The inspirational event follows a successful seminar at St Matthew’s academy the previous week where up to 90 students were in attendance to hear from 27 role models from a variety of industries care of Urban Synergy.
The seminar was opened by Vice Principal Rob McAuliffe and facilitated by Anthony Graham, Solicitor, Amosu Robinshaw and Urban Synergy Role Model.
The seminars, which consist of a panel session, followed by an open Q&A and speed mentoring was received enthusiastically by up to 170 sixth form students who travelled in from across three of the main college sites.
The panel members were:
- British Airways Pilot, Colin Donaldson
- RAF Logistics twin brothers, Charles and Colin Ihe, Ritan Benkyi
- Staff Nurse in Intensive Care, University College Hospital
- Dawn Goring, Office Manager and PA, The Prime Minister’s Office.
In addition to the panel, students were also treated to an exciting and informative speed mentoring session with more than 20 role models from industries including banking, public services, finance, law, technology, fashion and PR. Here, students were able to find about more information about the role models jobs, what skills are required and enquire about work experience opportunities.
The panel shared with the students aspects their career journeys, insights into their jobs and details of how they overcame any challenges along the way.
Before leaving, students were treated to a surprise visit by War Veteran, Neil Flanigan, MBE who impressed to the students the importance of savouring the opportunity to hear from so many positive role models. Neil, who was born in Jamaica and travelled to England in 1943 to join the Royal Air Force said:
“There is no coming back, but there is lots of leeway to go forward”
“Stand firm, succeed, and have a career in life”
Colin Donaldson, Pilot, British Airways:
“Try to do something you enjoy”
“Don’t be afraid to reassess new information”
Colin Ihe, Logistics, RAF
“It’s not about yourself it’s about your community”
“You should never be afraid to fail”
Charles Ihe, Logistics, RAF
“Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability”
Dawn Goring MBE, PA to Press Office and Office Manager, Prime Minister’s Office
“It is important to be a team player”
“Do work experience in something other than what you want to do, to learn something different”
“You are in a privileged position, please take advantage of it”
“You have to start at the bottom to reach to the top”
“Be respectful, stay open to learning”
“Stay close to like minded people”
Rita Benkyi, Staff Nurse, Intensive Care at UCLH
“You have to have a reason to do your career”
Student feedback[quote]“I will make sure that I don’t give up on any studies and I try and make the most of the little opportunities I get and I will not give up on my dream” – Ariel, 17
“Do enough work experience from different careers. Research more about my career. Pursue what I love” – Maimunat, 18
“Make sure I am motivated and hardworking in order to do the best I can.” – Shannen, 16.
“I will listen to my mentors, I will not give up, I will always work hard and push up myself and change people’s perceptions” – Veridiana, 18
“I will make sure I put much more effort into my A levels” – Gabriella
“ I will prioritize my interests to achieve my goals” – Claudette, 17[/quote]