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St Benedict's Catholic School

St Benedict's
Catholic School

Career Profiles

 

Environmental Scientist

Oliver Moore, Class of 2012

Environmental Scientist

Higher Education Subject and University: 

BSc Environmental Earth Science (2012-2016) and MSc Environmental Monitoring and Analysis (2015-2016) (both at Aberystwyth University)

Current Job: 

PhD Student at the University of Manchester

Brief Career History: 

Achieved a 2:1 in my BSc and a Distinction in my MSc. Worked as a Laboratory Analyst from 2016 to 2018. Started my PhD in September 2018 and expect to complete in March 2022. 

What do you love about your job: 

The freedom to pursue my interests, to work with distinguished scientists, to learn advanced skills and techniques and to travel (for fieldwork and conferences). 

What three pieces of advice would you give someone thinking of a career in Environmental Science:

  1. Get your driving licence ASAP! Most jobs in the environmental sector require one for fieldwork so I can't state this enough. I left learning to drive until quite late and as a result I was locked-out of many jobs for which I was otherwise fully qualified for. Friends of mine who were less academically qualified than me (i.e. had a weaker BSc and didn't do an MSc) but already had a driving licence, didn't have this problem. Also its easier to learn when your younger, so even if you're not planning to get a car until after university, I would still strongly advise learning at age 17-18 if possible.
  2. Look up summer-internship and year-in-industry placements offered by environmental and geo-technical consultancy companies. Having this kind of work experience will significantly help you in the job market post-graduation. The company may even offer you a job to go straight into after you graduate. 
  3. If you have the opportunity to spend a semester or a year abroad - take it! This is something I deeply regret not doing and I would advise this to all students applying to university for any subject.  

How did St Benedict’s help you into your present role: 

As someone on the autistic spectrum (mild Asperger's Syndrome) the support offered to me at St Benedicts was very important. This came in the form of in-class learning support assistants and a good system in place which could identify and implement my exam requirements.  

Favourite memory from your time at St Benedict’s: 

This would be my sixth form years. In A-level Geography and History I learnt so much about the world we live in and this not only helped me in further studies but also made me a well-informed citizen. For example, one of my A-Level History units was on "British political and economic history 1945-2007" - though this is not so relevant to environmental sciences, what I learned in this unit significantly (still!) helps me understand current affairs. 

Three words to sum up an average working day: 

Varied, challenging, stimulating. 

 

Professor, Head of Medical Education

Professor, Head of Medical Education - Warwick Medical School

Colin MacDougall, Class of 1987

Higher Education Subject and University:

Newcastle (University of Newcastle upon Tyne at the time – now changed to just Newcastle!) - Medicine

Current Job:

Professor, Head of Medical Education

Brief Career History:

Aug 1992-Aug 1993 Pre-registration ‘house’ jobs;

Ashington and Newcastle.

Aug 1993 - Jan 1996        General Professional Training; Northern Region Paediatric SHO programme. General & Community Paediatrics, Neonatology and Paediatric Cardiology

Feb 1996 - Feb 2002        Higher Specialist Training; Northern Region Paediatric HST/SpR programme,. General, Community & Neonatal Paediatrics, Paediatric Infectious diseases, allergy, ITU and endocrinology

(Sept 1998-Aug 2000 Education Fellow Sunderland Royal Hospital)

Apr 2002 – July 2010       Leicester Warwick Medical Schools & University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. Senior Clinical Lecturer in Medical Education and Honorary Consultant Paediatrician.

Aug 2010 – Sept 2015     Warwick Medical School & University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. Deputy Head, Warwick MBChB, Warwick Medical School. Academic Lead for Learning and Teaching.

Sept 2015 -         Warwick Medical School & University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. Professor (Professorial Clinical Teaching Fellow until Sept 2018) and Honorary Consultant Paediatrician. Head of Medical Education, Warwick Medical School.     

What do you love about your job:

Seeing enthusiastic new graduates succeed on their journey to becoming the next generation of doctors!

What three pieces of advice would you give someone thinking of a career in medicine:

  1. Don’t be too fixed in your planning – I set off to be a clinical doctor and now am mostly an educationalist!
  2. Do stuff you enjoy – I love being a doctor but I also love teaching – and started doing more and more (mainly for fun)… and it became my career!
  3. Remember that everything you do (whether it is direct care, training others or whatever) should be about how it will benefit patients

How did St Benedict’s help you into your present role:

St Benedict’s gave me the opportunity to learn and get the grades I needed – but never ‘hot housed’ me. If I was focused and wanting to work, there was all the support I needed, but the motivation had (rightly) to come from me. Learning was about me and what I wanted from it and not about what others wanted or how it would look for the school.

