Progression Day helps students plan for the future

Sixth Form students gained a rich insight into various careers and how to access them as industry professionals shared their stories at the Progression Days, a two-day event which is part of a programme to help students plan for the future.

Representatives from 23 employers including Google, the NHS, HSBC, North Yorkshire Police and the RAF visited the school to talk about their roles and the different pathways into their industries, and answer students’ questions. Industries represented included Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering, Performance, Law, Psychology and Marketing.

Dr Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Cancer Research, talked about her career progression from molecular biology student to the highs of her current role, which include overseeing the funding of the development and trials of a new cancer drug developed at Sheffield University.

Ian Barclay, Managing Director of GeoUnderwriting, part of the Ardonagh Group of insurance specialists, shared plenty of colourful examples of why his job is never dull. He gave advice on finding the best employers and advised: “You can go anywhere in any business if you have the right attitudes, behaviours and keep asking questions.”

Former HGS student, Rosie Green, said she’d had no clear career path and worked in various sectors as a project manager, until she decided to take the plunge and set up an events management company which has gone from strength to strength. She advised students to “go out and get as much life experience as possible” and “put yourself out there and say Yes to everything.”

She added: “I wish I had attended an event like this when I was in Year 12 or 13. If I had come to this talk I would have known instantly that I would make a great event planner but I didn’t even know the job existed.”

The Year 12 students also attended talks by representatives from Sheffield Hallam University and Leeds Beckett University on Degree Apprenticeships and making informed choices, as well as the school’s Oxbridge Coordinator Janis Watson, and gap year student Chloe Simmons, a former student. Current students from York University joined the 12 form groups virtually to explain their journey from school, and answer questions about student life, including finance.

Lucy Vincent, Assistant Director of Sixth Form, who organised the event, said: “Students enjoy the days as they afford an opportunity to speak to people from a variety of industries, ask questions, reflect about what they want to do at the end of Year 13, and then start to make concrete plans. We really appreciate the fact so many industry representatives came into school to share their knowledge and offer advice.”

Earlier this term, Year 11 students attended a Big Interview Day, packed with top tips and advice on how to prepare for the job-seeking process, through from CVs to interviews. They considered typical questions and suggested answers, tested their skills with one-to-one virtual interviews, learned how to write an effective CV and completed a virtual work experience.

Headteacher, Neil Renton, said: “We take our responsibility to prepare our students for their lives after school very seriously and it was important that we were able to hold these two invaluable progression days. I would like to thank everyone involved, from the staff, to school alumni and the many industry representatives who took the time to join us and make the days so successful.”