Careers Convention offers guidance on corporate finance, the creative industries, consultancy, chiropractic medicine and the civil service – and that’s just the Cs!

Careers Convention offers guidance on corporate finance, the creative industries, consultancy, chiropractic medicine and the civil service – and that’s just the Cs!

It’s not just about what you know, nor even who you know…you have to learn to build trust and communicate well if you want to get ahead in your business career.

That was one of the important messages at the School’s 2024 Careers Convention, held as part of the new QE Futures programme.

Dozens of Old Elizabethans and other supporters turned out to help Year 11 find their path during a day that featured morning talks and a series of workshops, as well as a careers fair, where boys had the opportunity to gain one-to-one support and guidance.

Assistant Head (Pupil Destinations) James Kane, who heads QE Futures, said: “The day provides insights into a range of careers from those already embedded in them. We find that the large number of our alumni who help are especially able to understand the current boys and their perspective.

“Naturally, the guests do share some role-specific guidance during the day, but many stressed the broader skills that are highly valued in their wider sector. It was notable that all those who spoke about careers in business, finance and insurance emphasised the importance of being able to communicate verbally and successfully build personal relationships – that those being most successful in these careers are the people who can build trust with their clients and colleagues.

“The day was very positively received by the boys and by our visitors. My thanks go to all who gave their time: we hope to see you back at QE soon.”

The day started with an introduction by Mr Kane in the Main School Hall and plenary sessions on Keeping an Open Mind by performance coach and motivational speaker Kam Taj (OE 2004–2011) and on Appropriate Alternatives to University by Annice Abanda, an adviser with the Education Development Trust for the ASK Programme (Apprenticeship Support And Knowledge For Schools And Colleges).

It was, Kam said afterwards, “wonderful to return” and speak to the 180 pupils. He shared three ‘takeways’:

  1. You are not meant to know your future path, provided you know your current goals and ambitions and can move on when they change.
  2. Celebrate when you find something you dislike, because this discomfort supplies the impetus to ask what you want to do and to change your situation.
  3. We are constantly changing, so reject norms that no longer suit you, embracing change and honouring your growth.

The boys then went to their chosen talks in two half-hour sessions before lunch. These covered careers in areas including: Medicine; Entrepreneurship; Business; Finance & Insurance; and STEM.

The afternoon’s careers fair in the Shearly Hall enabled the boys to practise their networking skills as they sought more information about the different options available to them.

Among those advising on careers in Engineering was Rahil Shah (2012–2019), who shared with the pupil delegates about his own journey towards his current role as a software engineer at Bloomberg. After the convention, he reflected on his experience there: “I met a lot of bright, driven students who had ideas of going into STEM at A-Level, university and beyond.

“Some students had more clarity on this future trajectory than others. But that is PERFECTLY OK! Reading Computer Science at university was a leap of faith for me. I must have changed my mind on what I wanted to study at least five times.”

Held in parallel with the two careers fair sessions were several workshops. Among those proving popular was the one entitled Preparing for university and the world of work led by Arvind Raghu, Sujan Boddu, Vishruth Dhamodharan and Akshit Varkala.

  • Click on the thumbnails below to view photos from the day.