Favourite memory from your time at St Benedict’s:

Some of my A level Chemistry was more ‘explosive’ than was perhaps intended, or would probably be allowed today!

Three words to sum up an average working day:

Complex, Busy, Rewarding

Diagnostic Radiographer

Natasha Carlyn, Class of 2012

Diagnostic Radiographer

Higher Education Subject and University:

BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography from University of Suffolk

Current Job:

Diagnostic Radiographer - Addenbrookes Hospital

Brief Career History:

I worked a part time general assistant job for Sainsbury’s during my education before qualifying as a radiographer, which is what I have been doing since. I have very recently accepted a job in MRI, which is what I will be training to do next.

What do you love about your job:

My job has a lot of variety, a radiographer works in several areas including but not limited to A&E, theatre, and outpatients settings. The scope for development is immense should there be a desire to specialise in a particular area, such as MRI, CT and nuclear medicine. We are at the cutting edge of technology and medical imaging is invaluable to the pathways of most if not all patients that attend hospital.

What three pieces of advice would you give someone thinking of a career as a Diagnostic Radiographer:

Decide which type of radiographer you want to be, therapeutic or diagnostic. Whilst sharing the same title, they are very different disciplines requiring specific sets of skills.

Anything is possible- anyone of all ages and levels of experience join radiography courses. Whether you decide to do this now or after you’ve done something else, radiography does not discriminate. 

Never give up, don’t doubt yourself and keep going! - the radiography degree is mentally and physically exhausting, and a totally different discipline to other degrees. It will all be worth it in the end once you are fully qualified and performing your own imaging!

How did St Benedict’s help you into your present role:

I attended St Benedict’s from when I was 12 - 18. This time is some of the most influential in a young person’s life. I grew up at St Benedict’s, and St Benedict’s helped shape who I am today, still using the morals and values instilled in me from year 9. There is no one specific thing I can say St Benedict’s did to make me who I am today, but the ethos of the school and what we stood for has definitely benefitted me in my life so far.

Favourite memory from your time at St Benedict’s:

My favourite memories are of the school music concerts led by Mr Berridge (then Head of Music). Whether musically inclined or not, young people are capable of delivering some amazing performances. The school concerts were times when status, popularity and grades did not matter. Everyone came together and delivered something special for all our loved ones to see. That is what music is all about.

Three words to sum up an average working day:

It’s hard to choose 3 words that sum up an average day at work as it always changes. But I can provide three important values.

Always be kind to whomever you meet in hospital, you never know what anyone is going through.

Aim for perfection, as that image could change someone’s life.

Be thankful, as everyday (whether you know it or not) you are making a difference.

 Solicitor - Property Law

Luke Stockings, Class of 2009

Solicitor - Property Law

Higher Education Subject and University:

Nottingham Trent University – LL.B Law Degree / Nottingham Law School – Legal Practice Course.

Current Job:

Solicitor, specialising in residential property, commercial property, and corporate acquisitions.

Brief Career History:

I graduated with a 2:1 in my LL.B Law degree. After leaving Nottingham Law School with my LPC (Commendation), I started work at a law firm in Market Harborough that specialise in residential property transactions. From there, I moved to Rudlings Wakelam Solicitors in Bury St. Edmunds where I became a Trainee Solicitor and qualified as a Solicitor with the firm. I now work for Fairhurst Menuhin Solicitors, based in Newmarket and Haverhill specialising in residential property, commercial property and corporate acquisitions.

What do you love about your job: 

A vast client-base varying from first-time buyers of a residential property, to commercial clients leasing shops in the high street, to Directors of a successful business looking to sell their business or acquire new businesses. No two days are the same, and I am constantly learning and testing myself. I am constantly networking with fellow professionals and learning from experienced solicitors.

What three pieces of advice would you give someone thinking of a career as a Solicitor:

  1. Try to get as much work experience as possible – most people will come away with a 2:1 Degree or higher, and a Commendation or higher on the LPC. You need to separate yourself from the rest by volunteering your time to experience how law firms operate in practice

  2. Work hard, but maintain a good work / social life balance. A successful solicitor is a well-rounded individual that is good with a wide variety of clients with different needs.

  3. Understand that there will be difficult days – there will always be something you don’t know. Don’t be afraid to ask someone with more experience.

How did St Benedict’s help you into your present role:

My time at St. Benedict’s was very important to me. Sixth form was the starting point in taking control of my own time and diary. This is particularly important when heading to University. The variety of sports that the school offers is beneficial as participating in sports at University is a great way of making friends.

