Business Careers Day at John O’Gaunt School in Hungerford

John O’Gaunt School in Hungerford opened its doors to business leaders and professionals in an innovative and exciting ‘Real World’ Careers Day for Y11 students.

Leaders from a diverse and heady range of professions, generously gave their time in a variety of activities to inspire students and give them a valuable insight into the world of employment, careers opportunities, and expectations.

Among the employer guests were Laura Gale from Gardener Leader Solicitors, Nour Shaker Fayad from Microsoft, Noushin Sikder from AWE, Jon Shatford from his Book-Keeping Consultancy, Gareth Green, Director and Head Coach of Crimson Heat Tigers (a world champion cheerleading sports club), journalist Brian Quinn from Penny Post and Sophie MacFarlane-Smith, working in nuclear physics and global power plant technology for Rolls Royce.

Organised by Careers Lead, Ms Debi Arden-Hunt, the morning began with a Professions Speed-Meet Session, where students asked a series of questions of their guests, to try and guess where their skills and employment lay. They then had the opportunity to explore that career and the paths that led to it. Mrs Jay Morgan, Assistant Vice Principal and Excalibur Academy Trust Lead for Teaching and Learning, said how impressed she was “to see students step up to a real-world situation. They conducted themselves so well – you could see how they had bright futures in their sights, were ambitious, and going to work hard to get there!

The next session saw individual interview spaces set up in the Library, and all students apply for a range of ‘mock jobs’ on offer. The young people then each had a 20 minute, one to one interview, which they had prepared for, followed by constructive feedback. Plenty of support and encouragement was given!

Y11 Student Maddy Harries said “I was really nervous at first, it felt every bit like a real interview, but the interviewer put me at ease! I was surprised how confident and ‘buzzy’ I felt afterwards!“.

Nour Shaker Fayad, an IT Industry lead from Microsoft said she came across some “wonderful and inspiring go getters and tech leads of the future” and could “see them blossom and bloom as their confidence grew.”

Jack Caine SEND Strategy Officer for West Berkshire Council said “The young people overcame any shyness and reservations and were really engaging – I was very impressed – they responded to feedback really positively. It was a great event.


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