Past Students’ Career Paths

The links below give a valuable insight to the career paths of some of our past students. Click on each one to find out about the different careers and what it takes to be successful in their line of work.  You may even recognise some familiar faces!

Academia

What is your name?

Ellie Byrne

What is your job title?

Researcher in Philosophy at the University of York.

When were you at Lymm High School?

2007-2014

What is your best memory from school?

My best memory from school is probably my two years at Sixth Form. This was where academic possibilities really started to open up for me, and I started to understand what I was passionate about. As well as this, I really enjoyed the community and spending so much time with my friends (many of whom remain my closest friends today).

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

I wish I knew that it didn’t matter so much – relax, it gets easier. This isn’t me saying it’s not important to do well and work hard – rather, it is an incredibly difficult time mentally, and this makes it very easy to become overwhelmed, anxious, and feel as though if you don’t perform 100% then, that it will ruin your life. This just isn’t how it works. Rarely is one’s career so linear – things take unexpected trajectories. I also wish I had more confidence: I had to work very hard to pass my GCSE maths; I was very anxious and insecure about it. That was at least 80% of the problem – not my ability. Don’t let your grades at school undermine your confidence in yourself and what you can bring to the table.

What is your job?

I work in the Department of Philosophy at the University of York. I’m just finishing my PhD there, so I spend most of my time writing my thesis at the minute. My research area is the philosophy of psychiatry and medicine – so I look at how philosophy can help inform how we understand, diagnose and treat mental and physical illnesses. I also work on a research project at the University called ‘Grief: A Study of Human Emotional Experience’ in which we hope to contribute to understanding of what it is like to grieve. Alongside research, I deliver lectures and seminars at the University.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

I always knew that I wanted to pursue a PhD, but I wasn’t sure of the details. It can take years of learning to fully understand what makes you tick. In school, I had quite disparate interests, and it took me a long time to figure out what unified all of those subject areas (and I am still making those connections). Not being sure what you’re interested in isn’t a sign of apathy. Pragmatically, schools have to split the subjects up. But this is somewhat arbitrary – everything is connected. So don’t put pressure on yourself to find out what ‘kind’ of subjects you want to pursue.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

Above all, I needed the relevant A-levels to get onto my undergraduate degree (Philosophy at the University of York). I did the A-level in Philosophy and Ethics of Religion which was a great introduction to some aspects of philosophy. In a round-about way, all of my other A-levels were relevant to what I do now too. English Language and Psychology introduced me to thinkers like Chomsky and Freud (who I still study now), and German gave me the skills to read pieces of philosophy in their original language.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to go into academia?

I would advise people who want to go into academia to have faith in themselves and their interests (even if they seem weird!), and try to find inspiration to keep you engaged. Expose yourself to people and ideas that you admire: watch lectures on YouTube, read books, send emails. This will help you in difficult times when you lose confidence (life is hard – this will happen sometimes).

Account Manager

What is your name?

Amy-Jane Savage

What is your job title?

Account Manager

When were you at Lymm High School?

I left in 2016.

What is your best memory from school?

Our leavers day, we had so much fun pranking the teachers and it was so great to reminisce on all our amazing memories over the years.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

To be open minded to all sorts of jobs/careers – You might just stumble across a career you love but never thought even existed!

What is your job?

I manage the relationship between my company and our clients to upsell and cross sell into the accounts. I also place graduates into entry level sales roles all across the country with incredible companies offering amazing career progression.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

It was always something I thought about but I love my job more than I thought I would.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

They taught me the meaning of hard work and that if you want something you have to put in the hard work to get there. They taught me resilience as at first you may not always succeed but if you don’t just keep trying and it will ALWAYS pay off. And they taught me the importance of working together to achieve a common goal.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students?

Be yourself, be enthusiastic and confident in your own ability. You are capable of more than you think and if you work hard you will be rewarded.

Accounts administrator

What is your name?

Jess Hollowell

What is your job title?

Accounts administrator

When were you at Lymm High School?

Finished sixth form in 2013 🤢

What is your best memory from school?

Right now you’ll probably be thinking you can’t wait to get out of sixth form, but honestly you’ll look back and it will have been the best time of your life!

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

That it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to work out what you want to do and not going to uni won’t be the end of the world! when I left sixth form I worked full time at Costa for a few years and made friends for life, it doesn’t matter what you choose to do as long as you’re happy!

What is your job?

I work in the accounts department for a Health & Safety Consultancy, I’ve worked there for 4 years.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

Definitely not. I chose not to go to uni and I’ve been in education ever since, from a teaching assistant course to a business admin apprenticeship to studying to be an accountant. I’m 25 and think I’ve finally found what I want to do!

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

Business studies definitely played a big part in my career choice

What advice would you give to Lymm High students?

You’ll hear a lot that accounts is boring but if you find a good place to work and enjoy who you work with you’ll love it.

Accountancy

What is your name?

Claudia Lyne

What is your job title?

Senior Auditor

When were you at Lymm High School?

2005-2012

What is your best memory from school?

Being a part of the brass band and going on our European Tour.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

If you have plans to live abroad one day, then choose a career/ qualification that’s transferable overseas. I was able to transfer my accountancy membership easily when I moved to Australia and got straight back to work.

What do you do in your job?

I review client’s financial statements for misstatements. I have visited clients in a huge range of industries – from high-end jewellery retailers to F3 racing teams. I currently audit Not-For-Profit entities across Australia.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

Not at all! I wanted to be a veterinary surgeon for most of my life, but I am so glad that career path didn’t work out.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

The accountancy exams are notoriously difficult, yet I was able to use some of the revision techniques that I learned from school to get me through them.

What advice would you give to students who want to be an accountant?

You don’t need to go to university to become an accountant /auditor. Go to college and study AAT and you could be a chartered accountant years before any finance graduate.

Animal Keeper

What is your name?

Lucy Bennison

What is your job title?

Intern at Chester Zoo

When were you at Lymm High School?

2009-2016

What is your best memory from school?

My favourite memories from school would most likely be during Sixth Form mixing with everyone in the Hexagon. You don’t realise until you leave school how difficult it is to organise to see a big group of your friends once you are all following different paths.

What is your job?

I am currently doing an internship at Chester Zoo as a Rhino and hoofstock keeper after studying Zoology at the University of Bristol. My role is very hands on and a lot of hard manual work but it is definitely worth it when you read about the amazing conservation work the zoo contributes to.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

I was one of the lucky few who since a young age has always known the industry I wanted to work in. This made choosing the subject of zoology to study at university an easy one.

My degree was a requirement for where I am now as well as various work experiences I have undertaken over the years.

What advice would you give students who want to work in communications?

My advice to those thinking about the future now is study what you love and follow your passion because then work will never feel like a chore. I was lucky enough to always know the section I wanted to work in but if you don’t yet then don’t worry because the experiences you have will help you realise.

Work experience is the best way to realise what you enjoy or maybe hate. Even my small summer jobs helped me develop skills and rule out lines of work I wouldn’t want to be involved in.

Bid Writer

What is your name?

Ellie Benson

What is your job title?

I am a Bid Writer for a commercial cleaning company.

When were you at Lymm High School?

School from 2009-2014. Sixth Form 2014-2016.

What is your best memory from school?

The last day of Sixth Form- a bittersweet memory as in a lot of ways, it was sad saying goodbye to people but you always know you’ll stay in contact with those who really are your true friends.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

Don’t stress about it. In today’s society so much pressure is put on young people knowing exactly what they want to do. Just do something you enjoy and I can guarantee from that, you’ll figure out what it is you want to do.

