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Careers Convention 2023

Careers Convention 2023

On the final Friday of the Easter term, we welcomed Old Canfordians and parents to the Canford Centenary Careers Convention.

The aim of the Convention is to enable our Sixth Formers to learn more about career paths beyond school from parents and OCs and to build connections which could lead to mentoring or even work experience opportunities. This year we were very grateful to the 70 volunteers representing a wide range of industries including Business Management, Entrepreneurship, Environmental, Science and the Public sector. The event started with pupils and volunteers in a conference style setting with special guest and Old Canfordian Sam Jones S09 presenting the first session of the day. Sam left Canford in 2009 to read Philosophy at Cardiff University. His entrepreneurial flair saw him embark on various business ventures, from selling vintage clothing and nightclub tickets, and developing a nightclub ticketing app before joining Red Bull and rising through the ranks, travelling around the world, as their Global Brand Manager. His most recent and well-known achievement is as founder of tech company Gener8. In 2021 Sam appeared on Dragons' Den to seek investment for his business, where he delivered what Dragon Touker Suleyman described as “one of the best pitches” he’d ever heard. Fast-forward two years, Gener8 has over 600,000 users, more than six million visitors and further funding from a consortium of investors, including Harry Redknapp, Tinie Tempah, and ex-cricket captain Chris Gayle. As part of his presentation, Sam talked about his inspirational career journey and his determination to pursue his goals, stating “Action always wins” and “I don’t believe many careers are linear. The magic happens when you take risks.” Thank you to Sam for joining us at Canford and for taking the time to answer questions from pupils following his presentation.

Two sessions of industry panels followed in the afternoon where more detailed questions could be asked and explored. The day concluded with the ever popular ‘speed-dating’ style networking session allowing Canfordians to talk one-to-one to the volunteers in particular areas of interest.

After the event, OCs and parents involved were invited for a well-earned drink in the Rathbone Room.

Rowena Gaston, Development Director, said:

The Careers Convention is an annual event enjoyed enormously by all who take part.  OCs and parents take great delight in talking to Canfordians and were impressed this year by their enthusiasm and tenacity. Pupils gain so much from the day and visibly grow in confidence by the time they join the one-to-one networking session at the end of the event.  Bringing together different members of the Canford community is always a pleasure.  The pupils depart fizzing with information and ideas and our volunteers are exhausted but feel fulfilled at giving back their time and expertise."

Michael Doherty, Head of Careers, commented:

I was really pleased with the way that the pupils were proactive and made the most of the opportunity to meet with and talk to so many volunteers with such varied experiences. The pupils now look forward to the networking session as an opportunity to develop an important life skill as well as find out more about possible job roles or careers. We are very grateful to our volunteers for giving up their time to provide such valuable advice."