Past meets present: How school alumni can help students plan their future
The British School in the Netherlands (BSN) delivers a British-based curriculum to students of over 80 nationalities across its four campuses in The Hague.
Claire Worland, Alumni Liaison at the BSN, explains how the school’s growing alumni network has proven to be a great resource for current students.
If you are struggling to choose the right school for your child a great tip is to take a peek at their alumni.
There is, of course, no crystal ball to see what the future holds, but a glimpse into the realms of university destinations and careers of past pupils can give a reassuring insight into what is possible when your child eventually leaves school.
The greatest ambassadors
There are no greater ambassadors for a school than its pupils, both past and present, and an alumni’s relationship with their former learning provider speaks volumes.
If successful, a school and its alumni can forge great links, even years after a student exits the school gates clutching exam results to start their journey towards a successful career.
Career advice at your fingertips
What do alumni connections mean for potential and current students? Put simply; a wealth of invaluable career advice, support and maybe - if you’re lucky - even an internship (yes, it has happened!).
Events such as Careers Network Dinners are a regular feature in our school’s calendar for 16-, 17- and 18-year-old pupils as they begin to think about their next steps.
Hearing from past students who are now flying high in their chosen fields, and having a chance to ask questions about preferred professions, can help current students to solidify university choices further down the line.
Sharing stories of global careers
Our latest Careers Network Dinner saw over 100 students sign up to attend, and 25 alumni willingly give their time, flying in from many different countries including UK, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Finland and Switzerland.
Together these alumni brought a very diverse range of career advice for existing students; from performing arts to medicine, and from finance to hospitality.
Other professions also represented through our alumni are biochemistry, sports science and law, all demonstrating a rich array of careers at students’ fingertips.
One alumna’s career path
BSN Alumna Mivy James went on to study Computer Science and Maths at the University of Manchester.
Mivy now works as Head of Consulting for National Security (NS), where she is responsible for 150 consultants, and as Deputy Head of Global Consulting for Applied Intelligence, the IT consulting arm of BAE Systems.
Coming back to her old school to share her experiences was a way for Mivy to give back to the younger generation, and to hopefully be a source of inspiration, particularly for female students considering entering the profession.
Small beginnings start at school
Sometimes it’s the smallest seeds that grow to become the most fruitful.
Mivy, who has acted as a consultant to the highest levels of government, taken parliamentary questions and seen the results of her work headlined in a national newspaper, began her pathway by problem solving at school.
An innovative idea
One evening Mivy wrote a small programme on her home computer and then the next day at school she was called to the front of the class. She was terrified she’d been caught cheating.
It turned out her father had stuck her programme in her homework book while she was sleeping. Mivy received a book token for her innovation and has never looked back.
Inspiring optimism for future generation
Stories like Mivy’s are inspirational, invaluable and should be shared across a school’s whole community. That’s why bringing past students together with present ones is where some of the best career advice can begin.