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Reaching Destinations

It was lovely to see so many OCs come back to speak to, and inspire, the Lower Sixth at the Destination Dinner on Tuesday 14 March. Victoria Abband (OC 2008, Harcourt), Isabel Ford (OC 2007, Swift), Eve Garrett (OC 2007, Feilden), Elliot Kratt (2012, Gascoigne), Christian Perkins (OC 2005, Harcourt) and Francesca Roberts (OC 2008, Swift) talked about their current careers, the route they took to get there, and their future plans. It was interesting to hear that where they started out in tertiary education is not necessarily where they ended up in their careers.

Victoria spoke about her background in Biomedical Science and Business, and how it has led her into her into working at a medical device company, where she combines her knowledge of both her degree and masters. She mentioned the importance of following something they are passionate about, even if it doesn’t lead to where they end up. Victoria also stressed they should aim to finish any tertiary education that they start to help set them up for the world of work.

Isabel talked to the Lower Sixth about her origins in Art and Design at Cokethorpe, and her path to her current role as a Fashion Print Designer. She spoke of her enjoyment of designing print concepts and the success she has had, with several high street brands picking up her designs. Following on from Victoria, she promoted the importance of following the path of something they are really passionate about in order to succeed.

Eve talked about the importance of job satisfaction, and her love of her current role of helping those with autism to learn to function in the real world. From teaching learners how to take a bus, to weekly outings to the gym, she helps them to live independent lives, and credits Cokethorpe and her love of Drama with helping her along this route.

Elliot spoke to the Lower Sixth about his career path, starting with his A Levels at Cokethorpe. After finding he had an interest in law and politics during his A Levels, he worked hard to get the grades he needed to get onto his International Relations degree. He has followed this path to become a political risk analyst with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa, having previously spent time in Africa working in this field. This enables him to produce reports, and advise clients on, risk mitigation, counterpart risk or market entry strategies.

Christian talked about his route into land procurement and residential development. From uncertain beginnings after not taking the assumed next step into tertiary education, he took on work as an electrician. From here, he got a job where he was able to undertake his Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors accreditation whilst still working. This led to him undertaking a BSc in Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management, culminating in now working with a partner to develop their own projects. He has worked on projects ranging from £1m - £50m+.

Francesca started her talk with two short videos, showcasing her work. As a TV producer, she is responsible for overseeing and project managing the whole process for adverts with million pound budgets. She works for the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, where her clients include Direct Line, EE, HSBC, Asda and Toyota. She talked about her route down this career path from her love of Drama, which started at Cokethorpe.

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