Running a Stand at a Local Secondary School Careers Fair

So a few weeks ago now, actually nearly a month ago to be honest, I attended a local secondary schools careers fair and ran a stall.

The Weald School is a secondary school in Billingshurst, West Sussex in the UK. The school is attended by around 2000+ students.

The event was attended by hundreds if not thousands of students from the school and there were around 50 exhibitors that ranged from universities, local businesses, independent individuals and enterprise businesses.

So How Did I Get Involved…?

I volunteer for a fantastic charity in the UK called, Founders 4 Schools (F4S), who specialise in putting students and young adults in touch with local businesses and industry experts. They do this to try to assist with helping these young adults bridge the gap from the end of their compulsory education into the next step in their careers.

Through this charity, schools and other local education services can post their events and request the attendance of a list of applicable attendees based upon the industries and skills they require.

This time I was lucky enough to be asked to attend, to which I gladly accepted. Once I had accepted the schools careers officer got in touch and we ironed out the finer details.

Why Did I Choose To Get Involved…?

Those of you how know me well, will know that I havenʼt been to university and am also heavily dyslexic. So whilst I can do exams and coursework etc…, writing certainly isnʼt my strength as it looks like a spider with ink on their legs has attacked my paper.

But with this hindrance and never having gone to university I have still got my dream job and do what I love on a daily basis.

Therefore I feel itʼs my responsibility to help other young adults who are in the same position as I was, at the end of their compulsory education years in the UK (GCSEs or A-Levels).

How Did The Event Go…?

Really, really well! There were so many young adults in attendance, a lot with their parents or guardians, who were really willing to open up about what their future aspirations are and their career plans.

It was also great to meet other people who volunteer their time like I do to inspire and help guide these young adults.

I had several really interesting discussions with some local businesses, university staff and other enterprises. Careers Fair

Key Takeaways From The Young Adults I Spoke With

  • Thereʼs still a big misconception around all the roles that are available in the IT industry
    • HR, Marketing, Sales etc…
    • Itʼs not an industry just full of technical people (aka geeks and nerds)
  • Some really donʼt know what they want to do as a career still which shocks me a little
    • How do you think we can help with this?
  • A lot still feel like university is the only way to go for them if they donʼt know what to do
    • I really wonder why as I feel you should study something you love if anything otherwise you wonʼt be fully committed
    • Also the amount of debt that you can rack up for something you potentially will never use again in your career seems silly to me