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Alumni Speaker changes student perception

Suggested Age Range: 13 - 16
Hours to Prepare & Review: 2
Type of Activity: Employer Talk

Eloise was in a group of year 9 students who were extremely disruptive and disengaged and identified as at risk of being NEET.

The careers leader organised a workshop for them where alumni, who themselves had experienced challenges while at school, would come back in and recount their career journeys into successful roles.

It took over 20 mins to coax Eloise to agreed to come into the classroom and join the group.

One of the alumni, an HR officer, disclosed the fact that her career pathway had started as a professional dancer and performer and that this role had provided a number of transferable skills into other workplaces such as public speaking, confidence, communication, time management, design and planning.  Eloise, who was from a disadvantaged background, learned that the alumna had come from similar circumstances and was instantly engaged due to their shared love of dance.

Eloise had the perception that her choices for pathways were limited and had been told her parents that dance was not a viable option as a career.  Their conversations continued well after the workshop had ended and Eloise was the last student to leave.

Her tutor has since linked up a mentoring opportunity with the alumna which helped re-engage Eloise in her lessons now that her aspirations for her future had been raised by this encounter.