What is your job?

I write bids and tenders to secure contracts for my company to clean for clients. I also write blog posts and press releases.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

No. To be honest, until I went for the interview I didn’t know what bid writing was. I followed my own advice – I love writing and English and figured out what I wanted to do after going to uni to do my English Degree

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

I did both English’s at A-level and went to Sheffield Hallam to do an English Degree.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be a Bid Writer?

Learn how to compose your writing in a way that is engaging. Also, learn how to properly structure a sentence and learn the difference between there, their and they’re. You’ll be surprised how many people don’t know this.

Biologist

What is your name?

David Marshall

What is your job title?

I’m a molecular and structural biology PhD student at the University of Manchester.

When were you at Lymm High School?

I finished Sixth Form at LHS in 2015.

What is your best memory from school?

I have loads of amazing memories from summer trips to Tyn y felin to our head of Sixth Form’s infamous beige suit…

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

Thinking back, I wish I put a little less pressure on what my future would be. Even though I’ve taken a fairly linear route from school to uni to postgraduate study, there’s been plenty of opportunities to do loads of weird things, and lots of people I was at school with have found jobs outside of what they initially studied after school.

What is your job?

I spend most of my week in the lab running experiments to better understand what goes on inside the cells that we’re made up of. I do still have meetings with other scientists to try and figure out what I should do next if I get an interesting result or stuff isn’t working. It’s great working with other people who are passionate about the same thing as you! I really enjoy how self directed my research is and that I’m trusted to carry it out.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

I never really expected to end up going down this route. Initially, I expected I’d find a job in an office at a computer, but I never really figured out what this would be. Towards the end of my time at university this changed and I did several internships in labs over my summer breaks to see if research was what I really wanted to do. So far so good (fingers crossed!)

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

My studies were important in getting me into this area, but with practical science enthusiasm is always more important than book learning. There can be a lot of setbacks in lab work and you have to keep picking yourself up and dragging yourself back to the same experiment if it isn’t working so liking what you’re doing is important!

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be a scientist?

My advice would always be to find out as much as you can about an area you’re passionate about. If you can get work experience in a sciencey area this might help you figure out what interests you, and there are some access courses for helping secondary age pupils get into science, like the Nuffield project Scheme and The Brilliant Club. Going to university is pretty much always a requirement for going on to postgraduate study, but it’s important not to think too far ahead and if you are as interested in science as you think you are after 3 or 4 years of undergraduate study, you can think about going on to a PhD or going into industrial science labs. Otherwise, as I remember my Chemistry teacher Mr Mogey always used to say, lots of employers think really highly of the skills you gain by studying a science, and it can open loads of different doors to lots of different areas!

British Army (Officer Cadet)

What is your name?

Sam McAvoy

What is your job title?

Officer Cadet – British Army

When were you at Lymm High School?

2007-2014 inc. Sixth Form.

What is your best memory from school?

The numerous music tours to Europe.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

Truthfully, nothing. I believe my background has made me who I am today, and if I knew anything different, it might have changed my future career path.

What is your job?

I am about to complete my years training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and looking forward to commissioning into the Corps of Royal Engineers in December 2020.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

Not whilst I was at school! It was something in the back of my mind, but I had never thought I would achieve this.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

They definitely gave me the willingness to learn that has motivated me throughout my time here.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students?

Don’t focus on fitting in, focus on being interesting.

British Army (Royal Corps of Signals)

What is your name?

Claudia Helen Wright

What is your job title?

British Army Officer in Royal Corps of Signals

When were you at Lymm High School?

At LHS from Sept 06 – July 13.

What is your best memory from school?

Year 13 prom was spectacular. In terms of actual school probably in Year 9 in RS when we had to write our own MLK ‘I have a dream speech’ and do our own version of Anne Frank’s diary: two projects that were exceedingly thought provoking and I still remember doing them today.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

Don’t be so fixated on going the tradition route of going to university and then starting a career. Try to figure out what’s best for you and don’t let what everyone else is doing affect your choices. You’re young you’ve got time to figure it out so don’t feel like you need to rush into things and if you don’t like the path you’re on yourself can change it.

What is your job?

Essentially project management in short. However my main priority is the welfare and career management of my soldiers to ensure that they get the best chance in their careers. Also I manage the equipment that we use to utilise it in the way that my commanders require.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

Was always interested in the military but never imagined that I’d commission and become an officer as I didn’t realise it was an option for me.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

To be an officer you need to have basic levels of maths and English (GCSE C or equivalent) as well as a broad knowledge on current affairs, politics and international relations. My studies have set me up great for this particularly my interest in physics as this has aided me in understanding how the communications technology the army use work.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want a career in the military?

Be open minded about the opportunities that are available in the military, there is genuinely something for anybody. If you want to be an officer believe that you can do it. You don’t need to be the brightest or the fittest. You don’t need to have a degree. It’s a fantastic career leading soldiers and challenging yourself.

Chef

What is your name?

Rob Johnson

What is your job title?

Chef De Partie

When were you at Lymm High School?

2009-2016

What is your best memory from school?

History with core Year 9.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

What I wish I knew back then: Honesty is not the best policy, keep your mouth shut and work hard. People really do not want to know what you think of them! (Believe me I’ve told them).

Did you ever expect to have this career?

No, I expected to see out university studying psychology but the course wasn’t for me.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

My studies unfortunately did not prepare me for this career! I don’t think anything really can.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be a Chef?

if someone was wanting to be a Chef De Partie, I would say, are you ready to give up your social life, are you ready to work 50+ hours in a high pressure environment with a lot of stress. Consider the work load and hours strongly. If your passion lives among food then this could be the job for you, but its not all it seems on tv! There’s a lot of crying and with real talk, a lot of alcohol consumed on shifts unfortunately! Other than that its great fun, you meet A LOT of interesting people and learn how adapt in a tough environment.

Clinical Psychologist

What is your name?

Mary

What is your job title?

Clinical Psychologist

When were you at Lymm High School?

2004-2011

What is your best memory from school?

It’s a tough one… probably lunchtimes with friends, art lessons

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

That there are loads of different jobs out there and lots of different routes you can take. It’s okay to try different things and change your mind, there’s no rush

What is your job?

Clinical psychologists use their psychological knowledge and skills to help people with their mental and physical health. In my role I work with high risk offenders when they are released from prison, to improve their mental health and reduce reoffending. This involves carrying out psychological therapy with service users, working closely with probation and other agencies, and also supporting my team to understand and work with their clients in a psychologically informed way.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

Not when I was in school, though I was always interested in working in the criminal justice system. I learned about clinical psychology when studying at uni and it followed from there.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

To be a clinical psychologist you need a psychology degree and then you train through a doctorate in clinical psychology. I couldn’t do my job without the skills and knowledge I developed through this, and learning is very much a continued part of the job even after you qualify. Studying in school allowed me to study psychology at uni and started my journey.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students?

Work hard and try to get some experience of working or volunteering with people. It’s a long (and competitive) journey to qualifying, try to enjoy the process, expect a few knock-backs, seize opportunities and learn what you can at each stage.

Dental student

What is your name?

Anna Batley 

What is your job title?

2nd year dental student at Queens University Belfast!  

When were you at Lymm High School?

2009-2016.

What is your best memory from school?

Getting the chance to be part of Afritwin!! (I still tell people about it 8 years on!).

