TRC – Inspiring the future
At Christmas TRC pledged that over this year all of us would volunteer one day of our time to a charity or project that we feel passionate about with the aim of helping others and having a fun and rewarding experience whilst doing so.
With this in mind Richard and Kat signed up with an organisation called Inspiring the Future. www.inspiringthefuture.org which connects schools and colleges with employers and people from the world of work. Volunteers go into schools to talk with young people about their job and career route. This is what happened to Kat and Richard…….
After signing up I was contacted by a local school to come in and give an informal talk with a small group of A Level students who were interested in a career within a creative industry.
It felt strange to be ‘back at school’ with a maze of corridors, gaggles of students and the sound of the bell marking the end of lessons. I met Naomi who was the head of vocational studies and she introduced me to a small engaging group of students who were in their final year of A Level study. Most were moving onto an art foundation course in September, they were interested to learn that I had followed the same route and had studied at the same college they were destined for!
I talked through my career path and all about my job role here at TRC explaining the range of projects I work on from designing window schemes, creating VM guides and working with the team to develop retail concepts. It was fascinating to see the students connect how their studies could be translated to a job and career, and we also had an interesting discussion about what brands and shops they admired.
It was lovely to feel the groups excitement and enthusiasm for the next stage of their education and good to know that I helped them understand a bit more about the wide range of options open to them. I felt that I gained as much from the experience and they did.
Late last year I was thumbing through an art magazine and saw this advert about inspiring the next generation of young people and it made me think about my time back at school. I remember not knowing the direction I really wanted to follow or what potential careers existed beyond the norm. I think having a scheme like this would have been beneficial to help alleviate some of those anxieties, so I signed up and a few months later I was attending my first event at a local Sixth Form.
The event would take the form of ‘speed networking’ and involved professionals (me!) being interviewed by a small group of students for about ten minutes at a time.
I arrived to a welcome breakfast and an inspiring talk by the head of the Sixth Form thanking us for coming along. It felt strange being the ‘grown up’ now and I was honoured to be here to talk about my journey. After the talk the professionals were split up into groups based on our field of expertise e.g. creative, law, medical. We were then interviewed individually by the students, who were a mix of year 10, 11 and 12 (ages 15 – 17). They asked question such as ‘What do you do each day?’ ‘What qualifications do you need?’ and ‘What do you enjoy about your job?.
We discussed my career path and the diversity of my job role and the exciting projects I get to work on, designing retail window schemes, graphic design and new store concepts. It was intense two hours but exciting and rewarding to see young people so engaged in their future.
Come back for more updates from the team as we continue our year of volunteering…….