Langley Park School for Girls has been a Future First member school for just one year, but in that time the school has recorded phenomenal success in developing their alumni community. The school has managed to complete more than 20 alumni activities including hosting careers talks ranging from the entertainment industry, accounting and commerce to non-profit management, talks from CEOs and much more. Langley Park School for Girls have managed to sign up more than 170 former students – and counting – to their network in this short time. We spoke to Hayley Hayden, Careers Advisor at the school about her experience with Future First.
Why did the school decide to get involved with Future First, what were you hoping to achieve?
Langley Park School for Girls decided to utilise the services of Future First after an initial meeting showed us what they could offer the school and its students. The Future First dedicated account manager, Natalie, explained the process and the fact that they could effectively act as a database for us – keeping all our alumni and volunteers in one place, easily accessible by us. Crucially, we could use this platform to filter and contact our alumni depending on what we were looking for and this was very attractive to us.
Making use of your alumni is such a great way to inspire current students about what they can look to achieve – the people talking to them about their career path, apprenticeship or university have sat in the very seats that they are sitting in now. The easy sign-up link that Future First provides can be shared with alumni on social media and other platforms, so that when they do sign up (it takes just a few moments), they are all in one place.
How has the experience been for your pupils, have you noticed changes?
Future First has been great for the students, so great, we have just renewed our subscription! Sourcing speakers from Future First, we run a weekly Careers Guest Speaker slot for years 9-13, featuring a wide range of career paths. This has given the students invaluable insights into what is achievable and made them think about careers they didn’t even know existed. Following these talks, students in years 12 and 13 have been assigned to some of the alumni mentors to work as mentees in the careers they are wishing to pursue. The mentors have run sessions with the mentees to answer more in depth questions, give them advice and set them career-specific tasks. These sessions have undoubtedly given the students so much more confidence and has prepared them ready for university, apprenticeship or employment interviews.
What have been the benefits of working with Future First?
Great customer service – my designated Alumni Programme Manager always gets back to me straight away. The access we have gained to our alumni and having them all in one place, filterable by career, pathway and experience, has been so useful and has saved me so much time.
The mentor scheme they offer for students who may be less engaged has been a great experience for some of our students who have needed a bit more help or motivation. They also run great stand-alone workshops, the most recent being an International Trade workshop for our Year 10 and 12 students interested in trading, Geography, Business, Law and MFL.
Our Future First membership also entitles us to unlimited alumni posters to hang all around the school and these have inspired the students no end.
The work experience opportunities with some of Future First’s employer partners has also been fantastic. Recently, one of our Year 12 students won the opportunity to work for Future First’s partner, Arc Pensions Law, in the half term break – she returned saying it was the best thing she’s ever done and that she had learnt more than she ever thought possible in one week!
Would you recommend joining Future First to other schools? If so, why?
Yes! I recommend Future First on all the careers forums I am involved with – what’s not to love? All of your alumni and volunteers are kept in one place, you can filter them to source exactly who or what you are looking for; we can access mentors, workshops, work experience opportunities and we have fab account manager who can’t do enough for us. Future First clearly gets my vote!
Contact us to discuss how we can support your school to work with former students.