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then? Getting a job in school is useful, even if it’s just one day per week. It teaches you a lot about professionalism, organisation and other transferable skills! I would say my cafe job gave me a lot of confidence and taught me how to talk to a range of different people, deal with complaints etc. Things that are relevant to every career! 

What is your job?

I am a student right now but I will be a dentist! 

Did you ever expect to have this career?

Yes! I always wanted to be in a patient-focused role and I landed on dentistry quite early on. I applied for dentistry in Sixth Form but sadly I didn’t get any offers. I decided last min to go to uni and got a place at university of Sheffield to study biochemistry. These were honestly the best 3 years of my life so far and I am SO glad Jan was there to guided me on clearing day (THANK YOU!). In 3rd year all my friends were applying for grad schemes and I decided I’d have one more shot at dentistry. I applied and got my place at Queens University Belfast! 

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

Science obviously was essential, but all the extra-curricular stuff was just as important!! Dentistry is all about people!! 

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be a Dentist?

Get as much experience working with people as possible (not just observing)! Keep working at your personal statement and do NOT give up!!! Dentistry is one of the most difficult courses to get a place for as there are only a handful of places and very few universities offer it. 

Developer

What is your name?

 Josh Blackwell

What is your job title?

Full Stack Developer

When were you at Lymm High School?

2008-2015

What is your best memory from school?

Might have to be Sixth Form Christmas party in the Hexagon.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

What kind of tech jobs were available and what experience/technology/ programming languages were needed.

What is your job?

Edit websites and code.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

Yes, it’s very inline with what I’ve always wanted.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

More so University helped as it was more specific to what I wanted to do, whereas GCSE/A Level gave me a general broad understanding to build on.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be a Developer?

Try and get a basic understanding early. There are lots of resources/videos out there to get started. But it’s never to late to start, I didn’t start coding until University.

Digital Editor

What is your name?

Cerys Anderson

What is your job title?

Digital Editor

When were you at Lymm High School?

2010 – 2016

What is your best memory from school?

My best memory from school is participating in team sports – these were always great fun and allowed me to develop skills that I would also use in everyday life.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

I wish there was a wider variety of options – talks were very heavily based on academic careers rather than creative careers.

What is your job?

My job is to retouch photos from shoots at a professional studio. I have to cut down the shoots from 300+ images to roughly 30. Then I remove any blemishes or mistakes from the photos to make everyone look their best. When I have done this I then create the show that the clients will view at their next appointment.  I also help to make props for our photoshoots and compile photo books for clients once they have selected their images.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

When I was younger I didn’t expect to have this career, but after university I knew that I wanted to work in the photography industry.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

I studied photography initially in sixth form which made my passion grow stronger and made me want to do this at university. As I was able to tailor my work at university, I was able to focus heavily on retouching imagery progressing my skills and making me want to go into this career.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be a Digital Editor?

For my industry I would say that getting work experience at a young age is vital. It helped me stand out at university applications and for my job interviews. I would also say do as much photography in your spare time so that you can become as knowledgeable as possible and perfect your skills.

Engineer

What is your name?

Joshua Pearson

What is your job title?

I’m currently (starting in November) a graduate engineer for a large industrial site in Cumbria.

When were you at Lymm High School?

I was at LHS from between 2008 and 2015, and my best memory is probably meeting the people I became friends with, who I still keep in touch with today.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

I think something I wish I knew back then is that if you’re not going into research or a high level academic job, once you’ve got your first graduate job in your field it doesn’t really matter where you went to uni, and so not getting into your first choice isn’t the end of the world; even though it might seem like that at the time.

What is your job?

As for what I do in my job, I’m not at liberty to say over a potentially unsecure channel unfortunately.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

I did expect to have this career; because I did a specialised engineering degree in a sought-after field, it would be unusual if I didn’t end up in a role where this is relevant.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

My A’ level studies helped in this career because through the right choices, I was able to study subjects that were necessary to enrol in my chosen course. I didn’t do as well in my A’ levels as I could have done, because I didn’t apply myself; I just thought I knew the subject. A’ levels are very much taught to the exam, so it’s important to know what the exam is asking of you. I got a 1st class degree at uni though, because of the lessons learned through my failures.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be an Engineer?

Don’t underestimate the value of a summer job/placement. I got my current job because I applied for a placement with the company after my first year at uni. And even if I didn’t get the job through that, the experience you get from being in a professional environment for a couple of months (I did two placements at two different companies) and the ability to gain those transferable skills puts you a step ahead of every other graduate without that experience.

Engineer

What is your name?

Lauren Clarkson

 

What is your job title?

Mechanical Design Engineer

When were you at Lymm High School?

Left Sixth Form in 2014.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

I wish there was more information regarding apprenticeships and not so heavily university based.

What is your job?

On a day-to-day basis I design mechanical bits of kit and produce documents to accompany drawings including calculations and risk assessments.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

When I was in school I had no idea what I wanted to do. If I could give any advice it would to pursue a career in something you’re interested in.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

I studied Product Design for one of my A-levels this definitely helped me in my career.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who are interested in engineering?

Have a genuine interest in how things work and solving problems as they are the fundamentals of engineering.

Equal Rights Coalition Officer

What is your name?

Ruth Walshe

What is your job title?

Equal Rights Coalition Officer

When were you at Lymm High School?

2007-2014

What is your best memory from school?

To be totally honest, my favourite memory from school was when students spent the afternoon holding a protest on the school field. It was a great example of community organising, and of young people coming together for a common cause (whatever that may be!) and using their collective power to express an opinion or demand. When young people are able to realise what they can do when they organise together, it’s amazing to see. And now activism is how I make a living, so it’s not surprising that this is what stands out from my high school experience.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

That there are such a diverse range of careers and possibilities available to you, which don’t have to fit into a strict binary of academia and “success”. The ways that success is measured often based on cisheteropatriarchal and elitist norms, and ignoring them may be the best thing you ever do.

Life is long, and it doesn’t have to follow the progression that we are shown in popular media. Your life is your own, and you can do whatever you want with it.

What is your job?

I work in the Global team at Stonewall, meaning I focus on LGBTI rights across the world. My job is mostly focused on the Equal Rights Coalition, which is a coalition of 42 States who have committed to improving LGBTI rights, programming, and funding. This means I work with a network of activists across the world, as well as government officials from the UK and other countries, to work on progressing LGBTI rights and freedoms. This includes things like researching and writing reports, conducting surveys and consultations, running lobbying actions with Member State governments, briefing stakeholders here in the UK and abroad, and coordinating various groups of activists on strategies for action.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

When I was younger I thought I wanted to be a lawyer, but as I developed my understanding of the injustice inherent to the legal system and the institutions that uphold this, it became clear that I wanted to work in human rights, and develop a career in organising. At the moment I work for a large NGO, which isn’t exactly what I pictured, but I use my free time to organise in grassroots groups within my communities, and I am learning invaluable skills that I can apply to any future roles.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

I studied Law with Spanish for my undergraduate degree, which gave me a basic understanding of the law and of legal terms, which I use in my job. Plus, my current job involves working with activists across Latin America, so everything I do (comms, research, reports, etc) is in Spanish and English – meaning the language part of my degree and the year I spent studying law in Spain is vital. My Master’s degree was in International Human Rights Law, and the knowledge and skills I gained from this are vital to my job role, as an in-depth knowledge of global human rights systems is necessary for a job such as mine.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be an activist?

