Great Opportunities

for bright minds

A unique careers event for talented sixth form and first year university students with a disability or health condition

 June 2017

Come and explore your future with us

With so many career options available, deciding what you want to do can be overwhelming and confusing. For individuals with a disability or long term health condition this can be especially true, as you also consider how you are going to manage your disability in the workplace.

‘go’ is a unique careers event for talented and disabled sixth form and first year university students (at the time of the event). Whether you’re considering school leaver programmes, apprenticeships or graduate positions, we would like to share with you the great opportunities on offer.

With contributions from some of the UK’s leading firms, the event will help you to develop you understanding of the various industry sectors, the different functions within them, and the variety of career paths on offer. The event will also cover how best to approach the application and selection process in order to give you the best chance of success. It will explore the support that is available and provide you with the opportunity to meet with people already working in the industry who have first hand experience of disability.

Attending ‘go’ will help give you the confidence and direction you need to overcome your concerns and make the most of your potential.

The event

‘go’ is designed to provide you with as much information about the participating firms as possible, the different career paths open to you and the variety of functions on offer – from sales and marketing, to finance and engineering.

Throughout the day individuals will share their experiences of working for the participating firms and how they manage their disability in the workplace. The day will be interactive, in order to make it as interesting and enjoyable as possible. However, please be reassured that you will not be expected to make presentations or get involved in any way that makes you uncomfortable.

Participation is free and we will reimburse travel expenses. Students may be accompanied by a parent, teacher or carer on the day. However, please note that parents, teachers and carers cannot attend in place of a student.

We will do our best to provide students with the assistance and the adjustments that they need on the day and encourage them to send us their requirements in advance.

An example of the event agenda is as follows:

  • 10.30 Welcome from host firm
  • 10.45 Opportunities for School Leaver, Apprenticeship and Graduate positions
  • 11.10 Skills Session
  • 11.55 Business Rep Experience
  • 12.00 Lunch break
  • 12.25 Business Rep Experience
  • 12.30 Strengths and Openness about your disability or health conditions
  • 13.20 Business Rep Experience
  • 13.25 Skills Session
  • 14.15 Break
  • 14.25 Business Rep Experience
  • 14.30 Adjustments and support panel
  • 15.10 Final Thoughts
  • 15.15 Networking
  • 16.00 Close

Who should attend

The event is for anyone concerned that their potential to develop an exciting and rewarding career might be compromised by the fact that they have a disability or long term health condition – visible or otherwise.

‘go’ is targeted at sixth form and first year university students (at the time of the event) interested in school leaver programmes, apprenticeships and graduate opportunities. You do not have to decide which path you want to go down, or which industry is for you – ‘go’ is here to provide you with all the information on what the industries are about, how they differ, and the opportunities that each offers.

In addition, the event also aims to address the issue of managing your disability in the workplace. One of the key objectives of ‘go’ is to take an honest look at the issues of discussing your disability with a future employer. the event will explore the responsibilities of both employer and employee to ensure that any necessary adjustments are put in place.

A school leaver programme, apprenticeship or graduate opportunity with any of the firms attending ‘go’ will be intellectually challenging. You’ll need a strong academic background to succeed, and the determination to undertake demanding training.

  • Finishing school in 2017 or 2018
  • 5 GCSEs with a minimum Grade B in Maths and English
  • On course to achieve 300+ UCAS points from 3 A Levels (or equivalent). Mitigating circumstances will be taken into account, and must be outlined in your application.

Finishing university in 2019 or 2020 and on track to achieve a 2:1 degree

  • 300+ UCAS points from top 3 A Levels (or equivalent). Mitigating circumstances will be taken into account, and must be outlined in your application

Places are limited at the event. We will be looking for, but not exclusively screening on: academics, extra curricular activities, work experience and motivation to apply.

The companies

The event is being hosted by some of the largest employers in the UK including Barclays, EY, GSK, Linklaters and J.P. Morgan.

Click on a company logo to view their profile.

Gold sponsors
Barclays
Linklaters
JPMorgan
Silver sponsors
EY
Gsk
Lewis Judd

Lewis Judd

National Grid

James Gower

James Gower

EY

Tallulah Bygraves

Tallulah Bygraves

Teach First

William Ramsay

William Ramsay

National Grid

   
  
Lewis Judd

Lewis Judd


National Grid

What did you study and where?

I went to University of Warwick, where I studied a Masters in Mechanical Engineering with Systems.

What drew you to the organisation you’re currently working for?

During my 3rd year at university I was looking to do a summer internship and had heard of National Grid from both my father and godfather, so I applied in the hope of getting the internship. I had two main reasons for doing an internship: firstly, I wasn’t 100% sure what kind of job I wanted to look for when I left university and also the experience you gain from a real working environment is good for your CV.

I got the internship working in the Innovation team based in Warwick. Due to my role I got a great experience of all National Grid’s departments and also got a good appreciation of the energy sector. After my 12 weeks of working for National Grid, I knew it was a company I would love to work for and so applied for the graduate programme.

What drew you to the role you are doing?

