Goldman Sachs A-Level Girls Program

Finance has always seemed like a mystery to me. Something that was whispered around dining tables and became many students ‘elusive’ career goal. I signed up for the Goldman Sachs A-level Girls program expecting nothing more than to listen to employees at Goldman Sachs give talks. But the 8-hour event proved to be more insightful and inspiring than I could ever have hoped for.

The program for the event was seemingly normal- a lineup of different speakers, sprinkled with the occasional Q & A and networking session. What I had not expected was to be given a personal in-depth account from each of the female vice-presidents from different sectors at Goldman Sachs. Each woman told their story of how they found their place at Goldman Sachs and made the jump from university to a career in finance seem less daunting. They also shed light on the respective departments they were working for and taught us the ins and outs of the different jobs offered at Goldman Sachs. From listening to each talk my interest in the firm grew as I noticed the common thread between each talk. This being the ‘Goldman Sachs culture’ that each speaker’s talk showed, a culture that promoted an interdisciplinary and ever-evolving working environment that took pride in their ‘people’. I also gained a greater, less superficial understanding of finance as a job and even found myself being inclined towards certain job positions at Goldman Sachs.

We were then given the invaluable opportunity to have a networking lunch with different representatives of each sector. I made an effort to speak to as many different representatives as I could and gained a respect for all of them by the end of our discussions. The discussions with them also gave me a chance to clarify with them any questions I still had about finance. By the end of the day I had all my questions answered and left Goldman Sachs inspired.

Rachel 6.2

Concord’s Medical Futures Conference

Last Saturday, Concord College hosted its first ever “Medical Futures Conference”, not only for aspiring medics from our school, but students from schools all around Shropshire too. We were extremely lucky to have had guests from all across the country to talk to us about our journey as medical students in higher education, as well as the life of a healthcare professional.

We began our informative day with lectures by Afra Jiwa, Dr Gordon Dent and Professor Margaret Callan, where they advised us on ‘what to do’ when applying to medical school. Their advice included ways of writing incredible personal statements, preparing for the strenuous interviews as well as choosing the right medical school. The tip that really stuck with me was from Dr Dent – He suggested to not only look at universities that peaked our interest, but to also look at the schools with application processes that would play in our favour. This is because different universities often focus on different areas of students’ applications.

After a quick lunch break, everyone adjourned to the Science Block where there were healthcare professionals that we could seek advice from in terms of their job scopes, university representatives who hosted informal discussions about the medical courses they offer, and a series of short talks and workshops from other visitors and organisations. My personal favourite was the practical hands-on session by Medical Mavericks, which featured several activities that helped us experience different aspects of medical professions. One activity that particularly caught everyone’s attention was the artificial arm that we could attempt to draw blood out from – just like we would in real life, which I must admit, was not an easy task.

To conclude this enriching conference, Professor Divya Chari gave a keynote speech on the use of tissue engineering to improve stem cell transplantation for nervous system repair and her research associated with it. Her brilliant lecture educated us about a new aspect of medicine and it was the perfect way to end an enjoyable conference.

A massive thanks to Mr Brown, the Medical Society Committee, supporting teachers and everyone else involved for making this astounding conference happen. It definitely helped me and all who attended, and we have gained confidence in our application strategies to attend medical schools. Here’s to an even more fantastic conference next year.

Natalie – 6.1