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Sheffield Girls’ Empowers Future Generations with Insightful Careers Event and Alumnae Panel

Sheffield Girls’ recently hosted a Careers Spotlight ‘Speed Networking’ workshop for Year 9 students and a fantastic alumnae panel Live Lunch speaker event for Sixth Form and Senior School students. These events provided a unique opportunity for current pupils to interact with alumnae, ask questions and gain valuable insights into a wide range of career paths. 

The Careers Spotlight and alumnae panel events form a vital part of  our commitment to embedding careers provision into the curriculum and offering comprehensive support to help students make informed GCSE option choices. Throughout the workshop students delved into the psychology of decision-making, exploring the factors that contribute to making sound choices. They discussed potential pitfalls, such as choosing subjects based on peer influence or personal attachment to a teacher.

Students participated in a dynamic speed networking event with five alumnae and two guests, each representing distinct occupational fields. During the seven minutes they had with each guest the Hall was abuzz with conversation as our students asked questions and gained valuable insights into careers as distinct as sustainable engineering and orthotics, as well as receiving advice to navigate their own career paths. 

The morning's activities provided students with a deeper understanding of their options, encouraging thoughtful consideration of their interests and strengths when making crucial GCSE subject choices. The alumnae not only shared details about their professions but also offered valuable guidance on managing career choices and personal growth. It was inspirational to see so many exchanges taking place and the key message that came out of the event was: follow your own strengths and do what makes you happy.

Grace in Year 12 said, “I found the event really helpful as I want to have a career similar to Sahar's after school so it was great to have the chance to ask her advice on how many companies she applied to, for example. She was really approachable and helpful.” 

The alumnae panel featured distinguished individuals from diverse professional backgrounds, showcasing the broad spectrum of possibilities available to the students. The alumnae and guests taking part in the panel were:

  • Kerry Priest: Award-winning poet and author
  • Guneet Hawley: Fluid dynamics engineer and climate change projection specialist
  • Francesca Makey: Lead orthotist at Sheffield Children’s Hospital
  • Jane McLean: NHS Clinical Lead prosthetist (non-alumna)
  • Sahah Akhter: HSBC finance degree apprentice
  • Sascha Way: Marketing professional and business founder
  • Sgt Danielle St Hilaire: Royal Air Force (RAF) member (non-alumna)

Each panellist shared their unique journey, providing valuable insights into the challenges and triumphs they experienced throughout their careers. It was a wonderful opportunity for our alumnae and guests to share genuine first-hand experience with our students and to signpost careers which they may not have realised existed. 

Sahar Akhter, HSBC finance degree apprentice from the class of 2020 said about the day:

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to contribute and offer guidance to Sheffield Girls’ students. The warmth and enthusiasm of the girls and fellow alumnae left a lasting impression, and I thank you for giving me the chance to make a positive impact.” 

The school extends its heartfelt gratitude to all the alumnae and guests who generously contributed their time and expertise, playing a pivotal role in inspiring and guiding the next generation of Sheffield Girls’ students. The event highlighted the school's commitment to fostering a supportive and empowering educational environment that equips students with the knowledge and confidence to pursue their dreams.

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