Thursday, 25 May 2017
The Careers Day for Year 8 brought together representatives from six different occupations to share their jobs with pupils. The girls also took part in a related group activity to give them a flavour of what working in each profession is like.
The day began with an address from keynote speaker Sarah Harrison, Director of Harrison Stringfellow Architects. After completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Sheffield, she worked at a large commercial practice where she progressed to Associate level, before co-founding Harrison Stringfellow Architects, which is an all-female practice. She talked to pupils about her work as an architect and what this involves, giving examples of some of the projects she has worked on, including restaurants and historic buildings, as well as speaking about being a woman in business. At the end of her keynote speech, she advised them, “Keep on doing what you like doing, whether that’s through education or employment. Keep your eye on the bigger picture, and don’t be afraid of change.”
Pupils then broke off into smaller groups to attend three talks with visiting speakers over the course of the morning.
Sarah joined Jo Harrop, the Director of PLACED, a company which runs workshops for pupils of all ages about architecture and the built environment, for some of the morning sessions. The aim of PLACED is to inspire pupils and increase awareness of professional careers in the industry. The girls took part in several activities, including one which focused on Moss Bank Park.
Chartered Civil Engineer Eraina Smith works for Stockport Council. She gave the groups a very interesting project to work on in her session. Each group was given divided into teams, with the girls each given a different role from the process of building a structure, from project manager to quantity surveyor. They then had to collaboratively build a small tower out of blocks. However, only two members of the team were allowed to look at the architect’s version of the structure, and each person had to stick to their role and communicate effectively with the rest of the group to achieve the end result.
Old Boy Chris Jones, the Director of Sitcom Soldiers, gave a presentation on TV and video production along with his colleague Malcolm Smith. They tasked the girls with making a concept for a music video: they had to think of their company name, and then consider the artist they would be working with and their style, the performance, the locations they might use for filming, the narrative of the video, and the overall experience they wanted to convey. The groups shared their ideas and received input from Chris and Malcolm.
Katherine Meehan and Georgie Illiff from the University of Law, Manchester, talked about careers in law and got the girls to construct arguments for both sides of a debate on whether Jaffa Cakes should be classed as a cake or a biscuit!
Dr Daniella Ryding and Dr Gianpaolo Vignali are senior colleagues from the School of Materials at Manchester University and both are lecturers on the Fashion Business degree courses. They gave a brief overview of careers in Fashion Business, followed by activities involving the creation of a mood board or a trainer for a specific target market.
Two journalists gave their time to speak to girls about this varied career.
Amanda Killelea is a feature writer at the Daily Mirror, and in her job gets to do a wide variety of things from investigations and real life stories to celebrity interviews. Amanda spoke about her job, the key to writing a good news story, and then set the girls a little writing task and news quiz.
Sarah Holt has been a professional writer for ten years. After leaving university she trained as a journalist and worked on the features desk of the then-daily regional newspaper The Lincolnshire Echo for three years. Her career diverted into travel writing when she joined Thomson and First Choice holidays to work on their inflight magazines and brochures and in 2014 she became the editor of the glossy niche travel magazine Group Leisure. She stepped down from the post to become a full time freelance travel and lifestyle writer. She is also a published author: her novel Love and Eskimo Snow was published in 2014. She asked the girls to do some travel writing based on a variety of images, and gave them tips on how to create the best possible piece.
In the afternoon, pupils took part in more careers activities with School staff.
The girls got a great insight into the huge range of careers available on this interesting and informative day. The interactive element of the sessions helped them to get a feel for what each job is really like and find out if it would be something they might like to do in the future.
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