Favourite memory from your time at St Benedict’s:

Captaining the school football team, before being called up to represent both West Suffolk and Suffolk county level at football. It was from this that I was called up in to Tottenham academy.

Three words to sum up an average working day:

Varied, Rewarding, Stimulating.

Investment Banker

Nick Bigg, Class of 2015

Investment Banker

Higher Education Subject and University:

Royal Holloway University of London, First Class Honours in Business and Management (With Year In Industry)

Current Job:

Investment Banker

Brief Career History:

Part of my course included a year in business which I did at a brokerage firm in London, I then did short internships in other areas of finance, before securing a 6 month internship with an Investment Bank.

What do you love about your job:

The fast paced and stimulating nature of the job as well as working with CEO's of big companies.

What three pieces of advice would you give someone thinking of a career as a investment banking: 

  1. Try and get as much experience as you can 
  2. Network very hard through LinkedIn - find people who may have gone to your school/uni and reach out to them
  3. Read around regarding the areas in investment banking and the various roles within it (It's not all BUY SELL BUY SELL)

How did St Benedict’s help you into your present role:

It is where I first learnt the value of hard work which has been the main principle in getting my role. 

Favourite memory from your time at St Benedict’s:

Hosting the school talent show was a great moment!

Three words to sum up an average working day:

Busy, Stimulating and Exciting 

 

 Head of Events & Exhibitions, Department for International Trade - Civil Service

Head of Events & Exhibitions, Department for International Trade - Civil Service

Dominic McNeice, Class of 1996

Higher Education Subject and University:

University of Leicester, Geography BSC

Current Job:

Head of Events & Exhibitions, Department for International Trade Defence & Security Organisation

Brief Career History:

Joined the Ministry of Defence as a direct graduate entrant civil servant working on an RAF base in Cambridgeshire as part of an integrated civilian and military team providing supply chain support to two aircraft. This job gave me a fantastic introduction into life as a civil servant and in particular working with service personnel in mixed teams. I was able to make the most of a lot of training opportunities which helped me to focus on a career pathway in the civil service which concentrated on Project Management. After taking a sabbatical to travel to New Zealand and Australia, I moved departments within the MOD working in communications and event project management. This role has evolved over time through departmental changes, and a promotion or two into the role I have today.

What do you love about your job:

I love the variety and high profile nature of my job. Although I have nearly 14 years’ experience in this type of role now, no job is ever the same twice. Coupled with the opportunity to work with Ministers and senior Government officials in the UK and overseas plus VIPs from a variety of countries – my team were responsible for the equipment displays at the NATO Summit held in Wales in 2014. The sense of pride in delivering a job well done on a major event is still hugely fulfilling – and I still really enjoy travelling and experiencing the different cultures of the places we hold events in. Best places I have been to in this job so far… Chile, India and Kazakhstan.

What three pieces of advice would you give someone thinking of a career as a Civil Servant:
 
The modern Civil Service is quite different to the one I joined back in 2001, and requires people to be able to multi-task and keep many plates spinning. I would encourage anyone considering the civil service as a career to look into the wide range of jobs across the wide range of departments – my role is very different to that of someone working in trade policy for example. The Civil Service also now offers opportunities such as internships and apprenticeships which provide a great way of experiencing the work of the departments and beginning a career, so it is definitely worth looking into these. Lastly keep an eye on world and UK events and take an interest in what is happening, as it drives the work of the departments.
 
How did St Benedict’s help you into your present role:
 
I look back very fondly on my time at St Benedict’s, and was the last of my family to go there after my two older sisters. The school and teachers when I was there and I am sure is the case today, gave me a fantastic base to learn and experience the world. Life as a teenager is not always the easiest and St Benedict’s always provided strong support and room to grow as a person. My studies in English, Geography and History with the support of some excellent and memorable teachers encouraged me to go onto study at university which in turn led me to work in the Civil Service. My time at St. Benedict’s also gifted my some lifelong friends who I still remain close to today.
 
Favourite memory from your time at St Benedict’s:
 
Too many to go into, but either an English field trip to Dorset whilst in the VIth Form, or being part of a perennially poor performing rugby side, who on the back of a brutally heavy defeat in arctic blizzard conditions, certainly gave me the ability to smile in the face of adversity.
 
Three words to sum up an average working day:
 
Pressure, variety, and more important fun!

