We were very lucky to be joined by three visiting careers speakers during pillar day today. Our focus was politics, which was both exciting and inspiring for our pupils.
Our first guest who spoke to year 7, 8 and 9 pupils was John Hooten, Chief Executive Barnet Council.
John loves his work for the London Borough of Barnet and spoke to pupils about a typical work day, collaboration with his team and the kind of person that would love local government.
He gave this advice to our pupils: ‘Focus on something you enjoy. Don’t be afraid to be yourself’
John spoke about the importance of working hard, both in terms of attainment at school as a key to next steps and your career, but he was keen to emphasise the importance of each young person’s outlook
‘Your qualifications are important but a good attitude is more important than anything else, work hard, get on with people.’
We were also delighted to welcome Sadia Sapsard & Aysha Patel, who work as Young Diplomats at the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office or FCSO.
They spoke about what a diplomat is and the work of the FCDO including at over 280 embassies abroad and offices here in the UK in London and Scotland
Sadia shared her background having studied maths, physics and English Literature and going on to study engineering at university. Her career so far has included a range of posts including working to stop countries using and building chemical weapons and taking on a post in Pakistan building relationships with the Pakistani government.
Aysha spoke about her work during the pandemic, including ensuring there were enough planes chartered to help people to get home at the start of the first lockdown and supporting families with quarantine. She now works in Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Tech policy
Sadia said: ‘What really inspires me is getting out and having a job that is about meeting people, learning about cultures and languages’.
Both Aysha and Sadia were encouraging to pupils to think about this career. Rather than being a one-size-fits-all, the Foreign Office aims to represent the UK in the best way, reflecting the diversity of the country. All different subject areas are welcome, if you have the desire to support people, are interested to live abroad or passionate about developing aid for countries that need help. Most of all, you need to like a challenge!
Thank you to our wonderful guests and we look forward to hearing impressions from our pupils.