Friday 11 March 2011
A diverse group of OAs, parents, pupils and members of staff met at School on Friday 11 March for a professional networking event, hosted by Gareth Morris (1976), OA Club President, and at which we welcomed John Smith, Chief Executive of BBC Worldwide, as a guest speaker.
This event drew together members of the Abingdon School community with an interest in 'creative communication'. The guest list included 15 current pupils, 5 parents and a truly wide-ranging selection OAs, whose leaving years stretched from 1957 (Richard Morse) to 2005 (Tom Swarbrick). There were professionals representing a huge variety of employment sectors including marketing, advertising, public relations, publishing and the media.
The dinner afforded OAs an opportunity to come back to School and catch up with other alumni with a similar professional background. The event also provided current sixth formers and younger OAs with the chance to chat informally with more experienced practitioners from an employment sector they might be considering. This, in turn, provided the more established professionals with an opportunity to identify young talent and do some networking of their own.
At the welcome reception, all the established professionals introduced themselves with a 'nugget' of useful advice for today's jobseeker. Between courses, the seating arrangements were rotated to facilitate the most effective networking experience possible. After dinner, John Smith gave a short and entertaining address on the diversity and enormous scope available to those hoping to build a career in a creative industry (like the media), which sparked a vigorous and wide-ranging discussion, touching on many issues from tips for getting onto the career ladder to the challenges and stimulations of a career in 'business'.
Our special thanks go to Gareth Morris, for hosting the event, to John Smith, for his apt and witty address, and to all those OAs and parents who supported this event, which is part of the OA Club's series of prefessional networking dinners.