Get involved in your local community. That can be a whole range of things: volunteering for a grassroots group, setting up a campaign about something you are passionate about, organising mutual aid in your area, or starting a reading group centred around a subject you care about. This kind of experience is incredibly useful if you want a career in activism, but it’s also going to do good and it will show you what needs to be done and what you want to work on.

Otherwise, my advice is read, read, read! Whatever area you want to work in will have swathes of organisers who have been doing the work for decades, and whose writing will prove vital in not only shaping your ideology, but also gaining the knowledge needed to get the jobs you’re interested in.

Fitness coach

What is your name?

Ellie Anderson 

What is your job title?

Strength & Conditioning Fitness coach

When were you at Lymm High School?

2009-2016

What is your best memory from school?

PE lessons playing rounders as a year group 

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

What qualifications led directly into specific jobs or broader qualifications for a range of jobs if you are unsure on a career path

What is your job?

Strength & Conditioning Fitness coach

Did you ever expect to have this career?

Not a coach in particular, I was originally looking to work in elite sport as a sports scientist but throughout my MSc studies have come to enjoy the public sector of fitness. I want to help the general public to progress whilst gaining experience. I may still go into elite sport yet but I will see where my career takes me!

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

Sports sciences led straight down the path to a masters degree in sports performance science to gain relevant qualifications and placement in an elite sports Team. Coaching links directly to sports science as anatomy and physiology are key elements that need to be well understood when designing a training programme. It helps define the reasons for certain training modes and molecular and physical adaptations seen as a result.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be a fitness coach?

Ensure you enjoy your studies. Take time to understand module content and ask for help if you need it. Make sure you get practical experience in the sports field as it helps to develop confidence, competence and communication skills.

Head of Training & Development

What is your name?

Aimee Riley

What is your job title?

My job title is Head of Training & Development at Conexus Tuition Franchising.

When were you at Lymm High School?

I was at Lymm High School between the years of 2009 and 2015/16 I can’t remember?😂

What is your best memory from school?

My best memory from school would be Tyn Y Felin in Year 7,  just starting high school and having a mini break with all of my friends, old and new making memories. 

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

In school I wish I knew that school grades aren’t all that matters in your future, yes aim high but don’t panic if it doesn’t go to plan – your path will find you☺️

What is your job?

I onboard and train new franchisees to the company and help them start their business as a Conexus Tuition Principal Director. I have only worked at the company for just over a year and my boss likes to say I run the company👀😂

Did you ever expect to have this career?

I never expected to have this career and who knows where I’ll be in 10 years time but I feel very lucky to be in the position I am in and really enjoy my job and the people I work with. We also have plenty of Lymm High School students that come to us!  

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to do a similar role?

Any advice I can give to future heads of training/franchise support would be to always feel confident in what you do and be organised, have a bubbly character that people can get along with easily. 

Hospitality

What is your name?

Samantha Drysdale

 

What is your job title?

At the minute: Duty Manager (bar and restaurant manager in NZ).

When were you at Lymm High School?

2009- 2013 (I think).

What is your best memory from school?

Erm, eating lunch and talking to student services😂

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

That there are so many different and varied careers. You don’t need to be achieving for a doctorate or a law degree. C grades mean equally the same and there’s a dream job out there for everyone. The pressure shouldn’t be so hard.

What is your job?

I manage a restaurant and bar here in New Zealand. I am also a full time student, studying to be a teacher.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

I had this ‘career’ (more job) all through high school, so when I went travelling it was easy to slot into. I then got promoted and here I am. I then decided to study in 2020 . And I do both.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

My studies didn’t. Well I guess maths did. But its the will of yourself, and you can do anything you want.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be a restaurant manager?

You have to love the people, listen to their stories and make a connection. You have to love food and drink and be knowledgeable in your field.

HR

What is your name?

Chloe Rowan

What is your job title?

Employee Relations Adviser for an International Law Firm

When were you at Lymm High School?

Left Sixth Form in 2012.

What is your best memory from school?

Afritwin project.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

I wish I’d known more about business studies and taken this as an option. We didn’t really cover much about careers in professional services.

What is your job?

I work in HR and I am specifically responsible for providing law firm partners, managers and the wider HR function with accurate and practical employment law and employee relations advice. I also provide information and guidance on a range of HR issues including legislation and policy-related matters.

I actively advise on and support the resolution of sensitive employee relations issues such as absence management, performance and capability issues, and restructures, as well as case managing grievances and disciplinary processes.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

I was interested in HR at school but I also considered midwifery…

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

Biology wasn’t particularly useful but sociology and geography gave me a great foundation.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students?

Study something you enjoy. Any kind of work experience is helpful – I worked in both a department store and an office to gain work experience.

Law

What is your name?

Ben Hammersley

What is your job title?

Litigation Executive (on the way to being a barrister).

When were you at Lymm High School?

Left Lymm in August 2012.

What is your best memory from school?

The friends that I made who remain some of the closest and dearest people to me. I also have incredibly fond memories of my form tutor Nicky Tomkins who was so supportive and caring with us.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

It is ok not to know exactly what you want to do and to flap about a bit whilst you figure it out. Enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

What is your job?

I run personal injury cases including conducting small claims trials in county courts across the country.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

Absolutely not, I left Lymm wanting to go into medicine.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

Taught me the value of hard work and that if you put the effort in people like Mr Mogey will go to the ends of the earth to help you.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to enter the Law profession?

Talk to as many people as possible and take every opportunity you can. The Bar of England and Wales for its many faults is by and large a very supportive profession and there will always be someone willing to help or even just listen.

Medical Sales Rep

What is your name?

Steph Underwood

What is your job title?

Endotherapy Territory Manager (medical sales rep)

When were you at Lymm High School?

2005-2012

What is your best memory from school?

Taking part in the musicals. We always had so much fun.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

Life experience can open as many doors as good grades can. Also, your first job won’t necessarily be your forever job so don’t feel too much pressure to get it right first time.

What is your job?

I work for a medical company selling equipment to hospitals and training nurses and doctors on how to use it. No two days are the same and I spend a lot of time in procedure rooms looking at patients’ insides!

Did you ever expect to have this career?

I first came across the job description for a medical sales rep when I was in Sixth Form and loved the sound of it. I enjoyed science, travel, and working with people and it combined all three. From that point I had my heart set on it and it worked out!

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

I studied Biology, Chemistry and Maths at A-level. This then allowed me to go on and study Biomedical Science at Keele University.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be a Medical Rep?

A science background helps with understanding medical jargon but isn’t always necessary, just a willingness to learn and have a passion for improving patient outcome and helping make the jobs of healthcare workers easier. Employers tend to look for candidates with good people skills and someone who is well rounded so it’s great to have other hobbies outside of your studies. I travelled to Australia on my own after uni and that always seemed to be a good talking point – independence and adaptability is key, it’s not your typical 9-5 so you have to be prepared for whatever gets thrown at you but that’s what makes it fun 😊

Operating Department Practitioner

What is your name?

Rachel Jones

What is your job title?

NHS Operating Department Practitioner

When were you at Lymm High School?

2005- 2012

What is your best memory from school?

Doing the Afri-twin project was the most amazing and eye opening experiences of my life. Working hard to raise awareness and funds for a township school in South Africa and later teaching in the school was my favourite memory of my life and from my school years.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

I wish I had looked into NHS careers in general. I looked at Paramedics courses, nursing and midwifery. There are many other great careers such as Radiography, speech and language therapy, dietetics and many more. I found my course Operating Department Practice through word of mouth. I wish it was something that had been shown to me earlier on as it is my dream job and now I have worked in operating theatres assisting with surgery and Anaesthetics. If I’d known this was an option earlier I would have applied straight away.

