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Rungway making headlines

The Rungway Digital Mentoring App, featured in today’s issue of The Times, has seen remarkable success since its launch in October 2018 at Sheffield High School for Girls, showing significant promise as a future staple for Sixth Form pupils seeking advice about their next steps after leaving school.

Rungway Digital Mentoring is a pioneering initiative from the GDST providing instant access to the largest all-female networking group in the UK, the GDST Alumnae Network. The contacts, mentoring, job opportunities and events, accessed through over 70,000 successful women in all walks of life, are now right at the fingertips of pupils venturing out into a tough employment market, giving them an invaluable advantage when finding a truly fulfilling career path. Students can post questions about anything from where to find subject-specific work experience to dealing with the pressure of exams, which can then be answered by alumnae from the 25 schools within the GDST network

A focus group from Sheffield Girls’ has given the app glowing reviews since its launch. Year 13 pupil Lucy is one of Rungway’s regular users: “My favourite thing about Rungway is scrolling through the questions to see what everyone else is posting. Before the Christmas period when exam stress was high I often found really useful answers and advice to questions I hadn’t even thought about.” Lucy used the support from the app to boost her university applications and has received an offer from the University of Oxford to study Engineering.

Connections made with Rungway are not limited to the online platform. Year 13 pupil Aggy said, “I asked the question: What work experience/volunteering would be useful for me to do as I am looking to study midwifery at university? Sheffield Girls’ alumna Becky, who is a team leader for community midwives in Sheffield, messaged me and suggested that we correspond by email to arrange a meeting so that I could ask her about the job.

“Including a member of staff in school, I emailed Becky and arranged to meet up, where we had a discussion about her personal experience and the questions I’d prepared. Becky told me lots about what she believed I would find useful going into the application process and studying at university.

“It was excellent to have an in-depth conversation with an alumna, which has helped me improve my application and understanding of the career. I can certainly see Rungway being very popular in the future with both pupils and alumnae.”

Alumna Becky said, “I was asked to take part in the pilot for the Rungway app and I thought it was a great idea. I left Sheffield High School for Girls in 2009 and went on to study Midwifery. I now lead a team of community midwives in Sheffield and know that in my career, as well as so many others, it is invaluable to be able to get advice from people further along the career path than you.

“I’m very keen to be able to give back and love that by using the Rungway app I can do this in my own time. I get a notification when a question is posted that is relevant to my career and my skill set and I can go open the app and send a reply.

“After answering Agatha’s question about applying to midwifery courses, she asked me if I would be willing to meet her to chat in more detail. I popped into school one morning and we spoke for over an hour about midwifery as a career. I was able to give her a real insight into different aspects of the job; we discussed the incredibly rewarding parts of the job, specialist areas and a range of opportunities a career within midwifery can offer. I also had a look around the school which brought back some lovely memories and bumped into a few old teachers!

“For an alumna like me who is keen to give back, the Rungway app allows me to do this in my own time and I’ll certainly be recommending it to any of my friends who are keen to be a more active part of the GDST Alumnae Network.”

Head of Careers at Sheffield Girls’ and GDST Consultant for Progress to Higher Education Carole Hall commented on the app’s launch, “It’s fantastic for the girls to have as many sources of help as they can. Many of them have had very quick and helpful responses from alumnae, and the instant access means they can send questions from anywhere. As it expands to more GDST schools, pupils will increasingly realise its value, while alumnae continue to enjoy the opportunity to give something back to younger girls in the same position they once were.”

To read what The Times wrote about Rungway, go to https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/app-plugs-pupils-into-the-old-girl-network-n3zpxw58d

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