The jobs and careers the girls will enjoy in the future do not necessarily exist yet, so at Queen’s we consider it vital to develop skills which will transfer easily to many different career paths. This is partly achieved through a focus on softer transferable skills and valuable volunteering experience.
Every year we see Queen’s girls win prestigious scholarships, internships, competitions and awards. We see them accepted onto highly competitive courses, thrive in tough interview situations and stand out from the crowd while on work experience placements. Girls leave us not just well qualified but articulate, capable and thoughtful with the flexibility to face the challenges and opportunities of the future head-on.
Alumnae Mentor Programme
Our girls are well aware of the wealth of talent that has gone before them: from mountaineers and TV presenters to artists, scientists and entrepreneurs, our former students regularly return for talks and visits in order that they may pass on their knowledge, experiences and expertise. It is enormously powerful and only happens because our former pupils are more than willing to inspire others as they were inspired themselves. Hearing from female role models engaged in a wide variety of fields is absolutely vital.
The interconnection of Alumnae and Careers Departments is a very new initiative, even in the US, and we are excited to be at the forefront of developing this for our girls! The key areas that Careers and Alumnae Departments liaise on are alumnae visits, alumnae connections with individual students for mentoring and careers advice, and alumnae supporting the mock interview programme. We regularly hold alumnae lunches where small groups of Year 12 are invited to lunch with the speaker prior to their presentation to a wider audience. Subject staff also make arrangements for alumnae to visit lessons and talks, as well as inviting them to speak as part of our academic lecture programme. We have recently created a new Sixth Form prefect role of ‘Alumnae Prefect’ in order to increase networking opportunities for current pupils.
The Oxbridge Life and Uni Life events are extremely successful. We welcome back Oxford and Cambridge students to speak to Year 11 and Year 12 and for Uni Life welcome back alumnae who speak honestly to the whole of Year 12 as a panel, and in smaller discussion groups, about all aspects of life stepping from Queen’s to university.
We are fortunate in having a wide network of experienced individuals in a variety of careers who volunteer as industry mentors. Our Virtual Boardroom, centred upon cloud-based Zoom Videoconferencing technology, is an exciting facility that provides girls with face-to-face access to their industry mentor. Mentors are able to connect from their Smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. Pupils and mentors can exchange information and collaborate on project documents.
Our industry mentors, in addition to helping with Career Fairs and giving talks, act as mentors for individual girls in the Sixth Form or groups of girls running business-style projects.
Small groups of pupils in Year 9 are mentored in developing their own projects in response to a ‘brief’, which they work on together as a team. The teams of girls work largely independently and make use of the Virtual Boardroom facilities to meet regularly having set their own agendas, deadlines and aims. The projects range from planning an event in school to designing a new archive room, and they enable the girls to undertake genuine research, develop their own ideas, products and services that are fit for purpose and have a clear end market or user, and to ensure their projects are undertaken on time and on budget.
Our virtual boardroom, equipped with the latest audio-visual and conferencing facilities, provides the perfect space for girls to give and hear presentations and also for classes of pupils to ‘meet’ other classes in other countries, providing a real-life cultural opportunity to feel connected to the world at large.