Woodhouse College
Alica Derome Rebecca Saul

Next Steps Careers Day and Career Fair

Dated: 9 March 2020

 
Two of our biggest careers events took place over the last few weeks. Our Next Steps Careers Day and our Careers Fair.
 
Our dedicated Careers Officer, Joanna, spoke to us about Next Steps Careers Day…
 
“This year we have expanded our delivery from talks on higher education and degrees to talks on apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships. Employers, universities, training providers and other advisors came in to talk to students in the classroom, as well having exhibition stands and stalls in the main social area.
 
The Next Steps day was mainly for our lower sixth students to find out about degree routes, specific degrees and to talk to employers and apprenticeship providers - to get a nice broad view of all the different things that they could possibly do. We had over 100 guests with 30 stands in the exhibition area which meant that the upper sixth also benefited, as they could visit the stands in break times.
 
The event was the just the right size and students were asking lots of intelligent questions, they absolutely loved it. And the exhibitors loved our students too, that’s a common thing.
 
There were some quite interactive sessions with Nursing and Midwifery, Lincoln University computer science department came in with Virtual Reality headsets (students really liked that) and there was even a “how to start your own business’ session with some interesting activities. We wanted to move on from just careers talks and get students more engaged with things.
 
Around 90% of our students go on to study at university straight from Woodhouse, but it was useful for them to explore apprenticeships talks from both universities and the National Apprenticeship Service. As a careers advisor I’m getting more and more queries about apprenticeships and students are looking at that alongside university - epitomised by Herts Uni who offer both a degree or degree apprenticeship in some subjects.”
 
 
The Next Steps event was complemented last week by our Careers Fair. This was again set up as an exhibition space where many Woodhouse alumni made themselves available to talk to students about careers, as well as dozens of big businesses.
 
Participants included Accenture - An international creative editorial and post production company who are on a major drive to increase their diversity within the technology departments. They have partnered up with us after attending the event last year and will be providing various workshops throughout the year.
 
Clifford Chance, one of the magic circle law firms and the biggest in the world came to show our students about Prime, a work experience initiative for A level students.
 
We also had major private firms such as Morgan Stanley and Salesforce in attendance along with BKL - A leading firm of chartered accountants and tax advisers.
 
Break - a social enterprise for young people was founded by Francesca, an alumna of the college.
 
 
We also had the Met Police and the London Ambulance Service, alongside companies like Projects Abroad - Organisers of life-changing volunteer projects and internships in the developing world, and GapForce - a UK-based gap year and student volunteering provider. They provide medical placements, ski instruction courses, and sport training courses abroad.
 
 
The afternoon was incredibly busy and popular with students, with hundreds visiting the stalls.
 
One student commented “Careers events at Woodhouse are a world away from careers stuff at my old school, we had hardly any advice there. Here we get so many events, emails and newsletters telling us about everything that is available to us. I even forward stuff on to my friends who didn’t come to Woodhouse because they never hear about half of these opportunities at their schools.”
 
And careers events are not over for the year here yet. In the calendar we have a volunteering fair later in March and an HE education activities week in June.
 
All of these events are complemented by the all-year-round support service provided by our careers officer Joanna... “There is a lot more diversity of opportunity these days and questions to be answered - it’s a more complex world out there. Our comprehensive careers advice and support programme is a response to that.”


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