What is your job?

I care for patients having surgical procedures. I look after the patients whilst assisting the anaesthetist to give anaesthetic medications and monitor patient under anaesthetic throughout surgery. I can scrub up and assist the surgeon with the surgical procedure handing instruments and equipment. Finally I care for the patient in the recovery phase caring for them post anaesthetic ensuring they are comfortable and well following their operation.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

I looked at Midwifery and paramedics courses although they an amazing careers I knew I wanted to do a specialist role but I was unsure what exactly suited me. When I saw this course it was 100% me in every way and I definitely made the right decision.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

I studied BTEC health science at Sixth Form. It was a fantastic course that gave me the foundations to what I do now. There are some things I remember from those studies I used in my degree at university and currently in my everyday job.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to enter nursing?

I would highly recommend BSc Operating Department Practice at university. I studied at Edge Hill and it was brilliant. I was well supported through all of my study and learned on the job. Although it is a challenging job it is exceptionally rewarding and very very interesting. Every patient is different and you learn how to care for people at a vulnerable time in their life. After leaving Sixth Form 8 years ago I have experienced so much in my young life through my job and I feel very honoured to care for my patients.

Optometrist

What is your name?

Ella Wyss

What is your job title?

Optometrist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London

When were you at Lymm High School?

2008-2015

What is your best memory from school?

Iceland trip in Year 13.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

I wish I knew that it’s okay to not know exactly what you want to do yet! You are SO young!!

What is your job?

I work in a big team across a variety of clinics in the hospital, from prescribing glasses for young children, to offering support to visually impaired people.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

I was always interested in science at school but I never thought that would translate to working in a hospital environment.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

I took science and maths subjects at school which were required to study optometry as a degree at university. There was some content in biology A level about the eye, which I found really interesting!

What advice would you give students who want to work in optometry?

Get some work experience in different settings e.g. high street practice, independent and hospital settings so you can experience the variety of the subject. The job is so varied and you can really do anything with it!

Police

What is your name?

Jess Wallace

What is your job title?

Police Constable

When were you at Lymm High School?

2006-2013

What is your best memory from school?

Sixth Form in the Hexagon!

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

You don’t need to go to uni to get a good career. You just know what you want to do for a career, and work hard.

What is your job?

Specialist post of divisional mental health spoc, so spend days working with partner agencies reducing demand to police from people with mental health issues. Includes professionals meetings, visits in community, taking people to civil court etc as well as retaining ordinary police duties to respond to emergencies.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

No, applied by accident!

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

Studied law at A’ level that included criminal law.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be in the Police?

Apply to become a special first to get real taste of the job.

Police

What is your name?

Jack Pilkington

What is your job title?

Police Officer / Constable

When were you at Lymm High School?

2007-2014 (although it only feels like yesterday!) + 3 extra years as Staff.

What is your best memory from school?

Hard to pick only one!

Through the years – Representing the school at Rugby and Athletics and getting school colours.

Best moment – being awarded athlete of the year (2009/10 maybe?🤔)

What I miss most – being able to see your mates everyday, very much taken for granted at the time!

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

That it’s not all about the grades! Life experiences and work ethic are just as important for careers, especially mine.

And that the more demanding the job is, the less you get paid👀🤷‍♂️

What do you do in your job?

Everything….

You probably think I drive cars really fast, Chase cars and tackle bad guys just like the shows and movies you see…..

However, it’s not quite like that…

I never know what I’ll be doing as every hour of every shift is different. I respond to 999 calls made to the Police by the public. I could be dealing with a crash one second then responding to a stabbing and disarming the suspect the next. From dealing with a domestic assault to then driving to a house to tell someone that there child or relative has died or even having to perform CPR to save someone’s life. A rollercoaster of a job but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

The other side of the job is conducting criminal investigations, which involves the less exciting stuff but still as important, speaking with victims, taking statements, tracking down suspects, interviewing them and preparing files for court (Involves a bit of paperwork and a lot of juggling!).

Did you ever expect to have this career?

Yes ever since watching Hot Fuzz… all for the greater good right👀

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

With policing it’s not all about the grades, you only need a C in GCSE English and Maths. So my studies didn’t necessarily get me into this career. I just picked the A levels which I enjoyed as there isn’t really any subjects which can prepare you for the job! What they did help with was the experiences I picked up through the years and building my communication, social skills and a bit of common sense along the way.

I did go onto to study criminal investigation at university but this was my choice as I wanted a degree! You don’t need one to get into the police.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to go into the police force?

Well obviously don’t commit crime👀 then make sure you enjoy your school years, work hard and make the most of the opportunities which come your way! Don’t rush into applying for the police after sixth form, get a good couple years of life experience, either through working (in jobs which deal/interact with the public) or through university and travelling which are equally great life experiences.

Most importantly don’t get too bogged down with your grades if you don’t get the ones you wanted. Just work hard after and if you’ve got the right attitude you’ll get the job you want.

PR/Communications

What is your name?

Isabel Troth

What is your job title?

Junior Account Executive

When were you at Lymm High School?

2009-2016

What is your best memory from school?

Reading out Blackadder scripts in Miss Tomkins’ English lessons, and playing my violin in Venice as part of the string group.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

Studying humanities is the best way to keep your options open whilst learning about the word around you. Also, I would have looked forward to university and my year working abroad a lot more – I had no idea how brilliant both experiences would be.

What is your job?

I am a Junior Account Executive at a tech communications agency in central London. I pitch stories and features to newspapers and magazines, monitor coverage for clients, carry out research tasks, compile editorial calendars, set meeting agendas, and assist with editorial activity.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

I developed my writing and editing skills at university in both my degree and the societies that I joined. During my year abroad, I worked at a communications agency in Barcelona. I enjoyed the fast-paced environment and variety of the work, particularly the writing and editing tasks, which consolidated my career choice.

What advice would you give students who want to work in communications?

Make the most of every opportunity you have to develop your writing, whether part of your degree, student journalism, or work experience. Learn to organise your time efficiently: you’ll be working on lots of different clients, so it’s really important that you can plan your day! Finally, make sure you research what area of PR/communications interests you, whether corporate, tech, consumer, or policy, as it’s such a broad field.

Process Engineer

What is your name?

Philip Young

What is your job title?

Process Engineer at Carlsberg UK

When were you at Lymm High School?

2007-2014 (I think).

What is your best memory from school?

Leavers Ball was my best memory.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

I wish I knew that there are options other than university to begin my career and can be just as and if not more rewarding.

What is your job?

I ensure that the plant runs as safely and efficiently as possible through reviewing processes, implementing ideas, commissioning new equipment and analysing plant downtime data.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

I expected to be working in this role, was just unsure what industry.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

The company was looking for people with analytical/problem-solving minds from a scientific/engineering background.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be a Process Engineer?

If you would like to be a Process Engineer I would recommend following an engineering route at university and to try to get some experience in industry.

Programme Manager

What is your name?

Heather Jones

What is your job title?

Programme Manager at Salix

When were you at Lymm High School?

2005-2012

What is your best memory from school?

Playing with band at Disneyland Paris in 2010! I was lucky to be part of two music tours to Paris & Strasbourg, creating great memories!

