Thursday, 09 March 2017
Students in Year 12 in the Boys’ and Girls’ Divisions were offered a morning filled with insights and advice as part of the annual World of Work event. Guests from a wide range of careers, including a number of alumni, gave their time to speak to Sixth Form pupils about the wealth of future options available.
The keynote speech was given by Charlie Ball. An Old Boy of the School, Charlie is now Head of Higher Education Intelligence at Graduate Prospects, where he leads a research team studying the graduate labour market and the employment destinations of graduates and postgraduates. His talk addressed the question, ‘Is it worth going to University?’ and usefully included both positives and negatives to consider.
Following the keynote speech, students chose three talks to attend from the nineteen on offer. Six other alumni were among the guests who talked to the Year 12s about career prospects as part of the World of Work event.
Paul Johnson is Executive Partner with Ward Hadaway, based in their Manchester office. His specialism is corporate law, and he gave an insightful look at the job of a commercial lawyer for pupils interested in the legal profession.
Ben Lomas is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, and is a Client Director with Brown Shipley responsible for managing investment portfolios for high net worth clients. He spoke to pupils about the world of finance and private banking, particularly investment management and the difference between firms like Brown Shipley and high street banks.
Saskia Mees left the Girls’ Division in 2014 and has since then secured a place as an apprentice operations analyst with AO. Alongside two other AO representatives including a fellow apprentice, she talked about how apprenticeships allow young people to earn while they learn and offer excellent opportunities: her experience with AO has, for example, allowed her to complete the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award as part of her apprenticeship.
Alison Spenceley is the Head of Marketing and Development at Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringer LLP and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. She talked to pupils about the how she was drawn to Marketing for its variety, as Marketing roles can involve both the sciences, for example conducting statistical research and analysis, and the arts, in terms of communication and design. She also discussed the five or seven ‘P’s of Marketing: Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, and sometimes Process and Physical Evidence.
Kirsty Styles has worked as a journalist, editor, podcaster and campaigner for the past five years. She recently became the Head of Talent and Skills and Tech North in Manchester, but has also been a B2B tech editor at the New Statesman, and was previously a reporter at The Next Web and editor at Tech City News. She spoke about how her career progressed, and the importance of creating luck and not getting exploited in the world of journalism.
Dr Joyce Tyldesley is an archaeologist, author and university lecturer in Egyptology at the University of Manchester. She spoke to pupils about ‘Thinking outside the box: picking a non-vocational degree in any subject that interest you, from Archology to Zoology’. She talked frankly about transferrable skills and the importance of doing something enjoyable, and gave pupils an insight into creating options after completing a non-vocational course.
In addition to these sessions with alumni, pupils could attend talks on psychiatry; chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering; being a professional musician and music teacher; fashion industry design and manufacturing; civil engineering; the ambulance paramedic service; advanced and higher apprenticeships; magazine editing and travel writing; barrister law; teaching; sports massage and rehabilitation; architecture; and the construction industry.
At the end of each talk, pupils had the opportunity to ask about the preparation needed, the skills required, the potential for career progression, and what training is available in each of these career paths, as well as any other questions that came up in the course of the sessions.
By talking to leading professionals in a huge range of fields, students in Year 12 were able to gather information which will enable them to make informed choices about their future. The World of Work event was a very useful and valuable experience for the whole year group.
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