18 + Education -How do you decide what to do? – Hermione Ford CLFS

City of London Freemen’s School held a Careers, Education and Gap Convention on 18th November, with over forty exhibitors and timetabled talks to help you make this key decision. Twenty different schools were invited, and the event was packed full of students between Year 10 and Year 12 from the surrounding area. Several UK universities were present, with their current students available to answer all kinds of questions, as well as further afield establishments such as the University of British Colombia, and the IE University in Spain. There is an overwhelming choice of universities, but seeing just these few, meant I was able to start to see the huge choice of places to study. Collecting a few prospectuses, freely available to all visitors, has helped me to realise the sheer number of degrees offered by each place, and appreciate the amazing number of opportunities that are out there for young people.  All three forces were there to discuss their opportunities for training post 18 as well as stalls for Broadcast journalism, teaching, ZSL, Vets, the Civil Service and BP to name a few, also had stalls. There were stalls from The Language Gap and Ski Le Gap available to demonstrate the many options available if you decide to take a year off between school and further education. 

A talk by Sue Taylor from the Apprenticeship Partnership opened my eyes to the idea of taking an apprenticeship as valuable alternative to going to university, and it was amazing to hear the sheer number of companies that are currently offering apprenticeships to young people. Many believe that this may be the way forward for future training, as it results in no student debt and allows you to be paid to train and makes you more employable as a result. The second talk I attended was on Admissions Procedures for universities where ran through the many considerations you should think about when choosing a university after you have decided what you want to study. Should you live at home or decide that the more expensive, but maybe more fun option of, student accommodation, or whether it is campus or city based university that you would prefer. It was also interesting to hear about the university admissions process, and the importance of a personal statements, which the speaker gave clear advice on how to write. 

 I found the careers fair very informative as definitely helped to make the whole idea of planning the next few years seem much less daunting by providing useful information and outlining the many opportunities that are out there. As a result, I feel quite excited about finding out what the options are and what I would enjoy doing and what would be a sensible choice for me. I would thoroughly recommend visiting a similar occasion to anybody who is deciding where education post 16 will take them, as I personally left the event feeling much less intimidated by the whole thing, and even excited for what’s to come in the next few years. 

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