Manufacturing Management, Rolls-Royce

Billy Spillane, Class of 2016

Manufacturing Management, Rolls-Royce Plc

Higher Education Subject and University/Degree Apprenticeship:

Engineering Business Management MSc @ Warwick University

On the Manufacturing Management Sponsored Degree Trainee Scheme at Rolls-Royce

Current Job:

Improvement Leader in Rolls-Royce Crosspointe, Virginia

Brief Career History:

Left school after A-Levels in 2016, worked as a Barista,

I got work experience as a Carbon Fibre Infusion Operator at Vintens in Bury St Edmunds,

Accepted on Manufacturing Management Scheme in Sept 2017,  

Since then worked as a Manufacturing Engineer for Defence Development  in Bristol,

Worked as an Improvement Leader for Defence Operations in Bristol and then for Defence Procurement in which I was accredited with a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt ,  

After that I worked as a Manufacturing Services Leader

Until I moved over to America to work as an Improvement Leader again.

What do you love about your job:

The product we produce is incredible, pushing the boundaries of engineering.

The people want to see you succeed and give you every opportunity to do so.  

What three pieces of advice would you give someone thinking of a career as a Manufacturing Manager:

  1. Develop an appreciation for Engineering; however you do not need to be an engineer.
  2. Focus on developing Leadership Skills and your Emotional Intelligence.
  3. Look into Degree Apprenticeships, find out what is out there and that there’s ways of getting a degree without the debt.

How did St Benedict’s help you into your present role:

Leading School Council helped to develop my leadership and organisational skills.

Going through GCSE’s and A Levels you begin to understand what motivates you and you can take that into any starting role in any company.

I’ve got support through the group of friends that I gained in Bennies and we still support and drive each other now.  

Favourite memory from your time at St Benedict’s:

Hosting the talent show in 2015

Three words to sum up an average working day:

Improvement, Engineering, Operations,

 

Corporate Treasurer

Andrew Gayfer, Class of 2011

Treasury Finance Manager at Greene King

Higher Education Subject and University:

BA Economics, University of Cambridge

Current Profession:

Corporate Treasurer

Brief Career History:

In the summer before my final year of university I completed an internship at Credit Suisse, an investment bank, and was subsequently offered a position on their graduate program. After graduating in 2014 I worked in London for three years in Credit Suisse’s finance department, primarily in roles focussed on accounting and financial control for the bank’s Structured Credit trading business. In 2017 I moved to Greene King where I now work as a corporate treasurer, with a particular focus on the development and delivery of the company’s financing strategy. 

What do you love about your job:

It’s very intellectually stimulating and incredibly varied – there’s never a dull moment when you’re working in treasury! I like that I’m able to work on projects of very high strategic importance for the company; it’s a job with a lot of responsibility and it’s really rewarding to see my work generating tangible and quantifiable benefits for the company as a whole. It’s also a job that involves working with lots of very talented people. On a day to day basis I interact with bankers, financial advisors, lawyers, rating agencies and auditors, as well as a wide range of colleagues internally. 

What three pieces of advice would you give someone thinking of a career as a Corporate Treasurer:

  1. Keep up to date with current affairs and political/economic developments. Treasurers play a key role in shaping business strategy and managing risk, so having a good understanding of external factors which impact businesses and generate risk or uncertainty for them is important.
  2. Develop an understanding of financial markets. It’s useful to have some knowledge of the way the market works, the key market participants, and the financial instruments used by corporates to raise funding and manage financial risk.

  3. Consider training as an accountant first – but never lose sight of the importance of cash. Corporate treasury can be a difficult profession to get into straight out of school or university and many treasurers start their careers in accounting before moving into treasury at a later stage. Although they are separate disciplines, working in accounting allows you to develop skills which are very transferrable to the treasury profession. Just be careful not to fall into the trap that some accountants fall into of thinking only in terms of profit and never in terms of cash, as the two can be very different and as a treasurer the latter is far more important. In business, it is often said that turnover is vanity, profit is sanity, but cash is reality!

How did St Benedict’s help you into your present role:

During my time at St Benedict’s I began to learn the importance of thinking critically and independently about issues, rather than just regurgitating information from a textbook. I had some great teachers who encouraged me to develop a really deep understanding of the subject at hand, rather than just teaching me how to pass the exams. This mindset was developed further while I was at university. As a treasurer my work hardly ever involves carrying out pre-defined processes, and the problems I’m called upon to help solve rarely have textbook solutions. As a result, it’s important to be able to think carefully about issues and draw upon all your accumulated knowledge and experience to make good decisions and come up with innovative solutions to problems.

Favourite memory from your time at St Benedict’s:

Countless impromptu debates with my sociology teacher on political and economic issues. We had very different political ideologies which always made for interesting discussions!

Three words to sum up an average working day:

Dynamic, strategic and varied.