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

Don’t panic about making the ‘right’ decisions, make the decisions that feel right and chose the jobs and courses that sound exciting!

What is your job?

I work for a non-departmental public body called Salix. We offer government funding to the public sector across England, Scotland & Wales to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and lower energy bills.

Our role involves building close relationships with clients such as Councils, School, Universities and Hospitals to help them plan carbon reduction strategies and projects and how the funding we offer can best support them to reach their ambitious net-zero carbon targets. For example we will help our clients to apply for funding to replace lighting to more efficient LED’s, install solar panels or install heat pumps which are a relatively new technology that is a low-carbon alternative to gas fired boilers and will significantly reduce fossil fuel use for heating our buildings.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

No. I never had a long-term plan of what I expected from my career and have taken each step as it comes, focusing on what I enjoy and interests me. As I enjoyed and was good at science in school it seemed like a natural choice to apply for Medicine at University, however I think I knew that I was only really applying to Medicine as I liked the security of the clear career progression and wasn’t sure what else I could do. I made a last minute decision to also apply for Geography and ended up going to Newcastle University to study Geography, and have never looked back!

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

Definitely think of it as a step-by-step process. My A levels helped me to get into University, which has subsequently led to the role I have now. After my Geography Degree I was again a bit unsure of what the next steps would be. I worked in retail for 6 months and then went travelling to Thailand and Australia for 6 months – something I definitely recommend if you can save up and go and explore other countries & cultures! When I got back home I now knew I wanted to study a bit more and was interested in the environment and politics so started looking into Masters degrees. I chose Environmental Governance at the University of Manchester. Once I graduated with my Masters the job search began. I used some job sites that were recommended to us by University to find my current role. I had various part time jobs along the way which was a great way to get some experience in a working environment whilst I thought through what the next steps would be.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be a ‘Sustainability Professional’?

Sustainability and environmental consultancy and the renewable energy sector is predicted to be a huge area of growth over the next few decades. A national climate emergency has been declared and many organisations such as Councils, Universities and Companies have declared their ambitions to be net-zero before 2050. Therefore, there is a large demand now for professionals with the expertise to advise and support organisations to plan and deliver carbon management strategies. This is a great sector to work in and will be a key part of the recovery from coronavirus as well as helping us to create a healthier and more sustainable future. If you are interested in a specific sector I would suggest gaining a wider understanding of the issues, read around the subject, attend events, listen to podcasts and speak to people to learn from their experiences.

Project Coordinator

What is your name?

Amelia Johnson

What is your job title?

Project Coordinator

When were you at Lymm High School?

I was at LHS from 2004-2010

What is your best memory from school?

A lot of it, I really enjoyed high school probably down to the great set of friends and teachers! We are all still in a close friendship group now!

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

I wish I knew that it was okay to be unsure of what you want to do, and that University is not the only option. Being the last year of the cheaper university fees, I felt obliged to go but really, I could have got to where I am today without it!

What is your job?

I am the Project Coordinator for a team of roughly 100 people based within a Nuclear Design Site. The role involves coordinating and supporting the team to deliver the project. From ensuring the office has everything it needs, to taking minutes in meetings, tracking actions and calendar/email management for the senior members of the project. I often get referred to as ‘Alexa’ (not sure if that is a compliment or not?! Haha!).

Did you ever expect to have this career?

No! Growing up I had always thought I would end up working in education, teaching or a TA/Nursery Nurse, but glad that I pushed myself into this challenging role that I now have grown to love!

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

Sixth Form and University definitely prepared me for the role. It is vital that I am organised and efficient which I learnt throughout my studies. I also learnt throughout my education to be more confident and how to communicate well with people I didn’t know, which helps when dealing with clients.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be a Project Coordinator?

I have learnt that you can do your job day-to-day and do it well, but what really makes the difference and makes people come back to you for help is your attitude. From feedback, I have learnt that it matters more how you do things, rather than just getting the task done. Do it with a smile. For this role, you need to be approachable and reliable.

Project leader - Network Rail

What is your name?

Rachel Littler

What is your job title?

Project Leader – Network Rail

When were you at Lymm High School?

2007 – 2014

What is your best memory from school?

When I was in year 12, I went on a school trip to India and it was amazing. It was really eye-opening, and was a part of the world I had never been to before.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

I felt pretty clueless about what I wanted to do as a career and I do wish I’d known a bit more about the variety of jobs that there are out there. I felt very focused on getting into University and didn’t really pay much attention to what came after that and it would have been good to be more aware of the different options that there are, for example employee sponsored degrees/apprenticeships that prepare you for certain careers. However, I don’t think it’s necessary to decide on a career whilst at school, and in fact some people never do settle on a ‘career’. Instead, I think it’s important to keep an open mind, explore what interests you, and take advantage of any opportunities that come your way.

What is your job?

I work as a Project Leader for Network Rail. Specifically, I am working on a programme that aims to change culture and behaviours across the organisation. As a Project Leader, I spend a lot of time making sure that programme controls and documentation are in place, for example producing reports, tracking finances, and monitoring risks. However, the beauty of project management is that you can get involved in all sorts of work, for example I am currently coordinating the production of a website to promote our Programme. You also end up talking to a lot of different people; as well as communicating regularly with my team, I have been able to meet and work with a variety of stakeholders throughout the business.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

When I left Lymm High, this isn’t a career path that I would have expected. I think I was leaning more towards a job in teaching or academia and, upon reflection, this is most likely because the education system was all I knew at that stage in my life. Now that I am working as a Project Leader I can definitely see how it suits certain aspects of my personality and work ethic, for example I am communicative, goal orientated, enjoy variety, and see myself as a bit of a generalist.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

At A Level, I studied History, Geography and English Literature. When deciding what to study at university, I chose my favourite subject, History. I found it really interesting and rewarding and actually decided to study for a Masters degree after completing my Undergraduate studies. Whilst I didn’t end up pursuing a History related career, my degree was crucial for helping me get into this career, as I first began working for Network Rail as part of their graduate scheme. More broadly, my degrees have equipped me with a variety of skills that are useful in my career, such as time management, written communication, research skills, and analytical abilities.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be a Project Leader?

If you’re interested in getting into project management, you don’t need to do a specific project management degree, and there are many qualifications out there that you can do if it is something you decide to pursue. If you are heading to university, there are plenty of project management graduate schemes that you can apply for, and often these schemes will pay for you to do some sort of qualification. Graduate schemes are in high demand however, and there are limited spaces so this may not be an option for everyone. Another way to get into this field would be through an entry level job, such as a Project Management Assistant, where you may not necessarily need a specific qualification. I would definitely recommend getting any work experience that you can, for example whilst at uni I completed an internship during the summer with Birmingham City Council and found it invaluable for enhancing my CV.

Quantity Surveyor

What is your name?

Ewan Miller

What is your job title?

Quantity surveyor

When were you at Lymm High School?

I finished Sixth Form in 2015.

What is your best memory from school?

Probably just getting to be with your mates every day!

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

That it’s definitely okay to not have a single clue what you want to do with your life. Don’t just follow everyone else’s plans because it seems like the right thing to do!

What is your job?

I manage and am in charge of the financial side of construction projects.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

I didn’t at all. I didn’t know what I wanted to do at all!

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

Being perfectly honest they didn’t help me get into the career. But they taught me how I work best and how to apply myself to different tasks.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be a Quantity Surveyor?

