Baring Primary Role Model Seminar

On Friday 14 July, Urban Synergy held a ‘Top Tips to the Top’ Role Model Seminars at Baring Primary School for pre-transitional students in year 6.

The inspirational seminar, which consisted of a panel session, followed by an open Q&A and speed mentoring was received enthusiastically by the young students.

The panelists, were Charlie Easmon, Medical Director, Your Excellent Health, Dawnn Lee Mitchell, Fashion Stylist, Donald Palmer, Associate Professor of Immunology, Royal Veterinary College, University of London and Peter Granger, Planning Manager, CBRE who shared with the students details of their career journeys, insights into their jobs – with great anecdotes which kept it fun as well as informative – and details of how they overcame any challenges along the way.

After an open Q&A where the young students put their hands up enthusiastically and asked an array of open and interesting questions to the panel, ranging from ‘how to become a doctor’ to spiderman and marvel characters which Donald Palmer has a huge interest in, the event continued with the exhilarating ‘speed mentoring session’ which gave the students the opportunity to hear from the other role models who were present at the seminar from industries including Finance, Project Management, NHS, Construction and Management Consultancy share their career journeys and challenges faced along the way. This session gave the students the opportunity to meet each role model on rotation and gain valuable insights and take-aways to a wide variety of professions.

Panel Top Tips

Dr Charlie Easmon – Medical Director
Charlie knew he wanted to be a doctor since the age of 5, but had no plan b. He studied hard and got into medical school. He’s travelled 75 countries and met many interesting work through work. Charlie went to George’s medical school in Tooting. He then started working in a hospital. He had long hours and started doing some hard jobs for sick friends on holiday after 5 years he decided to specialise in public health medicine.

Charlie said:
“Listen to older people. You can learn a lot from the other’s journeys. Unless there is a clear sign the career is not for you, go for it.“

Dawn Mitchell – Fashion Wardrobe Stylist
Dawn works with photographers, makes fashion stories for magazines, does shopping, e-commerce styling, and advertising campaigns for the likes of Nike and Asos. Dawn did the styling for the Superbowl, working with Madonna and Nicki Minaj. Dawn started out working in record companies. She graduated with media degree. Dawn didn’t feel that she was progressing in her career so she took the initiative to change industry sector, working freelance and even undertook three internships simultaneously. Dawn says she was driven, sending letters to employers and she networked.

Dawn said:
“Don’t take no for an answer when it comes to your career and your future. Don’t let anyone restrict you. Sometimes when things are really hard, ask yourself what is stopping you progressing and move yourself. It is important to be remembered in work for the right reasons and that you understand the importance of how to communicate with people.“

Dr Donald Palmer – Associate Professor of Immunology, Royal Veterinary college, University of London
Donald Is a scientist, he explains is the study of nature. He specialises in the study of bacteria and how it affects the body. Donald was influenced by Peter Parker (aka SpiderMan) He explains that he used to do the paper round and wake early in the morning for work. This is where he had the opportunity to read Marvel comics and found his inspiration from spider man who like himself wore glasses. The other role models were his parents, who bought him his first chemistry set. Also his chemistry teacher, Mr Irvin, who wore a White coat and carried out many cool experiments. Donald researched and discovered he needed to go to university to be a scientist so he applied and went on to Bradford University. After his studies he went on train others at the Royal veterinary college where he has achieved his own lab and teaches how to look after animals.

Donald said:
“Listen to your teachers as these can the most inspiring adults in your life that you’re likely to meet. “
“Absorb everything from anyone who has good advice for you.“
“Do your research in your interests so you know what you have to do to reach your goals“.

Peter Granger – Planning Manager, CBRRE
Peter was quiet at school and wasn’t good at spelling as he was dyslexic but was good at maths and using his hands. He loved Marvel comics. Peter wanted to be an engineer and then joined the navy. He became a weapons engineer, which is making sure they work and also loading them. He travelled around the world. He left the navy seventeen years ago and became a cable engineer. Now Peter runs one of the largest data centres in the world at Thomson Reuters.

Peter said:
“Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can’t do something you want to do. If you have a dream then that is what you must do but you have to work hard. No-one gives you anything for free so make sure you listen to your teachers.“

Pupil Feedback

5 children responded to the following questions after the year 6 role model seminar:

What was the most memorable thing you learned today?
Who inspired you the most?
What do you want to be when you are older

Angela (Year 5)
I learned that you can achieve higher than you would have expected inf you believe in yourself.
I didn’t have any favourites they all inspired me. They have all achieved highly and worked hard to be where they are.
When I am older I would like to be a Judge

Abdulazeez – (Year 6)
I learned that you won’t get anywhere from being lazy so you need to work hard, even if it is a struggle.
Everyone here inspired me. They are all very unique, that’s for sure and had different stories to tell.
When I grow up, I want to be a cryonic surgeon. This is a rare science which requires freezing people, with the intention of reviving them at a later stage in the future once technology is in place to revive them.

Harley – (Year 6)
I learned that there are a lot of jobs out there that people haven’t heard of. Some entertain, others saves lives.
The two that stood out for me today were Peter and Donald
Peter reminds me of my Uncle. Donald is cool and I like how he delivered his story in an inspired, playful way.
When I am older I hope to work in the army, as an actor, scientist or Singer

Maria – Year 6
I learned not be scared about thinking about what I want to be when I am older. I can think about being inspired for now.
I was inspired by Dawn and Donald; Dawn gives me the idea of creating things in my own world like, my hair and style but I also like that the doctor, wants to help others.
When I am older I would like to be a dance teacher

Jaydel Saaka (Year 6)
I learned that you should try as many things as possible and never give up. Communicate with those who can help
I was most inspired today by Charlie, Donald and Dawn…. Actually all of them! I like science and wanted to be a doctor. Dawn is very ambitious and I think I am the same. Donald was really interesting in how he uses his imagination to make his point.

When I am older I would like to be a lawyer

Additional quotes

If I want to be successful, I should never give up and follow my dreams
Charlie really inspired me and when I grow up I want to be a doctor
I will work hard, persevere, and listen to others
– Daba, aged 10

People don’t just give you the job, you have to work extremely hard and get the right qualifications.
– Kaycie, aged 11

You can be what you want to be as long as you put your mind to it
I will believe in myself and work really hard
– Harley, aged 10

I will study hard at school so I can get into a good university
– Timi, aged 11

I have learned that you have to work very hard to get jobs and you must try your best from an early age.
– Amira, aged 11

I want to study tropical medicine when I’m older, and now I know what I have to do, and what to study
– Sarina, aged 11

Pupils said they all enjoyed meeting all the role models and finding out about the jobs they do.