If you can see it, you can be it: Preparing students for the world of work

A key focus of St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School’s latest strategic plan is to further strengthen careers and employability programs for students in Years 9 to 12 to nurture the necessary skills to participate, thrive and lead in a global economy.

Jul 23, 2021, updated Jul 28, 2021

To this end, the school recently held its third annual Broadening Horizons careers conference and expo for Year 10 students, just one aspect of the school’s careers program.

Based on the premise, “if you can see it, you can be it”, the conference intentionally exposes students to people in different careers so that students are able to picture the same kinds of possibilities for themselves and make informed decisions about their study and work options beyond school.

For Year 12 student Ashleigh Pomeroy, who has dreams of one day working in the commercial space travel industry, without the careers education she has been exposed to at St Margaret’s, she never would have considered studying a Bachelor of Mechatronic Engineering when she leaves school.

“It was at the Careers Expo in Year 10 that I first heard about this relatively new engineering discipline – mechatronics. It was a STEM field I had no idea about.

“Mechatronics is a growing industry combining mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering – skills required in many careers.

“At the Expo, I had the chance to speak with an ambassador from The University of Queensland who encouraged me to further explore the field of mechatronics and the careers it could lead to,” she said.

Ashleigh says she’s always had a fascination with space and robotics and these interests have been nurtured through school-initiated opportunities like QUT STEM Camp, where she was exposed to career opportunities, worked with mentors and obtained real-world experience.

“St Margaret’s opens doors to opportunities like QUT STEM Camp which was a rewarding experience and I have greatly benefited from the STEM skills it taught me.

“I have also had the opportunity to study a broad range of STEM subjects at school like Digital Technologies, which gave me the opportunity to experiment with robots and an early insight into the field of robotics and how broad it can be,” Ashleigh said.

St Margaret’s Director of Careers and Portfolio Pathways Naomi Holley said the Broadening Horizons Conference exposes students to the world of careers education and prepares them to be excited about and well prepared for life beyond school.

“We want to model for students the variety of career pathways and opportunities by hearing from a range of experts, recent school leavers and tertiary institutions to raise their aspirations, broaden their horizons and highlight the changing nature of work and its impact on Australians,” Naomi said.

The conference is positioned within the Year 10 curriculum to intentionally inform students about future opportunities in preparation for their senior subject selection. It has become integral to the Careers Program which supports and encourages students to engage in lifelong learning and make connections from the classroom to life.

In addition to this initiative, St Margaret’s also provides the services of a full time Careers Counsellor who works with both individual students to guide them in subject selection and career choices and also with year level groups to keep students abreast of opportunities within their areas of interest and industry trends.

To find out more about a St Margaret’s education, visit the school’s Open Morning on Thursday 12 August. To register to attend visit their website. 

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