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.
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”.
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.”
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.
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.
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”.
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