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Life after school

Lower Sixth Inspiration Afternoon

Exeter School held its third annual Inspiration Afternoon for Lower Sixth pupils as part of National Careers Week on Friday 9 March.

We welcomed fifteen past pupils and friends of the school who offered small focused career seminars on a variety of subjects including TV & film, public relations and communication, law, finance and accountancy, project management and architecture, environmental management, teaching and charity work, IT, business management, physiotherapy, science research and engineering.

Pupils spent time with two of our guests, enjoying the opportunity to find out about each career in small informal groups. The afternoon finished with a networking tea with our guests which gave our pupils another opportunity to speak with the fifteen professionals.

The afternoon began with a keynote presentation on “Getting the elusive job interview and how to ace it” led by Director of Alumni John Davidson. This focused on the relationship between seeking a desired job and getting through the interview process. After looking at different types of interview and highlighting the important of identifying relevant personal skills and experience, John introduced three Exonians who looked at interviews from different perspectives.

Lucy James (2011) described how she was offered her first salaried job with the charity Street Child following both telephone and face to face interviews. Annabel Clark (2010) went through the lengthy process of her selection onto a graduate training scheme with Atkins which including several forms of interview included Skype, and Steven Perring (1981) gave an overview of what an employer looks at when conducting a selection process.

The pupils then attended seminars on two different career areas, in the following areas:

Owain Astles (2014), Film/TV, Natasha Bellinger, Barrister, Annabel Clark (2010), Environmental Management, Chris Dyson (1998), Law, Signe Hulbert (2008), Engineering, Lucy James (2011) working in the Third Sector and Careers with Languages, Dominic Leaver (1992), Project Management and Architecture, David Simms (1995), Financial Services and Accountancy, Steven Perring (1981), Business and Management, James Petherick (2002), Land Management and Surveying, Andrew Shaw, Academic Science, Jane Silver, Physiotherapy, Kris Sum (2000) IT and Data Analysis, Mark Tyler (1982) Communications and Public Relations, and Stephanie Waters (2005), Teaching.

The afternoon concluded with a networking tea, enabling Sixth Form pupils to have further conversations with the presenters.

Head of Sixth Form Alison Marsh said: “We are very grateful for so many of our past pupils and friends taking time off to travel to Exeter to share their experience with our Sixth Form.”

Careers Adviser Ruth Cheesman said: “Finding out about careers is a crucial part of our young people’s preparation for life beyond Exeter School. Please remember that pupils are welcome to chat with me about any careers-related questions they may have.”

Sixth Former Tom Wright said: “I learnt a lot about different possible careers paths I could go into and the afternoon extended my knowledge of the field I want to go into.”

Becky Trelawny said the Physiotherapy session gave her an insight into daily life, the advantages and disadvantages of the career and the different pathways and careers.