To be involved in anything to do with construction I would  highly recommend looking into apprenticeship schemes. There are hundreds of companies that are willing to pay for your student fees and provide you with all the relevant experience. Saves you having all the stress later in life with any student debt!

Quantity Surveyor

What is your name?

Harry Duffill

What is your job title?

Quantity Surveyor

When were you at Lymm High School?

Till 2015 (LHS Sixth Form).

What is your best memory from school?

There’s too many!

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

I wish I knew that what grades and subject matters you choose at that time does not define what you can achieve when you set your mind to it! I chose to enter a discipline that I never really had the knowledge or academic skills needed to undertake.

What is your job?

As a Quantity surveyor the role entails managing key aspects of a construction project in terms of monitoring the financial impacts to ensure it’s completed within its project budget. (Eg. Pricing/forecasting cost elements and/or the projects entirety and carrying out any cost variations).

Additionally, a QS has to ensure that all works and pricing is contractually compliant and therefore detailing with contractual and legal matters alongside the project duration.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

No, all my A-Levels were art and design/fashion related and initially I wanted to run down that career path.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

They didn’t! If you show initiative and put your mind to it you can achieve goals where you didn’t think were possible after leaving school with qualifications you were unsure on.

What advice would you give to students who want to be a Quantity Surveyor?

Do research, understand what the role is and what you will be required to do.

Attend numerous university days and ask questions to know if it is the right career path for you.

Royal Air Force

What is your name?

Vickie Delaney

What is your job title?

Royal Air Force Pilot

When were you at Lymm High School?

From 2007-2013.

What is your best memory from school?

(Not in a bad way) Leavers Day, seeing everyone so happy together!

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

I wish I had focussed more on the maths and science skills. Go and get more experience where possible. Don’t do essay subjects 😂

What is your job?

Currently work with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, as the public relations officer whilst waiting to continue flying training.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

No!! It was my absolute dream come true!

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

Studies helped throughout initial officer training and having the ability to focus and study!

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be a pilot?

My advice for anyone wanting to be a pilot, work hard and focus on raw skills such as basic maths. You need 2 A’ levels but they accept most so do something you enjoy!

Sales and Marketing

What is your name?

Kim Schmider

What is your job title?

National Account Executive

When were you at Lymm High School?

I left Sixth Form in 2013? (I think).

What is your best memory from school?

Playing at Queenswood for the national tennis finals of the Acton Cup.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

It’s OK if you don’t know exactly what you want to do in the future – no one does. Work experience is extremely valuable so get out there and take the opportunities to learn what you enjoy doing.

What is your job?

As a National Account Executive on the Co-op and Nisa account for Lucozade Ribena Suntory, I support the national account manager and national account controller in building/sustaining our relationship with the customer as well as delivering a commercial plan.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

No, I did not expect to have this career. Even after I graduated, I still wasn’t entirely sure exactly what I wanted to do. Our commercial capability director placed me into a different role than what I was interviewing for. I didn’t really know what to expect from this role but I trusted her. It has definitely set me up for success as I am now in a position and industry that I can see myself staying in long term.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

Besides the obvious academic benefits, there is so much to gain from the academic ‘process’. Yes you will learn useful material to help you in your career, but you also learn how to prioritize, work hard, manage relationships (with your peers and teachers), overcome set backs and learn from your mistakes. These skills develop your emotional intelligence – 45% of your job success is down to your EQ.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be an Account Executive?

Get involved in as many extra-curricular activities as you can. Get work experience to find out what you enjoy doing. Most people start from the bottom, and that’s OK. Don’t think you are above anything, take the experiences and take the key learnings. It’s OK to fail, as long as you learn from those failures. Lastly, network. Networking will help you massively. Get your Linkedin set up and start creating your network now. It’s never too early.

Sales and Marketing

What is your name?

Mark Napier-Hemy

What is your job title?

Sales and Marketing Manager

When were you at Lymm High School?

2005-2012

What is your best memory from school?

Interhall football!

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

I wish I knew more about the different options open to me rather than just university following Sixth Form. Also, I would’ve liked for IT to be more involved and included in each subject as it is in real world working environments.

What is your job?

I manage a sales team for a glass processing company.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

Nope!

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

I learned from a wide spread of different subjects, none of which specific to my job but all have contributed in their own small way.

What advice would you give to students who want to work in sales and marketing?

Work smart in all subjects, but more importantly, carry on with team sports and other extra-curricular activities. With a job like mine, it’s more about how rounded you are as a person rather than any specific knowledge you have about a certain subject. Being a positive, forward-thinking person who works well as part of a team comes first, having a good general understanding of English/Maths/Business/IT helps. You can learn the rest later!

Speech and Language Therapist

What is your name?

Ellie Pickford

What is your job title?

Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist

When were you at Lymm High School?

Main school 2005-2010, sixth form 2010-2012.

What is your best memory from school?

I have really positive memories of the friendships I formed at LHS, these are friendships that are still strong and supportive today. It is amazing to see people you’ve grown with, cried in A level maths with, walked home daily with, shared hexagon toast with, grown and succeed.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

I was naive to how many different things were out there, more academic paths were promoted when I was at LHS  but so many more practical careers are out there. It can take a while to settle into the right one for you. My uni and career path have been quite narrow as it has all been speech and language therapy (SALT) it still took time to find what suited me within that.

What is your job?

In my job I work in mainstream primary schools across Manchester to support children with speech, language and communication difficulties. I do assessments, adult training and direct therapy with children. The most fulfilling part of my job are my intensive input caseload who I see for an hour weekly – watching their language skills and self confidence  grow is amazing.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

I only discovered SALT as a job when looking for uni courses, via the NHS careers website quiz!

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

My degree was in SALT which of course set me up nicely for the career, but my A levels (maths, biology, psychology) and AS levels (physics and sociology) all fed into aspects of the degree and job.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students?

If you want to be a SALT see if you can arrange some shadowing or volunteer in the field to give yourself a taste. (Stroke association communication groups/ communication partner scheme for adult SALT insight and youth groups, particularly for those with additional communication needs (such as ASD) for paediatric).

Strategic Projects

What is your name?

Thomas Betts

What is your job title?

Strategic Projects at Novo Property Group

When were you at LHS?

2004-2011

What is your best memory from school?

Hard to choose a single one, many great memories with the friends I made at Lymm. The History/Politics trip to the USA in 2009 was a fantastic experience.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

I was always under the impression that once you’d chosen a career path/industry, it would be very difficult to change to something completely different. However, I haven’t found this to be the case, its far more fluid, and employers (particularly of small companies) place far more value on the qualities of the person, and not necessarily on the specific experience.

What do you do in your job?

I work for a property developer, and look after projects from purchase through to the start of construction on site, which includes co-ordinating planning applications, community liaison and technical design.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

Whilst at school no. I didn’t leave Lymm with a clear idea of what I wanted to do. I went on to study Economics at the University of Manchester and knew that degree was appealing to broad range of employers, so I felt I had my options open.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

I always had great support from the teachers at Lymm. They always went way beyond what was required to help me with both studies and any personal issues. They not only helped me get good grades, but helped bring me out of my shell and gave me more self-confidence.

What advice would you give to students?

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

I’ve been fortunate enough to sample a few interesting jobs over the last couple of years, and the quote above is true. Getting out of bed in the morning is 100x easier if you’re enthusiastic about what you do, and that enthusiasm will be clear to any potential employers, and they love to see it. Every job I’ve had was offered to me over a cup of coffee rather than a formal interview. If there’s something you love, and you live and breathe it, the career will soon follow.

