Careers Insight

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This year’s Careers Insight event was bigger than ever! On Monday 9th October, Year 11 were out of their usual lessons during Period 4 and 5, and Year 12 during Period 5, to hear from a wide range of inspiring speakers from small local businesses, large multinationals and key service professions too.

Students signed up to sessions in advance, having read short biographies of the speakers coming in. These speakers were sourced through various contacts, including the excellent website ‘Inspiring the Future’ and direct approaches to large local employers, but also by engaging with former Herschel students and current Herschel parents – these routes had a great response!

Some of the large companies represented at the event included Cisco, Skanska, GSK, O2, Centrica, Merrill Lynch, TSB and KPMG, along with a range of smaller companies including N2O, Rapport Strategic Services and Resource Productions. Speakers also represented Mandura, Asurion, Thames Valley Police and Royal Holloway University’s Dept of Electronic Engineering.

Students experienced up to four short presentation sessions, with a chance in all of them for some discussion and question/answer – somehow the question of salary always seemed to arise at this point. So many of the speakers reiterated the point that money is by no means everything, however, and highlighted the many other reasons why they enjoyed working in their businesses or specific career areas. One thing that really did become clear was the range of different route the speakers had taken to get to where they are today – gone are the days when you started a job and remained in that job for your entire working life! One of our representatives from Cisco even talked about psychotherapy in his session, proving that you can have a passion for an area of work that isn’t your main 9-5 occupation – our students found this especially inspiring.

We were also pleased to welcome some careers stands in the main school foyer during lunchtime on the day, showcasing several of the main pathways open to school leavers. Reema, from the Royal Holloway University student relations team, represented her university but also the university route more generally. Matt from 3aaa was promoting apprenticeships at different levels and Silvia from Frontier was selling the benefits of taking a gap year, and showcasing some of the really worthwhile activities that year could comprise.

All in all, it was a very successful and worthwhile event – thank you to all of our guest speakers who willingly gave up their time as volunteers. Without them, events such as these could simply not happen.