This month, our Year 9 AccessHE London Uni Connect students celebrated the end of The Adventure University programme. It brought together our year 9 cohorts from Bower Park Academy and Marshalls Park Academy for an insightful presentation from The Bank of England.
The celebration event kicked off with the Year 9 trainers delivering interactive games and activities to break the ice between students from both schools. This was followed up with a presentation about the ability to create a vision, set goals and work towards achieving them, reinforcing key messages that have been delivered throughout the course of the programme.
Jem Davis, Head of Employee Relations at The Bank of England, then delivered a session outlining to the students the purpose of the Bank of England and its role in achieving economic stability of the country. The session was interactive and students were quizzed on key figures and money management. There was also an opportunity for students to win prizes such as chocolates and shredded bank notes – certainly igniting their interest and appealing to their competitive nature!
Jem continued by sharing her personal career journey, before informing students about the opportunities available at The Bank of England. She particularly focused on opportunities for career progression for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) women, a largely underrepresented group within senior leadership roles in other organisations. Jem also talked about opportunities such as graduate schemes that students can apply for while studying at university, as well as opportunities for those who do not choose to pursue the route of Higher Education.
Jem concluded her session with a Q&A involving many eager students, who questioned why the Bank prints on plastic bank notes, to which Jem responded with a fascinating insight into the process used to create recyclable banknotes in an environmentally-friendly way.
The final session was courtesy of two Uni Connect student ambassadors, who grew up in the local Havering area. Our first Uni Connect student ambassador was a first-year Mathematics student at the LSE. He delivered the presentation alongside his sister, who is a final year undergraduate student, also completing a degree in Mathematics. They both spoke about their personal journeys leading to their university degree choice and the support they received at school in order to identify their strengths in, and ultimately pursue, Mathematics at university. They then signposted the student to the different career opportunities available to graduates who have studied Mathematics and the wide range of skills the degree equips them with.
This session, in line with the holistic theme of the event, provided some valuable food for thought for the students, who were not only able to reflect on their hard work during the programme, but were left informed, inspired and motivated about their future path in life.