Careers Stories

Tom Fuller (08-15) secured a work experience day at a leading transport consultancy in Leeds through OP Chris Hoskin (89-96).

“I had a really productive day and learned loads about how an engineering firm works and the jobs that the engineers do. As a sixth former at the time, it was really good for me to see the kind of jobs an engineering degree leads to and start building a network for the future.”

Lucy Snowden (06-13) was unsure about which career direction to take but knew she enjoyed writing and communication.  The OP network helped her find a placement at the London office of a global PR company through OP Chris Talago (84-86).

“I have really enjoyed my time here and now have a good insight on where I want to be in the future. I feel I could seriously consider a career in PR. The biggest lesson I will take away with me is that experience is invaluable.”

Max Los (98-09) agreed to talk to a fifth form student about routes into architecture. This helped her to make an informed decision in regard to her A-level subject choices.  Max was also able to arrange a few days’ work experience over the summer at his firm.

“I am very grateful to Max for giving up his time for me and giving me first hand advice about architecture. I think the OP network is a great idea; not only does it provide a great insight to careers but also provides great links to help in later life.”.

Guy Harland (07-12) secured a paid engineering work placement for his gap year at a leading engineering company through an OP.

“The OP network helped me every step of the way, offering frank and thoughtful discussion on which career was best for me and connecting me to OPs in engineering. OPs advised me through the application process which resulted in an offer of paid work experience. I have nothing but praise for the OP network, and I hope others will take full advantage of the services it provides.”

James Reckitt (10-12) gained valuable experience in law during the sixth form.  He recently graduated with a 1st in Law and has secured a pupillage at a chambers in York.

Rocio Mondaca (04-11) did a mini pupillage at the beginning of her upper sixth year with OP barrister Andrew Wilson (89-99) to help her decide whether law was definitely for her and to gain practical experience to assist her with her university applications.

“The pupillage consisted of shadowing Andrew in his chambers and also the County Court in Grimsby and the Combined Court Centre in Hull. Through this I was able to observe much about the day to day dealings of the law in practice. This helped not only to cement my conviction that I would like to study law at university, but it also helped me with my university application, in particular my personal statement. It enabled me to write passionately and include first-hand experience. I think this is why my application was so successful and I received offers from all of my chosen universities.”

Tynam McNeil (99-10) decided to go down the industry route straight away and with the help of the OP careers network he secured a job as a trainee accountant with OP Stacey McVeighty (93-98) at her accountancy firm in York and went on to do professional accountancy exams.

James Pratt (02-09) studied Television Production at the University of Leeds.  He struggled to find work experience or a placement within the industry which he needed for his course. Through an introduction via the OP network and after a tough interview he got a placement with an OP TV Producer.  He went on to successfully finish his degree and has since secured paid contracts with Sky Television and Endemol.

“It is a difficult industry to break into, particularly when you have no connections. I am so grateful for the help of OPs.”

Charlie Smith (98-09) studied Music at Manchester. He received offers of help and advice to pursue his ambition of becoming a singing teacher and choral conductor from a number of OPs including Jason Carr (80-85).

Ollie Brant (02-09) and his father, Mark, came into School to talk to sixth formers about careers in the financial services sector. Ollie embarked on an engineering degree but decided it wasn’t for him and changed careers. He retrained as a financial advisor with St James’ Place and now works for York-based financial and wealth management firm, Network Ventures, where Mark is also the Principal. As a result of the talk, the company took two sixth formers on work experience placements over the summer.

Guy Brumfield (01-08) graduated in 2011 with a BSc in Environmental Geosciences. He proactively applied for jobs for over six months and got nowhere. With the help of the OP network, Guy got valuable work experience, interview practice and advice on his CV which helped him get an interview and a permanent full-time position on the graduate training scheme at one of the world’s largest environmental consultants.

“The OP network helped me get the opening I needed to get my career up and running.”

Max Rayner (98-06) studied a BSc in Ethical Hacking for Computer Security at Northumbria University. He secured an IT placement at Aviva in York through a current parent.

Rob Larard (95-00) retrained to become a surveyor with the help of fellow OP and land management consultant Tom Nash (68-77). Rob was working in the financial services industry but realised it wasn’t for him so enrolled on a Postgraduate Diploma course in Surveying. He was struggling to find relevant work experience to complete the course until Tom offered him a placement at his firm. Rob went on to successfully complete his course and has since secured full-time employment with Shepherd Group Properties Ltd in York.

Feedback from parents:

Parent of James Pratt (01-09) “We are so grateful for your help in finding a work placement for James. Television and radio broadcasting is a difficult industry to break into, particularly when you have no connections. Thanks to the OPA he has struck gold with a placement at a TV production company. MD David Peet (66-71) gave James a challenging phone interview, which James followed up by sending some of his own ideas for a programme. It appears to be a match made in heaven for our son, who has some very alternative ideas and loves comedy. Thank you again, we will happily continue to pay our OP subscriptions with two more children still in school.”

Parent of James Reckitt (10-12) “Our son James, aged 17, has spent time over the summer gaining valuable work experience through the OP network. His aim is to read Law at University and he eventually hopes to become a barrister. The OP network provided us with offers of help and contact details of OPs to follow up. James has since had a fantastic time shadowing these incredibly helpful and supportive OPs who have given their time and shared their expertise with him so willingly. We should like to urge all parents to use the OP network as it is a huge asset to Pocklington School. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity for your son or daughter!”

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