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Careers Afternoon Widens World of Work for Year 9

Monday, 21 March 2016

Boys in Year 9 recently took part in a Careers Afternoon where they heard from five very different speakers about a wide variety of different fields of work.

Graham Clayborough from the Royal Navy talked to pupils about the armed forces and specifically life in the navy, including details on recruitment and what to expect from this career path. Kat Healey from Seddon Construction spoke about the construction industry and the many roles and apprenticeship opportunities available. Eraina Smith from Stockport Council was able to give the boys an idea of what it is like to work as a Civil Engineer, and talked about the varied projects she has worked on throughout her career.

Two of the guests, Chris Norman and Rob Nugent, are Old Boys themselves. They were both able to give insights into the paths they had taken from sitting in the current pupils’ places, and how they had reached this point in their careers.

Rob was particularly interesting for boys interested in pursuing a sporting career: he himself is now the Chief Financial Officer at Godel Technologies, but began his working life by going into professional football. He played for Sheffield United for a time, eventually captaining the reserves team, but when his dream of playing professionally ended he had to move on to a different path. He therefore took his accountancy qualifications. He said, “A lot of the habits and work ethic I learned at Bolton School stood me in good stead. I’ve been where you are and a lot of it comes down to work ethic and attitude. The knockback I had in football made me even more determined to be a success in my career as an accountant.”

He advised the boys to use any ‘negatives’ they might encounter in life and turn them around into positive inspiration to succeed in what they want to do. He encouraged those pupils interested in pursuing a sporting career to go for it and make the necessary sacrifices to prosper, but also keep up with their academic studies at the same time, as he did, so that they have something to fall back on just in case. It was wonderful for the boys to hear that he had no regrets and sees his footballing career as a learning experience and something that gave him important experience for the future.

Chris talked to pupils about web and app design, a sector in which he now has eighteen years of experience. He talked about some of the companies he has worked for – including Vodafone, Renault and Tesco – as well as the many different types of companies now requiring the use of software design in some form, from banks to marketing companies to the education sector. Using Netflix as an example, he talked through the three key areas of creating software, what each area does, and how they work together to create the user experience of an app, piece of software or website.

It was good for the boys to get a first-hand account of this relatively young business, which had only been around for about fifty years. He also was able to describe a typical day, and the boys were fascinated to find out that there was a lot more communication and collaboration involved than they might have expected, including review meetings and talking to users to get feedback.

Chris explained that there is still a lot of new innovation and the technologies change quickly, meaning that a desire to learn and adapt is really important in this field. He also said that problem solving and maths skills are important. He further advised boys who are looking to move into this career to start coding and gave some examples of coding languages to try.

All of the speakers at the Careers Afternoon gave the Year 9 pupils an important insight into a small selection of the options ahead of them in the future. It was a great opportunity for them to find out more about fields of work they might be interested in or may not have considered before.

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Some of the Careers Afternoon speakers: Graham Clayborough, Eraina Smith, Chris Norman and Rob Nugent

Some of the Careers Afternoon speakers: Graham Clayborough, Eraina Smith, Chris Norman and Rob Nugent

Old Boy Rob gave an inspiring talk about turning potential regrets into positive learning experiences

Old Boy Rob gave an inspiring talk about turning potential regrets into positive learning experiences

Fellow Old boy Chris gave an insight into his interesting career in software design

Fellow Old boy Chris gave an insight into his interesting career in software design