Empowering Futures: Highlights from Future Self Convention

Pupils and parents came together last week for our highly anticipated Future Self Convention. Over 50 industry professionals and universities from across the country came together, with more than half of the advisors being Old Waconians.

Employer stalls represented a diverse range of career paths from traditional professions such as architecture, Law, medicine and teaching, to the uniformed services such as the Army, Police and the Navy. There were also more creative sector stalls than ever before, including film & TV production co-ordinators, media educators and session musicians.

Holden Hall became a hub of knowledge, hosting a series of engaging talks from Old Waconians. Topics ranged from understanding more about apprenticeships to navigating competitive industries, with a spotlight on fields such as dentistry, careers in the Royal Navy, and Sports Law. These talks not only offered a deeper understanding of various industries but also provided a valuable platform for Waconians to ask questions and gain first-hand advice.

Old Waconian Grace Woosey (Class of 2022), delivered an inspiring talk about apprenticeships, where she batted off the myths and stigmas around this route of education and employment. Lauren Greig-Williams, from the Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network, explained the different levels of training, from intermediate apprenticeships to degree apprenticeships, helping build a deeper understanding for both pupils and parents.

Grace commented, “Coming back to CHS to share my apprenticeship journey was amazing and the increased interest, from only 5 people in my year exploring the route to a packed Holden Hall, was incredible to see. Degree apprenticeships allow you to not only earn whilst you learn but also build an industry network and contribute to innovative projects. I thoroughly enjoyed answering pupils/parents’ questions and hope many more are considering applying.”

Last year’s 2023 Old Waconian Early Career Award winner, Haroon Munir (Class of 2018) spoke about his transition from CHS into the world of dentistry and succeeding into competitive industries. He explained the different routes you can take and gave valuable advice on how our pupils can put themselves out there and stand out from the crowd.

Mrs Haffner, Director of The Waconian Programme and convention organiser, explained: “Nowadays the Future Self Convention aims to give pupils a broader understanding of all available routes into education and training after leaving CHS, providing more than simply information about university degrees and traditional careers. We know from the jobs that our Old Waconians are moving into that the job market is changing rapidly and some careers that exist now weren’t even around 10 years ago.

We’re also aware that the quality of apprenticeships is higher and that the demands and needs of our pupils are changing. The Future Self Convention helps prepare Waconians for the future in whatever field they want to head down, and for whatever path they choose. Seeing Old Waconians come back and deliver talks and advise pupils really brings home the value of this event.

The Future Self convention is a biennial event for CHS pupils in Years 9-13, with the aim to equip Waconians with the knowledge and support they need to embark on their chosen paths with confidence and clarity.

This year we were thrilled that so many of our advisors were Old Waconians, showcasing a real sense of community and desire to help the future generations. Our alumni remember being in the same boat as our current pupils and want to give back to the School that supported them to reach their potential. CHS empowers our Old Waconians, and we are proud of their achievements and contribution to society. Highlighting them at this convention helps to strengthen our alumni relationships and to broaden the career paths represented at the Future Self Convention year on year.

We want to extend our thanks to all advisors, speakers, industry professionals and universities who came together to make the event a huge success.

Take a look at the gallery here!