Employer engagement for Year 10s in Leeds

Ernst and Young careers event Feb 20th – Leeds City Centre

On Tuesday I was invited to be a panellist on the Ernst and Young careers workshop in Leeds City Centre. 

I was one of five people speaking to year 10 students from St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College (one of our partner schools) about my career development.

I talked to students about my route through academia including my PhD in Zoology, the types of research I have been involved in and all the different countries I have visited.  I then discussed my career-change where I moved into the education sector as programme coordinator for Solutions for the Planet in North England and Scotland.  Here I use my science background to develop resources for our Big Ideas Days, and my research skills to analyse all our feedback.  Here are some of the most interesting questions I received from students and my answers:

  • What are the key skills from your science career that you now use at Solutions for the Planet?

“My research and analytical skills are really important in terms of monitoring the success of our programme.  I analyse all the feedback data from teachers, students and mentors on the programme and use this to see what we are doing well and where we can improve.” 

  • Why did you decide to leave science behind?

“After being involved in lots of teaching and outreach projects during my science career I found that I was becoming really interested in communicating science to the public and particularly young people.  This was my main motivation for taking the role at Solutions for the Planet.”

  • What is the scariest animal you have encountered?

“I have had some quite frightening encounters with elephants! Although they are very big they are also very quiet so whilst you are watching another animals you don’t always notice them.  Elephants don’t really like being startled and I have been charged at several times for accidentally walking into a herd!”

It was fantastic to be a part of the event and particularly to engage with older students from a school I already know so well.  Giving young people the chance to question and engage with multiple different types of employers at this age is so important in helping them to realise the scope of careers opportunities available.  It was also great to have panellists from such different educational backgrounds, highlighting the many routes into work via education, apprenticeships, and work placements.


Written by: Dr. Jess Mitchell, S4TP Programme Coordinator, North England & Scotland

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solutions for the Planet Ltd.