National Careers Week 2020

During term 1, parents and alumni were contacted to ask if they would like to come into College to speak with our students about their careers.

The week started with Dr Nicola Bateman, a STEM scientist, engineer and researcher who explained how she teaches at Leicester University and undertakes research. Dr Bateman did a ‘show and tell’ with some of the gadgets that are used within engineering.

Mrs Speirs, a teacher of English at the College, previously worked in public relations. She explained the power of managing communications and how to put forward positive facts through the power of being persuasive, all important life skills for future careers.

Dr James Greening is a Paediatric Endocrinologist who works with children living with diabetes. He explained that he was a nosy, inquisitive person who had the required ‘C’ qualities a doctor should possess; to be caring, compassionate, conscientious, careful, a completer-finisher, competitive, committed, capable, and having good communication skills. He explained that studying A level chemistry is a requirement for university to become a doctor, as well as taking the UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test) in Year 12.

Dr Leon Roberts explained that he originally wanted to be a train driver but that a careers advisor at school suggested a career in law or medicine. During his training at medical school, he enlisted as an Army doctor. He has had numerous opportunities to use his medical skills within the Army including the First Gulf War, training medics in Afghanistan, and providing medical back-up to soldiers in Belize which is where he discovered his love for flying in helicopters. Now retired from the Army, Leon is a GP, flies with the local Air Ambulance, and is the Medical Director of the East Midlands Ambulance Service. He still finds time to volunteer at Burghley Horse Trials and within the community as a first responder. He explained the importance of re-training and taking opportunities when they arise.

Dr Diane Wensley shared her journey through nursing and talked about the breadth of experience that can be found in the profession. This included her personal journey from initial training through to her doctorate which led to a new formula of baby milk with wider health benefits. She explained the varied routes through and into the nursing profession, whilst dispelling the urban myths about what nursing entails in the modern NHS.

Ian Jones detailed his career as an aircraft and helicopter technician with the Army, from working with BAE systems to engineering with Druck. He explained the importance of the pressure sensors that the company makes, ensuring safe flights for air passengers. He was keen to share with students that it was a 17 year-old apprentice who signed off a sensor that was used within the first test flight of a new plane. He explained the various entry points into a company like his from university, apprenticeships, direct entry to internships and the personal qualities that he looks for when interviewing applicants. His advice included doing some research into the company and the interviewer and show interest in the interview process.

Jo Appleton explained how she studied podiatry at university; she didn’t do very well in school and simply picked a subject. When she graduated she wanted a job that helped people so started as a drugs rep for a pharmaceuticals company. After years in this field she decided to retrain as a primary school teacher, but has more recently gone back into pharmaceuticals as she found it suited her family life better. The message she wanted to convey to students is that it is never too late to change your career path. The key is that you should always enjoy your job.

The overwhelming theme that emerged from all of the careers talks was the importance of team working; whether a doctor working within a medical environment with nurses or paramedics, a public relations executive liaising with their assistants and managers, or an engineering professional or scientist collaborating with their teams in a lab or across the world. These are important skills that we teach our students in lessons and which prove invaluable for their work experience placement in Year 10.

We thank the parents who took time to come into College to talk about their careers and offer advice to our students. If you would like to showcase your career to our students during National Career Weeks 2021, speak in a lunchtime session or showcase your career/company at our post-16 event please contact Mrs Meynell by emailing