The OA Club recently hosted a Sixth Form Careers Evening at which volunteer OAs returned to give Lower Sixth students both industry specific and general career advice. 25 OAs illustrated their career pathways since leaving School and demystified their industries in small in-depth group discussions throughout the Yang Science Centre. Conversations then continued over an informal dinner back in the dining hall – a trip down memory lane for many!

Pupils benefited from speaking to seasoned and young professionals including engineers, doctors, barristers, civil servants, journalists, aviation specialists, clinical academics, financiers and consultants. There was also a fantastic range of organisations represented including Coca Cola EP, Vodafone Foundation, Oxfordshire Mind, dunnhumby, Ministry of Defence, Verizon, the Architectural Association, Wisebuddha, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy and Jaguar Land Rover.

This year saw a marked increase in interest from students keen to learn about start-up businesses and entrepreneurialism, which several OAs were able to give advice having set up companies in sectors including engineering, energy and technology.

Our thanks to all involved in making the evening a success.

“I was impressed by the format you organised, with the panel discussion leading well to the interactive small groups. One of the boys picked my brains over dinner about his Model UN conference the next day.”

“It was an absolute pleasure to be involved in the evening.”

“I enjoyed meeting the boys and can see that the intellect is shining through.”

“Thank you very much for asking me to come and help. I enjoyed the evening, and the curiosity of some of the boys.”

Twitter: Honoured to speak to a bright & enthusiastic L6th @abingdonschool last week. I hope I gave a picture of a UK energy system full of opportunities for young, dynamic #engineers. If just one pupil takes a fresh look at energy as a result, I would be made up. @oldabingdonians

Student feedback: The group discussions were great! I got a lot of useful advice out of them and the different perspectives of the two OAs I went to see (Paul Green and Hugh Taylor). I think the fact that they took unconventional routes in their lives and it wasn't as formulaic… was great in getting wider life advice out of what they said. There was enough time to talk to them and they clearly knew what they were talking about. I think all the OAs were chosen well and a lot of them had interesting things to say. …The event was, in my opinion, very successful and well put together. I think everyone got something out of it.

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