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Local students speed to the top of the class

Over two hundred year 10 Chiswick School students visited Chiswick Park this month to take part in a ‘Speed Networking Day’. The event is part of the students’ ‘Future Focus’ employability programme; eight careers education activities that take place over three academic years, contributing to an employability portfolio that all Chiswick students will leave school with.

Invited by Enjoy-Work who manage Chiswick Park, 24 local business people were involved in ‘speed networking’ with small groups of Chiswick students. Participating companies included: Discovery, Aker Solutions, BlueFin Solutions Foxtons and Starbucks. Students had six minutes to find out as much as they could about what different jobs entailed, meeting, amongst others, psychologists, lawyers, accountants, managers and directors.

The students commented after on what they learnt: ‘Never give up on your dream’, ‘Work can be really pressurised’, ‘ Learn from your mistakes’, ‘Be prepared to do a lot of problem solving’ and ‘Working very hard will make you successful’. Elizabeth Lawrence, the school’s Careers Advisor said; Elizabeth Lawrence, Chiswick School Career Adviser said ' Inspired by the magnificent setting that is Chiswick Park, the students were engaged in this activity right from the start. They asked some fascinating questions of the people they were networking with which went far beyond 'how much do you earn?' or 'what exams did you do?'. The students' feedback shows that they all took away an increased awareness of what really matters in the world of work.

Volunteer Pavithra from BlueFin Solutions remarked, “It’s so incredibly important that businesses support young people. As someone who is relatively new to the work environment, I remember how daunting and difficult to relate to the adult world of work seems but with a few simple skills young people can be well equipped."