On Saturday 11th March, we were proud to host our biennial Careers Convention. Aimed at girls in Years 9-13, the Convention gave the girls the chance to meet people from a wide variety of professions, to ask questions and to develop their all-important networking skills.
In total, there were 30 stand-holders. These represented a very diverse range of career choices, from the police and armed forces, to geology, medicine, law and graphic design. There was truly something for everyone! We also had stands for Varsity Education, who offer specialist Oxbridge coaching and Frontier, who provide gap year opportunities and internships in the field of conservation. ISCO were also on-hand. As part of the St Catherine's Sixth Form package, all of our girls are registered with ISCO. This gives them access to careers advice whenever needed, up to the age of 25.
As well as the opportunity to browse the stands, the girls also had the chance to listen to some topical talks. To introduce the Convention, I spoke about the changing world of careers and the skills needed to thrive in today's changeable world. Our next speaker was the inspirational Dr Caroline Smith. She spoke about the demands of a career in medicine, including the challenges of juggling motherhood and a career in Accident and Emergency Medicine.
Our third speaker was Robert Dykes. He gave an extremely useful and practical overview of graduate recruitment procedures, including how to master assessment centre interviews. When every applicant for a top graduate opportunity has A and A* grades, candidates must make themselves stand out. After Robert's talk, our girls will be in a better position to understand how to shine throughout the application process.
Last but certainly not least was a very informative talk from Angela Sharma. Angela has extensive experience in both commercial law and working in a high street practice, and she was able to share many insights into the joys and challenges of a legal career. Many of our girls say that they want to be "lawyers" without considering which field of law they would be best suited to. Angela explained the differences between solicitors and barristers, and also gave the girls food for thought about whether they would prefer to work for a high street or City law firm. Her legal knowledge and the breadth of her experience made this a very useful talk.
Since the Careers Convention, several girls have arranged work experience with our speakers andstand-holders. One Year 12 girl has proven to be incredibly resourceful, and she has actually arranged three different work placements!
For some of the girls, the Convention reaffirmed their existing career plans. However, some of the girls were inspired to think a little differently. For example, some girls were interested to learn that an army career is not just about fighting on the front line and that doctors, nurses and engineers are needed. Other girls took an interest in joining the Police Cadets as an extra-curricular activity and a fantastic way to show service to the community. A huge "thank you" is due to the following people - all of our st allholders and speakers, Ms Goldburn, thecaretaking team and Mr Melling. Thanks must also go to the Sixth Form girls who came to school during the evening before to help organise the Hall for the event - Jessica, Francesca Olivia, Lucia and Lisa.
I am already looking forward to the next Convention!