Between the spring and summer terms, Brampton College invited seventeen external speakers from different universities to come and talk to our students about different degree pathways. These talks were organised by the careers department and the guest speakers were a mixture of student ambassadors as well as university lecturers.
The spring term started with a talk from Corinne Hanlon at Queen Mary University London (QMUL) about ‘Alternatives to Medicine’. This had a focus on Medical Engineering (BEng entry for 2016 AAB), and included fascinating information about different areas such as biomechanics, prosthetics, as well as technical advances in Dentistry. QMUL Graduates of Materials Science and Engineering (BEng entry for 2016 ABB) earn approximately £28K p.a. within six months of leaving university. Dr Volpe, also from QMUL, came to speak to students about what it is like to study ‘Economics’ (entry for 2016 AAA), and related degree courses to a range of related employment pathways. Ian Morley, fund manager, financial journalist and international speaker at investment forums, gave a talk about, ‘Economics in a Geo-Political World.’ We were fortunate that he was able to fit us into his busy schedule.
Two student ambassadors from Brunel University (47th in the Times Higher Education top 50 worldwide new universities) gave engaging talks about ‘Politics and History’ (entry for 2016 BBB) and ’Biomedical Science’ (entry for 2016 BBB). Of particular benefit to the students, was being able to speak to someone closer in age about what it is like to be at university. Liam, as a final year Politics student, focussed on the need for a pro-active approach at university, his placement year working at the House of Commons proved particularly useful for him. His colleague, Emma, studying Biomedical Sciences explained that she was going on to study post-graduate nursing after a year’s work placement in a Pharmaceutical Company confirmed her decision to follow an alternative career path. Both students emphasised the need for research relating to course and university choice. They explained that it is essential to choose a subject that you enjoy and which provides a source of motivation for successful higher education study.
One of Brampton College A level students has taken a lot of time investigating Higher Apprenticeships and Sponsored degrees from the BIG 4: PWC, KMPG, EY & DELOITTE. Ben Ezekiel, gave an impressive, interesting and well researched talk covering the options for students interested in Accounting and Finance and related fields. He too stressed the need for pro-activity as well as company awareness and work experience in a variety of environments if possible.
The summer term started with a talk from Birmingham University. This was duplicated for students and parents, with a focus on how to choose a degree course as well as what admissions tutors are looking for in a personal statement. The general advice is for AS students to start building up their work experience, extracurricular reading and visits to taster days at universities across London. All of these help students to make informed choices about degrees and universities, as well as being good material for enhancing the personal statement.
After half term, and crucially after most exams have finished, Brampton College holds its annual UCAS week for AS students. Three days in June were dedicated to bringing in external speakers as well as having regular personal tutor meetings and one to one sessions with our higher education consultants. A few of the talks added a different perspective to the Economics talks in the spring term – the more information the better on this subject, as Economics, Accounting and Finance and Business Studies are very popular pathways for Brampton College students. We arranged for Professor Pearlman from City University (entry for 2016 AAB) to talk about Economics and he imparted some very useful information. Dr Chen from Brunel University was very interactive with the students when discussing Finance and Accounting (entry for 2016 ABB). She was approachable and encouraged questions, and gave them her email address should they need any more information about the course, which currently shows 97% student satisfaction (Unistats.direct.gov.uk, 2015). Paul Conyers who teaches computing and physics at Brampton College gave an interesting talk about ‘Science in the City.’ This talk highlighted the importance of Maths as a skill, and reflected his years of experience working in the financial sector.
Moving away from Economics, speakers also came in to talk to students about Pharmacy, Psychology, Law and Humanities. Dilip Chauhan is a parent of one of our students and has his own Pharmacy business. His talk was about skills needed within healthcare, how important the role of the Pharmacist is with knowledge of drugs for patients, as well as an understanding of ethical issues. He used a couple of case-studies to engage the students in lively discussion. Dr Richard Cooke from City University talked about Psychology as a degree (entry for 2016 AAB, and rated 2nd out of London Universities), as well as his research into face recognition, for example showing students a face of Margaret Thatcher upside down; the context being implications of face-recognition for identifying suspects in a criminal case. Ms Elaine Carter and Mrs Claire Lillywhite came from Surrey University to talk about different careers within the legal profession, including different entry routes from studying LLB as an undergraduate, or qualifying with a graduate conversion course, (Law at Surrey entry for 2016 AAA). One of the speakers had been in the profession and was able to highlight the different careers open to LLB graduates. A more general talk about Humanities subjects; History, Geography, English, Languages, Economics, Theology, Politics … to name a few, helped to inform students of the wide range of career options available to them. It is worth noting that approximately 70% of jobs do not need a specific degree subject. Internships for undergraduates of humanities subjects can vary from placements with e.g. HSBC, John Lewis, BP, the list is extensive.
Talks about Student Finance (Surrey), Choosing Universities (QMUL), UCAS applications and Personal Statements (Brampton College) helped to complete the week. Students were encouraged to visit university open days (www.opendays.com), and given valuable information about how to manage their budgets and student loans. The value of part time work whilst studying was also reinforced as good for the pocket, but also for building up CV’s.
These talks give an enormous amount of added value to our students. Our higher education (HE) advisers enjoy arranging the talks and maintaining links with key universities both in and out of the London area. Our HE advisers are always available for appointments to discuss all aspects of the university application process.