What does your future hold?

From the 6th of March to the 11th of March 2017, students across the UK had help to think about their future and who they would like to become. They have had support from teachers and websites that were recommended by National Careers Week. John Henry Newman Catholic College (A Catholic Academy is the West Midlands) took part in this event to raise awareness of the different careers available. Careers Week stated the reason for this was, “A need to promote high quality careers education, information advice and guidance. During National Careers Week, it is up to every school, academy and college to offer careers advice and guidance to their students.”

National Careers Week (NCW) is a week in which students across the UK receive careers guidance and education. Careers Week encourages education providers to bring together students, local employers and advisers through careers events and activities. During National Careers Week, it is up to every school, academy, and college to offer careers advice and guidance to their students. Last year, services provided to students during National Careers Week included daily drop-in workshops; careers fairs; employer visits; focus on subject relevant careers in lessons and showing careers films.

Different schools organised different activities.  One of the ideas was organising a career fair in which schools invite different businesses to talk to students about what they do. A career fair is also useful for younger students to allow them to get to know who they can become in the future. Another career week idea is asking students about their dream job. This can be developed by giving students extra help in the subjects they need to achieve their dream job. Another idea is organizing an interview with managers/workers to prepare students for work interviews in the future.

Pupils at John Henry Newman Catholic College took part in ICT tutorials on how to use a school software called Kudos, which is something used by all year groups, starting in Year 7. Kudos is a website in which you can view different careers, their features and what subjects are needed in them. The best feature of Kudos was that you are able to take a multiple choice test in which you can determine the different careers that are suitable for you- I found out that one of the careers that are suitable for me is a computer designer as I enjoy using computers.

One of the main providers of career support was the National Grid; they allowed students to see real work in action. Most year groups also had assemblies between Tuesday and Thursday where a National Grid worker visited. On Tuesday Caroline (engineer) and Lisa (HR representative) visited. They both explained how they were inspired to become who they are today. Caroline said,” When I was younger, I went on a trip to do with engineering, to see all the opportunities that engineering had in offer. I really got interested. People might not think engineering is for women but I met this engineer who was very fashionable and was a woman. Therefore, I knew I could become an engineer too.” Then after, Lisa said “To find the correct job for you, you should test different jobs and take all the experience opportunities you get.” We asked both Caroline and Lisa two questions. When asked what advice both visitors would give to students struggling with picking a career, Caroline answered, “Take opportunities and listen to visitors like today “. Lisa answered, “Think of what you enjoy and what you are good at. Then you will be more enthusiastic about picking a career” We then asked what would you say to a student who thinks a specific career isn’t for them? Lisa, “No job is for only one gender and more ideas are able to be made as people come from different backgrounds and have different ways of working.”

On Wednesday Jennifer (Development Engineer) and Adam (Development Manager) visited. Jennifer’s advice was, “You should do what you can to take different opportunities and always keep learning” Adam on the other hand advised, “You should take advantages, to do that, you should work with different people to receive all the experience. You should work hard and see what there is for you to do. Check what subjects are involved in a particular job. Check your dream jobs and see if there are any other ones.” We then asked both Jennifer and Adam two questions.The first question we asked was what advice would our guests give to students struggling to pick their careers? Jennifer answered, “You should keep a wide variety of things you enjoy and find a job with those things.” Adam answered, “Not everyone might have an idea on who they want to be. Make decisions close to the things you enjoy.”

Students from John Henry Newman were clearly motivated by the idea of their future careers. Year 8 pupil Lily said, “When I hear the words ’National Careers Week’, I think of my future and going to university as they link to careers. My favourite thing about Careers Week was learning about what I can be, and what I need to become that. Every student should know who they want to become in the future therefore it is important for every school to get involved with National Careers Week.”

Similarly, Shannon from Year 8 said, “It was a very enlightening experience and provided me with a chance to realize what my perfect career would be.”

All in all, National Careers Week was certainly a success at John Henry Newman. Make sure you are on your journey to your perfect career by getting involved with National Careers Week 2018!

About the Author

Roksana Szymas is a year 9 student with a passion for computers, writing and determination to achieve her career ambitions.