On Thursday 25 January, OAs Sam Dent (2008), Joshua Ogle (2008) and Michael Shortis (2012) returned to school to speak with fifth years, sixth form students, and parents about their experiences of taking a gap year as part of a bespoke careers evening on the subject.

Michael Chilcott (2004) also joined in the conversation via Skype from his home in Sweden to lend his experience, and Felix Newman (2012) sent a video message from France detailing his time working a year in industry before heading to university.

With approximately 25 OAs per year helped by the School to explore deferred entry to university in order to pursue a gap year, the evening was designed to help answer queries or possible concerns about taking a year out of education or work, giving insight to the different options available and the effects this could have on future career pathways.

Experiences ranged from travelling the world, temporary work assignments, years in industry and performing live music. Tangible benefits included preparing for life in the working world, enhancing independent problem-solving skills, subsequent enrichment of time spent in higher education at university, developing money management and budgeting skills and having differentiating experiences as talking points at job interviews.

Our sincere thanks to Sam, Joshua, Michael, Felix and Michael for giving the evening their time and support.

“Just a short note to say how useful we found last night’s talk. It raised a few issues that we had not considered and answered many questions we already had. The OAs were very helpful.”

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