Posted on May 22nd 2018
A Taste of the City of London for Year 10
Twenty four students from Year 10 spent the day at Canary Wharf and in the City of London this week meeting people who work for leading companies including Barclays, Adidas and Amazon.
The Whittington Day 2018 included a ride on the Thames Clipper to Canary Wharf, workshops on CV writing and interview skills at Barclays, and a chance to see behind the scenes at Barclaycard.
At London's Guildhall our students met young graduates including former Bexley student Jack Lauricourt (pictured below), who now works for Adidas. The graduates spoke about their career paths and answered questions. Students also learned about networking skills from barrister Claire Palmer.
"The day teaches children our age about working life and the opportunities we have," said David, Year 10. "I could see that people really like their jobs at Barclays. I want to be an architect but if that doesn't work out maybe I'll work at Barclays now! Today has helped me find out in life what I want to do."
"It's all about taking the children out of their current surroundings and giving them an opportunity to come to Canary Wharf and the City of London to explore opportunities within financial services and all sorts of areas," said Nick Wilkins, Senior Fraud Manager at Barclays, who has been helping to organise the day for 13 years.
"We involve people from lots of different backgrounds in the day. For example they meet people with and without degrees - from our intern programme or our graduate programme. One of the key messages is that big companies like Barclays have opportunities for everyone – whether you’re good at presentations and communication, analysing facts, or IT and technology. A good team is made up of our individuals with very different skills."
The CV and interview skills workshops are particularly useful, he says. "Once students are in a corporate environment sessions like this seem a lot more real. We also stress the importance of doing what you are good at rather than what you feel you should do, because that way your true self will come out."
This year for the first time students went on a tour of Barclays, including visiting the 24th floor where they saw the environment within which people work.
Rameez, Year 10, said: "It was good to see that people really like their jobs. We met a lot of different people from different backgrounds. I like the cafeteria at Barclays and the views from the 30th floor."
Sharon, Year 10, said: “It is a good experience to come and see what it’s like working in London and meet top people too."
To be selected for the day, students had to apply saying why they wanted to come on the trip, said business studies teacher David Hem. "Around 70% of students applied so to choose the final 24 we did interviews and also looked at their application forms and their classwork too."
The annual Whittington Day, which has been taking place every year since 2002, is made possible with the kind support of the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, the Whittington Trust, Barclays Bank and others.
Chair of Governors Beverley Johnston (right), pictured with former students Jack Lauricourt (centre) and Vincent Sam, who now work for Adidas and Amazon and are both Freeman of the City of London. "I'm pleased to do this because it's a chance to give something back," says Jack. "It's useful for students to meet younger professionals like us because I think they feel free to ask questions. I can speak about my own journey, since I only left school in 2013."
Students pictured with Stephen Anderton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, which sponsors our annual Whittington Day.
Arriving on the Thames Clipper from Woolwich.
Getting a visitors pass at Barclays reception.
John Whittaker, Barclays Head of Operational Risk and Strategy, talks to students about the importance of doing work you enjoy. "As you start to think about A levels and university, hold on to what you like and are good at. Join those two things together, work to the best of your ability, and you’ll enjoy your education more.”
Ellis (right) talks about how she joined Barclays on an apprenticeshop progamme. "I was in your shoes just a few years ago, trying to decide what to do," she told students. Chris (left) joined Barclays after walking down his high street and seeing an advertisement for a cashier at his local branch. He now has a senior job at head office reporting to regulators.
CV writing workshop, supported by staff from Barclays. How to put together a CV. What to include and not include.