On Tuesday 29th November the brand new Woodhouse Career Ready team, consisting of 20 new recruits (and with the help of the existing second year members), stewarded the first event in their two year tenure with a networking evening very kindly hosted by King and Wood Mallesons, at their luxurious London offices overlooking the Thames at Southwark Bridge.
Invited guests included Career Ready and Woodhouse alumni, Career Ready mentors and board members, and Woodhouse senior staff and governors. After some delicious canapés and small talk, Career Ready Local Advisory Board Chairman and Woodhouse Governor, Peter Green, called the room to order for the main presentation.
Peter Green kicks off the presentations
Peter called on Andrew Dent from KWM, who sponsored the evening, to say a few words and Andy welcomed those assembled before handing over to the Career Ready students.
Stefanos Hajipieris and Josh Francis
Woodhouse and Career Ready alumni Stefanos and Josh introduced the evenings agenda of events and spoke a little about their own positive experiences of the programme, before showing a short video by the new CR recruits, talking about what they hope to achieve over the coming year.
Sobratty and Emily Seager
Career Ready Mentor of the Year Emily Seager - Regional Business Performance Manager at Lloyds - took to the stage next with her alumna mentee from last year Razia Sobratty. They both spoke about what they achieved within the programme, why it worked and the importance of mentoring.
Current second year CR members Catalina Rosu and Kieran Pratt spoke next, about the positive impact that Career Ready has had on them and the confidence that they have gained from interacting with professional people.
Next up was the keynote speaker of the evening, Tom Toumazis MBE, who talked about 'How to Master the Art of Nudging!'
Tom Toumazis MBE
Tom is Chairman and Founder of the ChildLine Board, part of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) in the United Kingdom, and a member of the charity's National Volunteer Board. He is a founder investor and chair of two start-up companies, TVbeat and Tagsmart.
Tom spoke about his humble academic beginnings, including a spell at Woodhouse Grammar School where he took he his GCEs. He talked about the uselessness of the word 'maybe', encouraging students to say 'Yes' to as many opportunities as possible. And the art of the 'nudge' to positively reinforce peoples decision making.
Next in the order of events was the Woodhouse College Career Ready Student of the Year Award...
Runners up, Eriklejda Begaj, Sulekha Musa and Dacia Rochester-Martin with Andy Dent
Winner Kamiylah Charles receives her Woodhouse Career Ready Student of the Year award
Andy Dent returned to the podium to introduce the students who had been nominated for the Woodhouse Career Ready Student of the Year. The nominees were Eriklejda Begaj, Sulekha Musa, Dacia Rochester-Martin and Kamiylah Charles. Students were mostly nominated by employers, who had been impressed with the difference the programme had made to them.
The panel were impressed with all of the students’ nominations, but felt that Kamiylah Charles had been on the greatest journey, put the most effort in and benefitted more from being on the Career Ready programme.
Kamiylah was nominated by her mentor, Rebecca Marriott of Fintrail and awarded a £50 gift voucher.
The runners up were all awarded a £15 gift voucher.
They all also received certificates, presented by Andy from King & Wood Mallesons, who sponsored the Awards.
Farida Saraf - Career Ready
Coordinator at Woodhouse College - rounded off the formal events by asking everyone to join in with a fun networking challenge, to encourage the new Career Ready students to be confident, engage and find out a little more about their guests.
The students certainly gained a lot of valuable insight and experience from the evening.
James Bartlett said "Through the networking event I was able to meet business professionals and speak to them about their history and how they got to where they are today. I hopefully made some valuable connections for the future. This first event really kicked off the Career Ready experience for me"
Hanan Kadham said "I'd like to thank Farida, Karen and Poly, as well as King and Wood Mallesons and all the guests who attended the event. It was one of the best school experiences of my life. I throughly enjoyed it and believe I have learnt many valuable life (and work) skills. I can take so much from the evening that will help me continue growing as an individual... Thank you Woodhouse for the opportunity."
Hamda Ahmed agreed... "Meeting all the different guests and hearing about their professional lives was not only inspirational but a moment to treasure. It gave me valuable insight of what life in a professional environment is like and provided me with the confidence to take my future into my own hands."
Shruti Acharya also got a lot out of the evening... "The event was very lively and classy. I loved that I was confident enough to approach professional people and actually speak to them about their lives. The speeches were really inspiring, especially the ex Woodhouse students who showed how good the Career Ready programme is. Also, I felt I really connected with both AS and A2 students a bit more and built a friendly relationship. Overall it was incredibly successful, especially for our first event!
Thank you Ms Saraf for making it happen!"
You can find our more about Career Ready Uk on their website