Spring 2017 marked the launch of the 'Do You Really Know?" series. I created and successfully delivered two 'Careers TASTER Days' with the help of trusted friends and colleagues.
What were the Career TASTER Days about?
The days were a combination of lectures and practical activities for students aged 14-18. The careers day in March covered a combination of professions including:
- Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy
- Investment banking and Accounting
The second course during May was limited to health careers and was comprised of:
- Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy
The workshops ran simultaneously in separate rooms with an introductory talk in the morning, followed by a panel of professionals speaking about their experiences and careers. The panel session included questions from the students. The final session was an activity for example Basic Life Support or First Aid for those interested in pursuing medicine as a career.
The structure was the same but there were a number of different professionals. The practical session for dentistry included the students having the chance to make their own dental moulds. This was a great chance for the students to show their manual dexterity which is an essential skill to be a dentist! They thoroughly enjoyed the session and it was a great learning experience for me too!
Achieving Goals and Breaking Boundaries
This was a great moment for me because it allowed me to achieve a number of aims:
- Connecting doctors with students from a wide variety of backgrounds, especially students who may not have any connections to university, or any connections to doctors.
- Connecting other professionals in the fields of Law, Dentistry, Banking, Accounting and Pharmacy with students in local communities.
- Reaching over 50 students combined - I set the goal of reaching at least 20 students per course and exceeded this.
- The students were educated and informed about life as a doctor, lawyer etc and they were given great tips, advice and reality checks too!
- Students and professionals alike were able to network with each other and some of the students gained work experience from one of the GPs that attended.
- The courses showed me that I am creating and delivering great content which is based on the feedback from the students, parents, teachers and speakers.
I was delighted when ITV news covered the work I am doing with students. The segment was about the lack of students from a variety of backgrounds at medical school and how I am trying to change this. There are more students from privileged backgrounds at medical school and there is a significant under-representation of students from certain backgrounds for example students of Black Caribbean descent.
I received tremendous feedback and I hope that the more people that see it are inspired to help the next generation. My journey to where I am now was by no means easy and although I am 'successful' based on my achievements I still have a long way to go. I am setting an example for other successful professionals; it is important to help others to get to where you are now. I am sure others have had to put in years of hard work and sacrifice, so ask yourself why does it have to be just as hard for someone else coming after you?
New Opportunities and Partnerships
Through the careers days I have been able to meet a number of people who are exceptional in what they do and in their great desire to help the next generation. I am so humbled that I have been supported by others who think what I am doing is great. I could not have successfully delivered the courses if it were not for the professionals taking time out of their busy schedules to contribute to the days.
I am currently working on four more careers days with a company called Premed Projects. I am still on the look out for more doctors who are willing to give up their time to help. So, if you are reading this and can dedicate just one hour of your time to speak about your career, or know someone who might please get in touch so yo can make a difference to a young person's life!