaningful employment. As Driving Change has grown, we have identified the need for more accessible career pathways in the waste industry, and now have a signature programme called Operation Basecamp to do just that.

We are committed to providing opportunities for young people to inform, inspire, and raise aspirations for those who are face the challenge of finding work in a very competitive market.

Operation Basecamp was specifically developed to offer young people a range of experiences to inspire them, unlock their own potential and help them establish a future direction for their career  Julia’s story and her journey within our business has inspired us to reflect on this approach, to explore further opportunities for personal and professional development, and learn from her achievements.


Julia kindly set time aside to discuss her progression, future, and role with us. She was full of insights and has agreed for us to share this glimpse into her story:

What motivated you to come and join the team?

“I wanted to start working as soon as possible. My dad works here as a driver on-site, and he said I should see about getting some experience in the office. I did my interview while I was still in my school uniform, and I was really excited when the business offered me an opportunity. I did my last week at school, had one weekend off, and then I started work on Monday.”

How would you describe your core responsibilities?

“I’m responsible for making sure all the sales information is entered into our system correctly. Everything needs to be accurate and there is a lot of data, so you have to learn to stay focussed. I also help with contracts and risk assessments. When there’s a lot to do, I call in to take on extra hours on my free days. Getting up before 7 o’clock in the morning was a challenge at first, but I love the team and work is really satisfying.”

Has your role changed since you started?

“I used to do a wider variety of tasks; I was just doing everything that needed doing. Now I really have my own role.”

What do you see yourself doing in the future?

“I want to study forensic psychology at MMU and live in the city centre. I’ve always been interested in motivations and why people act the way they do, so I can see myself working with criminals to get a better understanding of how a person’s mind works.”

What do you feel you need to do to achieve your ambitions?

“I think I need to push myself harder. When I’m struggling with something, I tend to put it off. But when I actually ask for help, I usually understand the explanation. I need to get better at tackling a challenge sooner rather than later.”

Tea or coffee?

“I prefer tea… I do always have a Monster on hand though.”

What are you especially proud of achieving in the past year?

“At first, I was stressing all the time, which brought on my seizures more often at work and at home. Now I feel more stable with everything. I get into work and I know my strengths and what I need to do. My team is supportive and I feel valued.”

What do you enjoy most about your job?

“The people. My own team as well as other people in the business.”

What’s the most difficult part of your job?

“There isn’t really a difficult part. When the office is busy and crowded sometimes I find it difficult to focus, but I feel good about the work itself.”

Do you have any advice for someone finding their first job, or looking for experience?

“Don’t be afraid to just go in and ask. Take the chance.”

Julia is set to conclude her college studies in 2023, and we wish her all the best in her education as she continues to make a valued contribution here at work.

We are always looking for ways to make careers in the waste industry more accessible, and we are keen to learn from and share experiences like Julia’s. Keep tabs on our social media channels for updates regarding our social enterprise and its signature programmes.

We have developed our social enterprise’s very own Theory of Change collaboratively with our charity partner, Salford Foundation, to draw on their expertise and refine our approach. To learn more about our work with Salford Foundation, you can read about our partnership here.

Kenny Waste Management