Ed is a Year 10 student at Stowmarket High School in Stowmarket, Suffolk. Future First has run a series of ‘Advice and a Slice’ sessions at the school so guest speakers can join students during lunchtime to talk about their career experiences. The series has been organised in partnership with the Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach (neaco).
As a current student at Stowmarket High School, I’ve now attended a fair few events that Future First has run at my school. I mainly started during lockdown because it was easier to attend online and I’ve found them really rewarding.
We’ve had a few different people come in to speak to us and they’ve all given us a great insight into what career options are out there. We had someone who used to be in the Military talk to us about why you may consider pursuing a career in the Army – he showed us there was a lot involved with a military career, way beyond what people think goes on.
We also had a former Stowmarket High School pupil who had gone on to be a businessman. His talk was a fantastic insight into what skills you need to be a good businessman and it was a real benefit to get a general overview from him. Having an ex-pupil speak to us also made it much more relatable, because he showed that you can do it as long as you have the right attitude.
The whole experience has been very beneficial to me personally. I definitely plan to go on to do A levels and then hopefully some further studies. At that point it will depend on what’s out there, but I’m really keen to follow a career that is music related. I’ve played drums for five years now and I definitely want to do something in that world, although I’m not sure exactly where in that industry I want to be.
What the Future First sessions have given me is a much clearer idea of what I’d need to be successful in the future – the different qualities and different attitudes I’d need to develop to push myself to a high-ranking position. The sessions have also shown me that the world is a whole lot more open than you can see from school. Sometimes you can only see the obvious career choices, but there are loads beyond that.
I had always considered that I would probably stay local when I left school, but now I reckon I will think about moving further away in the future. These meetings made me consider that more carefully because I can now see what is available in the wider world.
The sessions have made a real difference to me and I’d definitely consider coming back to my school after I leave. I’ve seen the impact they have had on people and it would be excellent to be the person having that impact. After I started to attend the first few sessions, I invited some of my friends to get involved too and the general reception was very good.
My message to anyone who has the chance to attend a Future First workshop would be to go for it – and take all the opportunities that come with it.
Contact us to discuss how we can support your school to work with former students.