Physiotherapist

Louis Hicks, Class of 2015

Physiotherapist

Higher Education Subject and University:

BSc Physiotherapy, The University of Nottingham

Current Profession:

Physiotherapist

Brief Career History:

Achieved a First Class Honours in my Physiotherapy degree which included assessments on theoretical and practical elements. My course had several clinical placements incorporated into the three years which gave me a variety of exposure to the work of a Physiotherapist. I recently started my first job working as a Physiotherapist on the vascular surgery ward at Royal Derby Hospital. My role is rotational so I will work in a variety of settings in the NHS Trust as a junior. 

What do you love about your job:

Being able to help patients work towards their goals and aspirations. Working for the NHS makes me feel very proud!

What three pieces of advice would you give someone thinking of a career as a Corporate Treasurer:

  1. Commonly people think you need to study A-Level Biology to apply for a Physiotherapy course. Wrong - most universities will accept PE or Biology and often prefer the student to study PE anyway! 
  2. Do your research. Physios definitely don’t just massage people! All physiotherapy courses will require some work experience prior to applying. It’s a good idea to get a wide range of experiences if you can, especially within the NHS. 
  3. Don’t expect to work in private practice or a sports team straight away. The majority of physios work in the NHS, especially early on in their careers. There’s a big drive for physiotherapy in the NHS as there is an ageing population with complex needs

How did St Benedict’s help you into your present role:

At the time I was at St Benedicts the school had brilliant connections with County Upper which allowed me to study PE at "A" level whilst remaining at St Benedicts.  Without this opportunity i wouldn't be where i am today!

Favourite memory from your time at St Benedict’s:

Playing football at lunchtimes with friends and playing for the school team!

Three words to sum up an average working day:

Busy, active and varied.

 Investment Consultant

Thomas Gayfer, Class of 2009

Investment Consultant

Higher Education Subject and University:

BSc Economics, University of Birmingham

Current Job:

Investment Consultant

Brief Career History: 

Following two summers working at a local Independent Financial Advisors during university, I gained a graduate position at Towers Watson (as it was then known) within the investment consulting team in 2012. My role primarily focused on supporting the provision of investment advice to pension schemes. Despite no formal career changes, my role has developed on an ongoing basis, including increasing the analytical nature of my role, taking on a wider and more complex range of clients, and proving the advice myself rather than supporting others to provide it. 

Alongside this role I have also recently been appointed as a Trustee for the Peter Minet Trust, a small grant-giving foundation based in South London.

What do you love about your job:  

Throughout my career, a key motivation has been to take opportunities that combine problem solving and helping people – and working in an industry such as pensions provides exactly that opportunity. The majority of my role is problem solving – how to balance the competing constraints on investment portfolios, which strategy works better in which portfolio, how to explain complex concepts to trustees without scaring them into inaction. Ultimately, the beneficiaries of our work are normal everyday people who are members of the pension schemes we work with, and it is great to know that the work we are doing helps to secure the long-term financial stability of these people.

On the softer side, it is fantastic working with so many intelligent, motivated and down to earth people, and working outside of London also has it’s perks, like the 10 minute commute to work every day!

What three pieces of advice would you give someone thinking of a career as an investment consultant:

  1. Understand the industry. Who our clients are, how they work with us, and the types of challenges the industry faces. Knowing what the role of an investment consultant doesn’t involve is as important as knowing what it does. The world I work in is rapidly changing, from the wider adoption of delegation within the investment consulting industry to the increasing number of pension schemes who will soon be in a position to secure their members benefits using very low risk investments. Understanding these dynamics is a fantastic first step towards success.
  2. Be prepared to learn. My role came with (and continues to have) a very steep learning curve which never seems to stop. Not only do I deal with a lot of difficult concepts, but these concepts continually change and evolve as our clients face new problems.
  3. Develop your people skills as well as your technical skills. Having good technical skills is important but can only take you so far. Being able to work well with people, firstly your colleagues, then your clients, is a key skill to have as well.

How did St Benedict’s help you into your present role:

My time at St Benedict’s armed me with a number of the key tools I’ve utilised throughout my career. Most important was the culture of critical thinking and problem solving, not only understanding what to do, but also why to do it, and how to apply it in other situations. This has been a crucial element of both my degree and my present role.

Another key benefit is learning the importance of working both hard and efficiently. Particularly during my GSCE and A-Level years, my teachers impressed the importance of spending my time on the activities that would have the most benefit to my progress. In my present role, working hard is an expectation, and without working efficiently things can run out of control.

Favourite memory from your time at St Benedict’s:

Receiving my A-level results was a fantastic day and a memory that will stay with me forever, and really justified all the hard work I’d put in over the years. Being able to celebrate with my friends made it even better.

Three words to sum up an average working day:

Focussed, analytical, collaborative.