In a week long initiative, Portsmouth High School interviewed recently left alumnae to talk to the girls about their, sometimes not straight forward, journey to where they currently are in their careers. In morning assemblies, aptly named ‘Girls Like You’, the senior school heard experiences from alumnae and what they had learned at Portsmouth High School to help them with their choices.
Mrs Sammy Davies, Head of Careers at Portsmouth High School said:
‘The message has been consistent; it does not matter if you do not know what you want to do at the moment, take every opportunity that is presented to you with both hands. Do not be afraid to diverge from the path and do what is right for you.’
The first morning saw Ellie Harrison (Class of 2014) talk about her route to becoming a Physician Associate at St Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight, followed on Tuesday morning by Grace Newcombe (Class of 2013) who is a Clean Growth Researcher for environmental think tank, Localis, based in London. Grace took the term ‘working from home’ to new heights and is currently living in Montreal in Canada and working via Zoom.
‘It is very much okay to not know what you want to do, change your mind or take your time. I had the sensation of being left behind by my peers but actually I was just on a different path and we have all caught up with each other.’
On Wednesday morning solicitor Tammy Mahmood from the Class of 2014, talked about her role as a solicitor working in the Film, TV & Theatre division of Harbottle & Lewis.
On Thursday the school heard from Alana Grady (Class of 2013) who recounted her experiences of being Projects Manager with the Aurora Orchestra and on Friday Ellie Jones, Class of 2014, talked about her role as a Mental Health Wellbeing Practitioner for the NHS in central London.
The pupils also had access to other recorded interviews with Esme Grange (Class of 2013) a dentist, Alice Evans (Class of 2013) who is a hospital doctor, Pippa Byrom (Class of 2014) who works as an Outdoor Educator for the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Beth Booth (Class of 2014) an Intensive Care Nurse, Lauren Wilson (Class of 2014) the Marketing & Events Manager for the International Tennis Federation, Zoe Printer (Class of 2015), Digital Events Management in the charities sector, Adele O’Callaghan (Class of 2015), a Data Engineering Consultant and Eloise Hardy (Class of 2015) a Journalist & Radio Producer for Times Radio.
‘The common theme,’ said Headmistress, Mrs Jane Prescott, ‘is for the girls to grasp every opportunity given to them and that life and work can take a series of different routes which you could never envisage.
‘These young women are inspirational and in this time of uncertainty for our examination years in particular their story is encouraging and enables everyone to see a time beyond school. We are so grateful to our alumnae who stay in touch with us regularly and spare the time to talk to their former school and the girls.’
Girls Like You – Adele O’Callaghan
Girls Like You – Alana Grady
Girls Like you – Alice Evans
Girls Like You – Beth Booth
Girls Like You – Ellie Harrison
Girls Like You – Ellie Jones
Girls Like You – Esme Grange
Girls Like You – Lauren Wilson
Girls Like You – Pippa Byrom
Girls Like You – Tammy Mahmood
Girls Like You – Zoe Printer
Girls Like You – Grace Newcombe