This year’s online Sixth Form Careers Day was opened by the Headmaster who explained to pupils that in future they were more likely to have varied careers than had been his experience. He introduced the keynote speakers, Mr Nigel Rossiter, semi-retired consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon, and Mr James Austen, recruitment specialist. Both are familiar with Pangbourne College; Nigel’s four children were at the College from 2007 to 2017 and James was a pupil in Port Jackson from 1993 to 1998.
‘Nigel Rossiter made a strong start in an engaging talk packed with really good advice,’ said Mr James Bamforth, Head of Sixth Form. ‘Whilst James Austen’s experience of graduate recruitment meant he was able to explain what students with high aspirations need to be doing over the coming years.’
Sixth Form students had the opportunity to attend two panels from different industry sectors. There were eight from which they could choose and these included: Accountancy, Finance, Business, Sales and Marketing; Government, Law and Education; Science, Engineering and Construction; Sport, Leisure and Travel; Armed Forces and Services; Creative Arts, Fashion and Media; Medical and Social Well-being; and other sectors.
Each of the panels included two or three specialist guests who were also Old Pangbournians, parents, and friends of the College. Mr Bamforth said: ‘The online panels were strengthened this year because it was easier to recruit panelists who could give up an hour or so to be with us. However, our pupils did miss out on individual networking opportunities which are normally possible at our in-person careers days.’
Poppy, a member of the Upper Sixth, said: ‘The medical and social well-being panel on Friday afternoon was very interesting. Even with a limited amount of time, all the speakers gave detailed and informative presentations about their careers. There was so much information that gave us all an insight into what goes on in these careers.
‘I was particularly interested in the psychiatry part of the panel, as I am considering a career in this area. The panels were very positive in all the areas we heard about, and it was especially nice to hear about all the amazing work they do. It was so nice to hear how rewarding it is to work in this industry when helping individuals to overcome illness, both physical and mental.
‘I also found out that most of the careers in this industry don’t require more than a bachelor's degree, which is useful to know as we are all about to go to university, and that although work experience is hard to come by now, it is really helpful in this line of work.’
The day also included an opportunity to try out the Shortlister video interviewing product introduced to the College by James Austen. Head of Careers and Enterprise, Mr Andrew Sumner, said: ‘Each pupil had an opportunity to record a video interview with instant feedback and the opportunity to re-record a segment if they felt they had not answered the question fully. Going forward, there will be other opportunities for students to practise and hone their presentation skills with this online interviewing software.’
The day closed on an upbeat note from the Chair of the Old Pangbournian Society, Phillip Plato who said that Pangbourne leavers become part of an active OPS network of former pupils who are only too happy to help those entering the working world.
Mr Bamforth said: 'A big ‘well done’ and ‘thank you’ to Mr Sumner who pulled together a brilliant day in difficult circumstances.’