On the graduate programme I was asked where I would like to work and I chose Capital Delivery. Capital Delivery is responsible for building the national transmission system for gas and electricity. National Grid owns 7,660km of high-pressure pipes and 8,600km of overhead lines and cables. This size of network always needs maintenance, replacement and new builds, which makes Capital Delivery the place to be. I enjoy problem solving and project management, so I am aiming at the end of the graduate programme to be a Project Engineer. I am currently on the graduate programme, which means I have 3 x 6 month placements in three different areas of National Grid to give me an overview of the company and to help me in my end role. I have been a Project Officer for the first 6 months and now I am working in the commercial teams that are in charge of awarding the contracts to contractors worth millions of pounds.

How do you manage your disability at work?

My main disadvantage at work is producing my work within the time scales so that others can understand it and I also find note taking in meetings difficult. I mainly struggle with reading and spelling, which means my work is slower to produce and I need to check it multiple times. Sometimes I have my friends on the graduate programme read my work if they can spare some time.

With meetings I have found that I can record them on a Dictaphone as long as I ask beforehand; if not, I make sure that I send my notes to others in the meeting to ask whether they are correct.

How has your employer helped you to do well at your workplace?

I have found that a lot of people within National Grid are happy to help and are understanding, which can be very different to school. Also my managers are always willing to help with the proofreading of my work. On the graduate programme, where I have tests or am required to read as a group, they have always given me extra time and passed on the reading beforehand to give me the opportunity to understand it. The other thing my managers have helped with is, if I say I find something hard, they have always found an opportunity for me to develop that skill and practice it.

What advice or top tips would you offer?

Both at university and at work I have found that you can’t be scared to ask for help. People are always willing to help but won’t give it if they don’t know you need it. Also, practise. I have always hated giving presentations but I always offer to do them and now I am getting use to them.

   
  
James Gower

James Gower


EY

Please provide a brief overview of your career history. How did you get started in your career and what drew you to Ernst & Young?

Suffering from cerebral palsy, I started my education in a special needs school. I pursued academics through mainstream secondary schooling and sixth form, and studied a BSc Mathematics course at the University of Bath.

A summer internship at Ernst & Young secured a graduate offer, whilst I also experienced life in a graduate recruitment charity, which focused on disabled applicants. During my time at Ernst & Young, I have gained a CIMA CBA qualification and an ISO27001 qualification in Information Security.

What are your typical daily responsibilities?

I work in Advisory in Ernst & Young, more specifically within IT Risk and Assurance, with a focus on Companies which provide Financial Services. This takes me out onsite to some of the largest investment banks and insurance companies in the World, where Ernst & Young provide IT Advisory services. This can be anything from performing assessments of their own IT Security to assessments of the IT Security of services our clients perform for their clients!

How do you manage your disability at work?

I know my own strengths and limitations, and I’m sure to always communicate these with my colleagues and superiors. A friendly, approachable culture at Ernst & Young means I am never worried to say if I feel my disability may interfere with my work. Albeit, my disability rarely interferes, and this is due to me being proactive about the challenges I face. For example, I’m sure to avoid the morning London rush by arriving to work early (plus not using the Tube network!), and I transport a lightweight laptop (provided by Ernst & Young) so I’m not weighed down on my commute. Also, when feeling tired, I tend to work remotely from home as encouraged by Ernst & Young’s flexible working initiatives.

How has your employer helped you to do well at your workplace?

Ernst & Young want their employees to focus on their strengths. They promptly put in place a Tailored Adjustment Agreement for me, which involved workplace adjustments for my comfort in the office, and then details of how I can maintain a work/life balance in line with my disability and overall health. Ernst & Young also have a far-reaching Disability Working Group, which exists to unite and encourage anyone at the firm that has challenges related to a disability.

How would you describe the diversity culture at Ernst & Young?

Ernst & Young empowers its employees to make a difference. They have a structured counselling program for all employees and offer support, whether it is for overcoming physical challenges or dealing with the emotional pressures of working life. Not only do Ernst & Young offer a wide range of professional and vocational qualifications and schemes, they actively encourage their employees to give something back. For me, that’s through volunteering in their graduate recruitment campaigns and coordinating a firm-wide disability event with a fellow colleague for Comic Relief, raising over £4,000.

   
  
Tallulah Bygraves

Tallulah Bygraves


Teach First

How did you get started in your career and what drew you to Teach First (the Leadership Development Programme and the charity)?

I manage the Assessment Centre as part of the Selection team at Teach First; my team and I are responsible for the selection of Teach First participants across the UK.

I completed the Teach First Leadership Development Programme from 2009-2011 as a Science teacher in the East Midlands. My reasons for applying to the programme were quite personal; I was diagnosed with dyspraxia as an adult and looking back, I struggled with both time management and organisation throughout my education – never finishing an exam paper and finding it hard to understand why I constantly left my homework at home or forgot what lesson I was supposed to be in.