MFL Teacher

What is your name?

Amelia Riley

What is your job title?

Teacher of MFL

When were you at Lymm High School?

2004-2012

What is your best memory from school?

The foreign exchange, it’s a shame a lot of schools don’t do them anymore.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

I wish there had been more information about alternative routes into employment post 18. It was all very university focused, with not many other options.

What is your job?

Teach Spanish and French to high school students and pass on my enthusiasm for different languages and cultures. I am also involved in the extra-curricular aspect of school life such as sport and DofE.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

After the way I was at school and the amount of reports I was on – absolutely not!

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

As LHS was a specialist language college back in the day, I felt I was in the best place to prepare me for a career in languages. The extra-curricular activities and foreign exchanges organised within the MFL department certainly sparked an interest in languages. I had to repeat a year in Sixth Form to be able to go in to study languages at university, but it was definitely worth it!

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be a Teacher?

Stick with it even when it seems difficult. Learning a new language isn’t easy. I did French and German up to A’ Level then picked up Spanish an initial at uni.

Look into working abroad in the country which speaks that language you are studying for the summer. There are plenty of opportunities – summer camps, working as an au pair, sports camps etc.

Finally, try and get some school experience to see if it’s the career for you. I was offered the opportunity to help in KS3 classes when I was in Sixth Form and it certainly contributed to my decision to become a MFL teacher.

PE Teacher

What is your name?

Mollie Crewe

What is your job title?

PE Teacher

When were you at Lymm High School?

2007-2014

What is your best memory from school?

Everything to do with PE and the La Manga trip!

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

Maybe more about teaching career!

What is your job?

Teach PE to 11-17 year olds! Practical and theory!

Did you ever expect to have this career?

No, I knew I wanted to do something to do with sport which is why I chose to do sport & exercise science at Uni but then it was after this that I decided I wanted to go into teaching!

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

Looking back at my PE teachers at Lymm they inspired me to go on and be a PE teacher. Sport & exercise science helped me gain further knowledge to become a teacher before I went on to do my teaching degree which helped me massively and I gained so much experience!

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be a PE Teacher?

If you enjoy PE and take part in it regularly I wouldn’t hesitate to research teaching. It’s the best thing I ever did. I love my job, and it’s so rewarding seeing kids being able to do a skill or a particular sport that they have progressed in because of the way I’ve taught them. The main thing is that they enjoy it and have fun!

PE Teacher

What is your name?

Jon Long

What is your job title?

PE Teacher

When were you at Lymm High School?

2006-2013

What is your best memory from school?

2010 NatWest win @ Twickenham

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

Sometimes all you think about is the destination, take your time to enjoy the journey along the way.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

Yes, as soon as the dream of professional sport began to slip away!

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

The reason I wanted to be a PE teacher was due to the PE department @ Lymm. Some of which are still there now. So yes, quite an influence.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students?

Talk to the staff/anybody in the profession. They’re the experts!

Teaching Assistant

What is your name?

Jess Hudson

What is your job title?

Teaching Assistant in a mental health hospital.

When were you at Lymm High School?

2008-2015

What is your best memory from school?

I have many lovely memories throughout my time at school. I enjoyed Sixth Form and the Monday morning free period I would have with my friends where we would catch up from the events of the weekend 😂

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

Experience definitely helps you to know what you want to do with your future. Don’t expect to know what you want to do straight away.

What is your job?

I work with children 13-18 who are in hospital due to having mental health issues and I help them to continue with their school work and support them in working towards getting better as a whole. I keep them busy to keep their minds off other things!

Did you ever expect to have this career?

Not really, I had an interest in mental health but didn’t have anything planned further than that.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

By doing psychology in Sixth Form it got me a place at Sheffield Hallam doing psychology and I went to this hospital on my placement and then got a job here after finishing university.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students?

Work hard and if you get the opportunity to gain experience in something you find interesting then go for it, you never know what might come from it.

Primary School Teacher

What is your name?

Chloe Thorpe

What is your job title?

Primary School Teacher in Knutsford

When were you at Lymm High School?

2010-2017

What is your best memory from school?

Choosing my options for GCSEs and Sixth Form, doing the things I enjoyed: Media, Business, BTEC IT and English Language.

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

Hard one! – maybe a few more visits/talks from Primary Teachers as that’s what I always wanted to be!

What is your job?

Teach a Year 3 class (7-8 year olds), work alongside colleagues, plan lessons, assessments, input data, responsible for children’s attainment and well-being, provide a well resourced and happy classroom, providing insightful, engaging and challenging learning experiences for pupils, motivate children, forming relationships with staff and pupils, CPD and training.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

Yes! It’s the one I’ve always wanted and pursued.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

Developed everyday life skills, knowledge and skills in both core and foundation subjects and studied subjects I enjoyed in years 10-13 with fantastic, experienced teachers who pushed, challenged and motivated me in order to get sufficient UCAS points to get into University.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to be a Teacher?

It is the most rewarding job! I had the most amazing time during my 3 years at University studying Primary Education with QTS. Enjoy every minute of your placements, take each day as a new day. Throw yourself into uni, it will prepare you for the teaching world as you will develop so many new ideas and strategies. As one of my lecturers said “Never let a bad lesson put you off, it happens, you evaluate it, adapt it, the next will be even better!” You will have no better feeling than when you get your own class for the first time as an NQT, you couldn’t be any prouder of yourself!

Trainee Primary School Teacher

What is your name?

Hannah Shepherd

What is your job title?

Trainee Primary School Teacher

When were you at Lymm High School?

Did my GCSE’s in 2015, A levels in 2017

What is your best memory from school?

Hiding behind the pavilion during the mile run 🤣 or having so much freedom in Sixth Form.

What is your job?

I’m in my final year of uni. I’m about to start a full time placement in a year 6 class in Liverpool.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

I always wanted to work with children, but was unsure whether I wanted to be a teacher or a nurse.

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

Sixth Form prepared me well to go to uni. It taught me how to manage my time efficiently during free periods.

What advice would you give to Lymm High students who want to go into teaching?

It’s challenging, but so rewarding! I’d never change what I’m doing now, and I can’t wait to qualify this year.

Telecomms

What is your name?

Grace Rooney

 

What is your job title?

I’m starting a graduate scheme with Teleperformance who are a global telecoms company on 12th October 2020.

When were you at Lymm High School?

2010-2017

What is your best memory from school?

The Afritwin trip I went on in 2016 was an incredible experience that was available to me thanks to LHS!

In terms of careers, what do you wish you knew back then?

In my experience, most people when they graduate from University have no idea what they want their career to be so do what you enjoy and be open to new opportunities.

What is your job?

I’ll be on rotation around different departments with the potential for a permanent position after 12 months.

Did you ever expect to have this career?

I never expected to finish my law degree and end up working for a telecoms company!

How did your studies help you to get into this career?

My studies at school helped me to get into University and I’m sure my degree is what impressed the company.

Employer Engagement

Lymm High School recognises the value that employers can provide to students’ education and decision making about their future. We therefore welcome offers of support and involvement from employers across all industries.  We host several Careers events throughout the academic year, including mock interviews, career talks and an annual Apprenticeship evening; employers, apprenticeship / training providers and representatives from Further and Higher Education are welcome to get involved. Please contact Mrs McGahey cmcgahey@lymmhigh.org.uk if your organisation would like to engage with the CEIAG at LHS.