15 March 2023
Mrs Maria Young, Director of Higher Education and Careers
‘What is the story I want for my life?’ was the question our four ‘Women and the Workplace’ speakers encouraged the Lower Sixth to consider very deeply on Tuesday 14 March. An excellent question at Woldingham, where we aim to help each student to ‘write your own story’.
We were treated to superb presentations from recent Woldingham alumnae: Annabel Lovegrove, Tiwalola Ogunlesi, Sarah Crothers and Lauren Morton, each giving a compelling and often humorous account of their highly successful career journeys.
However, none of their paths have followed the routes they originally envisaged. Annabel has developed a highly successful career within psychology after an initial degree in hospitality management and is now a project manager for a US non-profit organisation. Tiwalola recovered from the bruising effects of the Covid years on her fledgling organisation and has now established an inspirational life-coaching programme, aiming to equip women around the world with the mindset and confidence to take positive action in their lives. Her passion for mentoring women to be their most effective selves was powerfully expressed. Sarah is now a career development advisor at Hult International Business School and has followed her passion for coaching people alongside her ‘day job’. After several high-profile jobs with National Citizen Service and Deloitte, she listened to her heart and had the courage to take her career in a new direction. Lauren’s career initially involved close proximity to horses, always one of her ambitions, as she developed digital marketing systems at Cheltenham and Epsom racecourses. However, her interests have evolved towards digital marketing within FinTech in recent years. She has now joined RBC BlueBay Asset Management. Lauren also plays rugby at a serious level for Wimbledon.
After describing their fascinating career journeys, our speakers answered questions from the students. They gave particularly powerful advice on the subject of dealing with rejection, emphasising that rejections and setbacks are essential aspects of our working lives, the important thing being to take the experience, to learn from it - always asking for feedback – and grow. Their message about building a successful career was very much not to wait around for people to give you the chance: often you will need to create that chance for yourself, knocking on doors, in person, to find the future you deserve.
At the end, the girls were thrilled to be able to obtain signed copies of Tiwa’s book, ‘Confident and Killing It’, which is certainly going to empower them as they set out to be the authors of their own stories.