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October 9th 2023

Opening doors via invaluable work experience

As part of our new Work Experience (WEX) Talk series, a number of Year 12 students delivered fascinating talks to our future Sixth Formers (current Year 11s) on their amazing range of holiday work experience placements, securing opportunities across a wide range of industries, from Medicine and Finance to Architecture, Science and Engineering.

The Heads of Year 12 & 13 and our Head of Futures were also hugely impressed at their confidence in presenting their learnings and experiences to the group. Thank you so much to Lisa, Tiana, Sophia, Jasmin and Tarika for sharing your experiences – and read on to hear from two of our WEX students, Jasmin and Maddie. 


Work Experience: Museum of Military Medicine and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH)

Over the summer, I secured two incredible work experience placements: one at the Museum of Military Medicine for two weeks where I helped with marketing, archiving, preservation and worked in the shop where I got to talk about the museum with members of the public. 

The second opportunity was at Great Ormond Street Hospital in the Plastic Surgery Department - I was invited in and mentored by lead plastic surgeon Neil Bulstrode (who was also my own surgeon when I needed surgery as a child at GOSH). There I got to watch surgeries like ear reconstructions, take part in clinics (maxofacial, surgical, hand surgery clinic) and pre- and post-operative assessments, shadow an on-call doctor for a day, sit in patient meetings and experience medical training sessions such as a suturing lesson with junior doctors and a hand trauma teaching session. 

In the future, I am aiming to do a Physiotherapy degree at Essex University, with a future goal of becoming a Physiotherapy Officer in the British Army. I currently am studying A-levels in Business, Politics and Psychology at Blackheath High Sixth Form.

Written by Jasmine, Year 12


Work Experience: Imperial College London, Labs

Imperial College London does not accept school interns. But Year 12 student Maddie so impressed Dr David Labonte, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Bioengineering, that he made an exception to the rule and invited her in to work with his PhD students on a project designed to generate (almost) photo-realistic 3D models of stick insects, using the University’s in-house photogrammetry platform scAnt.  

scAnt offers the technological ability to "rig" a model of a stick insect - assigning virtual bones and joints to it – in order to make it move – satisfying Maddie’s interest in both computer science and stick insects! Indeed, Maddie hopes to build a scAnt scanner herself one day and aims to pursue Science at university in order to better understand the technology. Achieving straight 9s and 8s in her GCSEs, Maddie is now studying Physics, Maths and Chemistry at A-level, plus an EPQ focusing on parthenogenesis in phasmids. 

This unique opportunity came to Maddie on the back of an insightful tour with Dr Kaimaki of Imperial College’s Evolutionary Biomechanics Group's amazing laboratory; and her passion for phasmids. Maddie was inspired by their giant Sungaya inexpectata robot, her favourite type of stick insect and the main species in her collection.

Maddie, Year 12

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