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Virtual Careers Days


Second and Third Year pupils have been participating in virtual careers days to explore a variety of career options and the necessary requirements to reach them.  Forty guest speakers, representing a wide range of industries, gave in-depth insights into their career paths with many Old Stopfordians presenting their journey after leaving SGS.

Industries covered included; Armed Forces, Aviation, Business, Education, Engineering, Environment, Fashion, Finance, IT, Law, Media, Medicine, Product Design, Science and Sport.  Pupils had the opportunity to learn about a variety of roles including what it takes to become a Helicopter Pilot, a Wealth Management Consultant, a Medic, a Formula 1 Strategist and many more.

The careers day is an important step for pupils considering their GCSE options with speakers offering information about the qualifications and experiences they needed to reach their career goals, starting with their school experiences.

Abigayle Meikle-Roche (OS 2010) Lead Clinical Education Pharmacist

Old Stopfordian and Lead Clinical Education Pharmacist , Abigayle Meikle-Roche (OS 2010) encouraged pupils to “make the most of the extra curricular activities Stockport Grammar School has to offer, which will not always be freely available once you leave school” as well as being sure to “enjoy your subjects too”.

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Dominic Hughes BBC Health Correspondent

BBC Health Correspondent, Dominic Hughes, also reiterated the importance of enjoying what you do, noting: “one of the greatest joys of my job is my colleagues.”

Discussing applications to universities and employers, Old Stopfordian and Consultant Radiologist, Dr Lois MacDonald (OS 1999), also noted “It is not just all about the grades.  It’s really important that you have an interest outside your academic work.  It doesn’t matter what this is – what most universities and employers want to see is that you have an interest in something else, that you can stick at something and that you’re enthusiastic.  It also allows you to maintain a work-life balance, which is something really important.”

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Ian Young (OS 2006) Consultant Anaesthetist

Consultant Anaesthetist, Ian Young (OS 2006), ​also reiterated the importance of excelling in something you enjoy, stating “it’s also really helpful if you can show some outstanding achievement… whatever your passion seize the opportunity to excel in it”.  For those considering a career in medicine he advised pupils to “accept that doing exams will be part of your life for many years to come”. Ian’s own journey of examinations only ended in 2019 after leaving SGS in 2006.

Julia Sutherland (OS 2012) Wildlife Biologist

Old Stopfordian and Wildlife Biologist, Julia Sutherland (OS 2012), also explained how “the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award ended up really helpful if you need to work in fieldwork or show that you can work in challenging environments”.

As well as discussing qualifications and activities at school, guest speakers were also asked about other influences that had shaped their career.

Clare Francis (OS 1994) Savings & Investments Director, Barclays

Old Stopfordian, Savings & Investments Director at Barclays, Board Trustee for the Money & Mental Health Policy Institute and Financial Journalist, Clare Francis (OS 1994), explained the importance of work experience: “I did as much work experience as I could whilst I was at school because I knew what I wanted to do so I had work experience at BBC North West and other radio stations and then I got to university and wrote for the university newspaper and had more work experience at BBC in Birmingham, Radio Nottingham and a few other places.  Whilst doing my Masters in London I had work experience at GMTV, the BBC again and The Times which is where I got my break.”

Old Stopfordian and Strategic Energy Consultant, Nigel Timperley (OS 1988), advised opting to “do something worthwhile with your life; work to change the world”.

Cmdr Tom Herman OBE (OS 1974) Royal Navy Submariner

Old Stopfordian and Royal Navy Submariner, Commander Tom Herman OBE (OS 1974), highlighted the educational opportunities provided by the armed forces.  Cmdr Herman OBE recalls being inspired to join the armed forces after meeting Sir Douglas Bader, an RAF flying ace in the Second World War, during his time at Stockport Grammar School.  However, after joining the forces, the  Royal Navy requested he complete a degree in Systems & Management which provided Tom with a good standing throughout his career. He notes: The Navy will still give you an in-service degree if you join, and if you do join that way then you can have a degree and not have a penny of student debt.”

Our thanks to the following contributors for their support:

Jon Baker, Designer, JD Sports

Helen Baldwin nee Braid (OS 2006) Lecturer in Equine Practice & Equine Vet, University of Liverpool

Jason Briggs, Co-founder, PyroTalks

Oli Cartlidge (OS 2012) Formula 1 Race Strategist, Maclaren

Harriet Craven (OS 2013) Software Developer, Scientific Research Institute

Phil Ellis (OS 2011) Fashion Designer, Versace

Nicola Farrell, Kids Go Wild Forest School

Clare Francis (OS 1994) Savings & Investments Director, Barclays

PC Patrick Haley – Buxton Police Station

Cmdr Tom Herman OBE (OS 1974) Royal Navy Submariner

Ben Hill, Deputy Head, Parrs Wood High School

Dominic Hughes – BBC Health Correspondent

Judith Hutton (OS 1982) HR Director, Pure Innovations

Stuart Jones (OS 2010) Professional Football Coach

Robert Jones (OS 1996) Helicopter Pilot RAF Shrewsbury

Adrian Jubb (OS 1999) Medical Director, Achaogen Biotech

Hannah Keegan (OS 2013) – Production Chemist, Oil & Gas Industry

Alastair Lyddon (OS 2000) – Sports Careers & Teaching

Lois Macdonald (OS 1999) Teacher, The Harrodian School

Abi Meikle-Roche (OS 2010) Lead Clinical Education Pharmacist

Ian Millner (OS 1988) CEO, Iris Worldwide

Eleanor Mitchell (OS 2006) Media Communications Planning

Lyndsey Morgan – Trainee GP

Kate Ormiston Smith, Finance Director, B Team

Dr Tom Owen BSc BDS, Dentist, Wish Dental

Eddie Parry (OS 2018) Auditor, Ernst & Young

Jamie Rahman (OS 2013) Vet, PDSA

Preeti  Rathi (OS 2005) Investment Director, Investec Wealth & Investments

Ed Robinson (OS 2015)  Calder High School

Laura Rogers (OS 1998) International Teaching, Dulwich College

John Roughton (OS 1982) Her Majesty’s Inspector of LA children’s services

Anita Scorah – Lawyer, SAS Daniels

Julia Sutherland (OS 2012) Wildlife Biologist

Katy Thomas (OS 2015), Product Designer

Dr Nicky Thorley – GP

Nigel Timperley (OS 1982), Strategic Energy Consultant

Robert Waterhouse (OS 2013) Junior Doctor, NHS

Martha Watson (OS 2013) Producer, Sky Sports

Stefan Woodhouse (OS 2007), Biotech Engineer, Stedim Biotech

Dr Ian Young (OS 2006) Consultant Anaesthetist, NHS