In his own words, Thomas was lost before the Future Frontiers programme. Following a turbulent year of school closures and exam cancellations, he started Sixth Form without an idea of what he planned to do when he left school.
Thanks to his work with Jodie, a volunteer coach at James Hambro & Partners, he is now determined to study Computer Science at a top London university. Longer term, he plans to turn his technical skills to building programmes that improve employment opportunities for others.
Thomas was amongst the cohort of young people who had their opportunity to take their GCSEs in 2020 taken away from them by COVID.
After 6 months out of school, in September 2020 he entered his school Sixth Form and embarked on A Levels in English and History alongside a BTEC in ICT and an Extended Project Qualification.
He tells us:
“Before the Future Frontiers programme, I was lost. At the start of Year 12, I sort of went through a phase of panic . It was like, “Ok, so now I’m in Sixth Form but I don’t know what I’m going to do next. And I had been out of school for so long, with so many months of not studying, that it was a bit of a shock when I had to get back into a routine of learning.”
“I didn’t know what career path I wanted to follow, and at school there had never been much emphasis on it. It was only really when my teacher told me about the Future Frontiers project that I though, okay, now I have an opportunity – a platform – where I can find a way forward and plan for my future”.
“I knew I was interested in English and IT, but I wasn’t sure what industries I wanted to work in. Working through the activities in the programme helped me narrow down my options and pick what I want to do next: Computer Science at university.”
“I had been worrying about what I should study at university and the programme helped focus me: I have a plan for what I to do now.”
"Before the Future Frontiers programme, I was lost. At the start of Year 12, I sort of went through a phase of panic."
From feeling unsure about how his skills and interests could translate into a career, to having a clear plan to go to university, study computer science, Thomas’ journey wouldn’t have been possible without his coach, Jodie.
“Jodie was an amazing coach. She told me all about her background, how she got into business and what subjects she studied. Now she’s a business analyst, but when she was doing her A Levels she studied History and even did History at university.”
“She helped me see that whilst what you study does matter, the versatility of skills you get from your degree is also important. She was saying that the analysis and critical thinking she learn in her History course really help her in her role as a Business Analyst.
"I was surprised because I thought that when you choose a subject like English or History you can’t do into anything else except for law or Politics.”
“I also got to speak to her friend Emma who is a Data Analyst. This was the most helpful part of all: she also studied Computer Science at university so gave me an insight into what that was like as well as telling me what the job of Data Analyst involves on a daily basis. She also works in the recruitment sector so was able to tell me how they recruit and what sort of people they look for.”
"I also got to speak to her friend Emma who is a Data Analyst. This was the most helpful part of all: she also studied Computer Science at university so gave me an insight into what that was like."
“My main goal now is to study Computer Science. But after that I want to create a platform with opportunities so people can find employment. Employment isn’t the best in the UK – lots of people struggle to get jobs. I’d like to try and tackle unemployment, and also inspire others to pursue a career in Computer Science. "
Just 6 hours of coaching can make a life-changing difference to young people like Thomas. Could your business play its part? Get in touch with us to find out more.