22 Apr She Can Be Project
On Thursday 31st March I had the pleasure of accompanying ten students, (who had all completed or were currently involved in a DofE award) from Jo Richardson to attend a careers day at a company called Freshfields in the City of London. The purpose of the day was to encourage young women to think about work in the City of London and to encourage young women to think about work in the city as a realistic career option.
We were based at Freshfields on the 22nd floor of a skyscraper right next door to the Gherkin, very different to being at school. We were greeted warmly by Bex Barclay and a team of women from Freshfields which is a global corporate law firm with offices all over the world providing advice, and support with transactions and litigation to corporate clients. We met many women from across the firm including Executive assistants (PA’s), those working in human resources, marketing experts, paralegals and lawyers. This showed the huge range of job opportunities at a law firm.
It was also interesting to learn that the women we met came from a wide variety of backgrounds, all went to state comprehensive schools, some were single parents or had been raised by a single parent, and all had, various setbacks in their lives, including being rejected by Oxford University, family illness and complete changes of career direction. What they had in common was hard work and a great deal of self-belief despite everything they had been through.
A great piece of advice was that many people will look at a list of skills needed for a job and think they won’t get the job as they only have half the skills needed, so they don’t apply, but if you don’t apply for a job you definitely won’t get it! It’s always worth applying and following your dream because at least then you are in with a chance.
Thank you to the students who attended the day; Sam, Alina, Precious, Summer, Katelyn and Aimee in Year 10 and Skyla, Fatimah, Noorjahan and Adiyat in Year 12.
I was especially impressed by their performance in the negotiating task, a real boardroom atmosphere was achieved and some formidable negotiations between landlords and tenants took place.
It was also inspirational to be re-acquainted with Paula, an ex JRCS student who left in 2015 having taken part in both bronze and silver DofE. Following sixth form at another school she went to Cambridge and is now a trainee solicitor at Freshfields.
Thanks also to Bex Barclay and her brilliant team of colleagues at Freshfields for creating such a really useful and interesting day and for nurturing the aspirations of our students. Last but by no means least my thanks goes to Miss Ross for re-organising her day in order to assist me in accompanying the students on the day.
Ms Montague – DofE Manager