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Chiswick School students speed network for success
Two hundred year nine Chiswick School students visited Chiswick Park last week to take part in a ‘Speed Networking Day’. The event is part of the students’ ‘Future Focus’ employability programme; eight careers education activities that take place over three academic years, contributing to an employability portfolio that all Chiswick students will leave school with.
Invited by Enjoy-Work who manage Chiswick Park, nearly 40 local business people were involved in ‘speed networking’ with small groups of Chiswick students. Participating companies included: Discovery, Aker Solutions, Otis, Foxtons and Knight Frank. Students had six minutes to find out as much as they could about what different jobs entailed, meeting, amongst others; a TV producer, an engineer, a graphic designer, a project manager, a policeman, an editor, an events manager, a head of IT, a chartered surveyor and an engineering apprentice.
Asked what the event taught them about the world of work, students commented: ‘Never give up on your dream’, ‘Work can be really pressurised’, ‘ Learn from your mistakes’, ‘Be prepared to do a lot of problem solving’ and ‘Working very hard will make you successful’. Elizabeth Lawrence, the school’s Careers Advisor said; “Students gained so much from this event. It is tempting for a year nine student to only envisage working in a role that they come across in their everyday life or in a job that someone does in their family. Speed networking opens the students’ eyes to so many other career possibilities.”
Gemma McNeilis for Enjoy-Work, explained, “We have been involved in Chiswick School’s Future Focus programme from the start. Each year we’re seeing growing number of employees from Chiswick Park supporting it, and it’s really gathering momentum. We see the employees getting as much from the experience as the students and we look forward to the students returning to the Park as the workforce of the future!”
Head Teacher, Tony Ryan remarked, “It was a brilliant occasion. Students were completely engaged and asked some wonderful questions of the employers.”