As a teacher on the Teach First programme, I was placed in a school in which more than 40% of children were considered to have Special Educational Needs. I worked with many children with additional needs and was struck by the affect that this label had on their confidence and aspirations. Many were surprised to find out that their teacher had a learning difficulty too and had gone to university. I tried to use my experience to inspire them to believe in themselves. I became the SEN Representative for Science and researched my students’ needs so that I could design appropriate resources to support them and make them see that learning could be fun! My experience made me aware of the importance of Teach First as a transformative movement to address educational disadvantage by recruiting teachers with the power to motivate and inspire children at such a critical juncture in their lives leading me to my current role in recruitment.

When I applied to Teach First, I did not initially disclose my learning difficulty as I was aware that planning and organising were key to the role and I was unsure how this information would be received. I could not have been more wrong as both Teach First and my school were supportive of my needs when I made them aware of my diagnosis. Where necessary, I was permitted extra time on my PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) assignments and my school arranged a visit for me from an Occupational Therapist to ensure they were making reasonable adjustments, as a result of which I was given my own classroom, rather than the seven different classrooms that I had been teaching in prior to the assessment. I keep to a very strict timetable and I found the structure of a school day helped me to stay organised. I’m sure my pupils thought the giant timers on the whiteboard were for their benefit but they were invaluable for ensuring my lessons ran as planned.

How do you manage your disability at work?

My role involves a high level of organisation, the assessment process runs like clockwork and I am responsible for a large team who ensure that the day runs smoothly for our candidates. My experience on the programme has helped me to develop strategies to structure my time and I have become incredibly efficient at planning and working smart. Most of the time, I manage without needing any further support by ensuring I keep to a rigid timetable, updating my Outlook Calendar and set myself alarms as reminders. I can be a little clumsy and my team are aware that I will have days where I walk into doorframes and trip over bins but I have always been able to laugh at that side of the condition and it helps to foster an inclusive atmosphere where my team are comfortable discussing their needs.

How has your employer helped you do well in your workplace?

I started at Teach First as an assessor in their Selection Team two years ago. At first, I struggled to type up the candidates’ notes as quickly as my colleagues as I type one-handed because I find it difficult to coordinate both hands in synchrony. Ensuring that notes were typed within a short time frame between exercises was a challenge. However, I made my manager aware that I was dyspraxic and received support and encouragement to improve my typing time. Now I am up to speed and it is quite a conversation starter giving me the opportunity to talk about my disability with new starters who notice my rapid one-handed style. I have since been promoted to my current role and now ensure that new assessors are able to overcome the varied demands of the role and feel comfortable discussing their areas for development.

What are your aspirations and what do you see happening next?

I really enjoy my role – I meet fantastic people every day who apply to Teach First for a variety of reasons and I find it incredibly rewarding to think that I play a part in placing inspirational teachers in schools in challenging circumstances. Teach First is a fantastic place to work and I feel very privileged to work for an organisation with such an important vision for the future.

What advice or top tips would you offer?

I strongly encourage anyone who is interested in applying to the Teach First Leadership Development Programme to disclose their needs on the application form, prior to attending our assessment centre. The assessment process strives to be inclusive of any needs and we frequently make reasonable adjustments to ensure our candidates are able to perform to the best of their ability. Please see our notes under the ‘disability’ section for a full list of these.

   
  
William Ramsay

William Ramsay


National Grid

How did you get started in your career and what drew you to National Grid?

I applied to the Year in Industry scheme, which is organised by the Royal Academy of Engineering. Having visited and had interviews with a few companies, National Grid seemed the most interesting, with a wide variety of opportunities and whose operations are fundamental to daily life in the UK.

What are your typical daily responsibilities?

No matter what my role has been, invariably the first part is to collect and analyse data. Then, depending on the particular role, the next step is to use that analysis to write a report or more interestingly to solve a problem, such as finding out why a process might have failed, designing new infrastructure or recommending the best way to invest money.

How do you manage your disability at work?

Normally, there’s very little to do since most days are spent in the office. When I go operational sites though, like substations or power stations, it’s important to find out in advance about any access issues and whether the visit is going to be feasible – there aren’t usually any problems when both sides know what to expect. I also always take a camera so that someone can take a photo / video of anything important that I can’t see / get to.

How has your employer helped you to do well at your workplace?

The HR department, who help me organise my placements, have been supportive when I’ve found it difficult to find somewhere to live for some of the short placements, particularly when the site has been more remote; far from affordable & accessible accommodation.

How would you describe the diversity culture at National Grid?

It’s so good that it’s completely unremarkable.

Attend our event

Schools

If you would like to register interest on behalf of your school and find out more information for your students, please fill out our Online form.

Students

If you are interested in attending ‘go’ yourself, please download the application form and return via email: go‑event@staffordlong.co.uk

If you would prefer to send a CV and email a paragraph explaining why you want to attend, please send this to go‑event@staffordlong.co.uk

Please check your eligibility under the ‘who should attend’ section of the website.

Questions

If you have any questions please contact go‑event@staffordlong.co.uk

In order to ensure that you get the most from the event, we are able to make any adjustments that you may require. Please outline these on your application form.

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We also organise two other events for students with a disability or long-term health conditions.