Alumni Advice and Adventures

With only one half term down we’ve already welcomed a whole host of Old Waconians to share their post CHS life and career stories with current pupils.

Six Old Waconians joined our Let’s Chat: Careers in Healthcare panel at The Christie to share their top tips for getting into a career in healthcare, in both clinical and non-clinical roles. From physiotherapist to mental health worker, the speakers emphasised the key skills that are needed when working in a healthcare setting. These included resilience, empathy, assertiveness, compassion, and curiosity. One pupil said that their biggest takeaway from the evening was, “that if applying to medicine doesn’t work that there are so many other healthcare professions other than ‘doctor’ that are as important and meaningful and engaging”.

Professor Wendy McCracken, Class of 1970, delivered the first of this year’s Upper Sixth BeyondCHS talks. Entitled “Travels with a stetoclip” she gave an insightful lecture about her experiences as a Teacher of the Deaf not only in the UK but across the world. The topics covered spanned science, politics, aid work and philanthropy, and the challenges that arise when working in countries with changeable governance, finance and even weather.

This year’s Future Self Breakfast talks were kicked off by Matt Owen, Class of 2000, who shared his journey from starting out as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot to changing careers and becoming a financial lawyer. He highlighted his top tips for getting into competitive industries and flagged which skills were highly sought after by employers.

Later in the half term we were joined remotely by James Lomas, Class of 2013, who is the co-founder of Blum Health. Giving a backdrop of the challenges that face the NHS and healthcare settings in general, he explained how his company develop digital systems and solutions to these problems. The talk was really eye opening for anyone considering working in this space and gave a new insight as to where the future of healthcare is heading.

Finally, our Year 12 Enterprise and Finance Pathway pupils were lucky enough to spend the afternoon with award-winning App Marketer and Growth Consultant Hannah Parvaz, Class of 2011. The pupils are in the early stages of creating their own businesses and Hannah’s insight has helped them enormously.

Hannah thoroughly enjoyed coming back too. “It was incredibly rewarding to give back to my hometown community that set me on the path of entrepreneurship and app marketing in the first place. We covered everything from validating business ideas, to identifying your target customer’s core needs, and strategies for marketing across digital channels and social media. After years of mentoring professionals, it was so energizing to engage with the next generation of young founders and hear their innovative solutions for problems across both digital and physical products. I’m endlessly optimistic about the future seeing the passion and creativity these students are harnessing.”