Last week, our first ever combined Careers and Higher Education Fair took place, with over 500 Year 11 and 12 pupils from Highgate, the London Academy of Excellence Tottenham (LAET) and other local partner schools joining together for the event.
In the Junior School Hall, Year 11 and 12 pupils were able to hear from 30 professionals from a wide range of industries – from Archaeology to Finance, Dentistry to Graphic Design – each one giving personal advice sessions, and the pupils were able to ask questions in a relaxed and informal environment.
The event coincides with National Careers Week (6-10 March), which aims to support young people to develop awareness of and excitement about their future pathways.
Jan Balon, LAET Headteacher explains the benefits of careers events such as these: “Students often have set ideas about what they want to do and it’s not necessarily based on prior experience. In any industry you get lots of different types of job and they’re not immediately obvious if you haven’t spent time in those industries. Speaking directly to professionals from different areas makes this a really valuable event for pupils to attend.”
Former Highgate pupil Poppy was a delegate at the Careers Fair and now works in Marketing at international auction house Bonhams. Having studied French at UCL, she then completed her Masters in History of Art at the Courtauld Institute in London.
“When I started studying, I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do and a degree like French is quite open and means you’re gaining another language which is a valuable skill to have. You do figure it out along the way, and you can always change which path to take as there are so many options out there.”
Over at the Mallinson Sports Centre, Year 12 pupils were able to speak to delegates from over 45 universities, including Poppy’s former University, UCL. University representatives had travelled from all over the country – from Aberdeen down to Plymouth via Belfast and Cardiff – which pupils found incredibly helpful as they start to consider their future plans after leaving Sixth Form.
A Year 12 pupil commented: “It was great to walk around and acknowledge the wide variety of choices available. It was interesting to get a unique insight to the courses that I may end up taking and talk to people that know the campus and how a typical university day works.”
Dr Catherine Carter, Director of Higher Education adds: “The aim of the Careers and Higher Education Fair and the year-round support we provide, is to give pupils the opportunity to hear from representatives from different fields and areas. We’re so grateful to all the volunteers who have supported the event by sharing their time and experiences with us. This included our alumni (OCs) who have a personal connection to the School and draw on their own experiences of the choices they made while they studied here.”
The Careers and Higher Education Fair is just one of the ways in which the School aims to prepare pupils for life after Highgate.
For more information on the support provided visit our Sixth Form pages here.