Year 12 Futures Conference: Just have a bit of a crack and be interested
This year, our Futures Conference ran from Monday 28th till Wednesday 30th June with an impressive range of activities and powerful talks from external speakers. The three strands on offer were Apprenticeships, University or Undecided. Students selected their preferred talks/workshops based on their interests and each strand gave students the opportunity to take their first steps in deciding on their future. Sessions were also set aside to work practically on personal statements, UCAS applications and CVs.
Some of the main messages given were:
- Spend time researching for your future beyond this 3 day event
- Invest in personal development beyond your A Level studies
- DO NOT wait for things to happen/fall into your lap, instead, go out and make it happen
- Be proactive and grasp opportunities with both hands
- Connect with people on a professional level (not just social media) and grow your network.
- Find answers to the questions that are posed to you
- It’s OK to not know what you want to do, however it isn’t OK to do nothing about it
- Finally, change is fine but you need to be informed.
It was a privilege to sit in on the session given by the East Village PR company. Their inspiring messages went way beyond PR and included:
- Don’t feel like you have to move to London! Birmingham is a ‘village’ and you can get to know nearly all the firms in a particular profession. Great for networking.
- Don’t assume that bigger is better: work experience or an apprenticeship in a small firm may give you more opportunities to get involved.
- Ask! Always assume it’s worth approaching firms to request experience and internships. All they can say is ‘No’ and many will keep your details for later.
Our medical students were also given the chance to participate in MMI interviews with 12 stations in a carousel style spread over two hours. These were a mix of practical, virtual and face to face interviews using different scenarios and techniques. There will be another round of MMI interviews for these students before the real ones in the Autumn term.
We were really pleased to hear that students valued their experience. Their comments showed that all the hard work put in by the Sixth Form team to coordinate governors; employers; apprenticeship providers; industry experts and our amazing ex-students was worth it!
“I found all of the sessions really useful for me and have given me a much better idea on what I want to study at university. I found the marketing session useful and very persuasive which is making me lean towards a course in this field.”
“The university strand was really useful as I am happy now that I have started the UCAS application and my personal statement. Some of the student choice sessions were really informative, eg, volunteering abroad is making me consider it when I never would’ve before. I also found speaking to current uni students really helpful as we could ask them questions from a first hand perspective. The MMI was also really useful as it gave me an actual idea of how it works, like the structure and content we might have ourselves next year. I found the range of activities a good spread as no two repeated themselves and each challenged me in a different way. I think overall it was a positive experience and has prepared me for actual MMIs. Thanks.”
“I went into futures week as undecided and each of the sessions gave me a great insight into the steps I can take into my future. Both the University and apprenticeship sessions were highly helpful.”
“I loved the Marketing, Business Management and Performing Arts. I have learned so much and gained a greater perspective on what my options are and what to consider.”