Ed Baker, Business Analyst, Hastings Insurance Ltd
Attended Homewood 1998 to 2005
“I was at Homewood from year 7 and left with 3 A Levels in 2005 to do a degree in History at Sussex University in Brighton. I graduated in 2008 with a 2:1 but have lived in Brighton ever since. Through chance as much as design, my career to date has been almost exclusively working on projects in financial services companies; my first jobs after university were entry-level positions in call centres, but my break came at Lloyds Banking Group where I started working on the integration with Halifax Bank Of Scotland following the buyout by Lloyds. I was very lucky and within two years I was managing a team of people split across the UK, and dividing my time between Brighton and Chester. When the project completed, I went to work at technology consultancy Accenture for a year, during which time I spent a month in India, and worked with Santander in Liverpool and Lloyds (again!) in Bristol and Birmingham. Eventually I decided to try working closer to home and for the last 2 years I have been working in project management at Hastings Direct Insurance in Bexhill. It’s a great company to work for, and I have just accepted a new role developing future insurance products... which I promise is more exciting than it sounds!”
Alfie Draper student at Norwich University
Attended Homewood 2006 - 2013 (Head Boy)
I decided to take a year out after I finished my a-levels at Homewood deferring my university place until the following September. I worked full time in two of my local pubs until after Christmas. I then flew out to India to take part in a 3 month volunteering development programme. The agency ICS (International Citizens Service) concentrates on establishing sustainable development in underdeveloped parts of the world. I personally worked within a livelihoods team organising social events such as International Women's Day, gender inequality being a huge social problem in India. After India came Vietnam which is where I'm writing this paragraph, very hurriedly I may add because I'm paying for the internet in my hostel. I have a few more countries to visit including Cambodia (I leave in two hours), Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
Working, volunteering and travelling during my gap year before University has been so far, a fantastic decision. I'd recommend it to anyone. After all, we all need a break from formal education at some point. On my return to the UK I'm going to The University of East Anglia in Norwich to study Geography and International Development. Why? because the course suits me down to the ground, NOT because I'm a Norwich City fan.
Ben Farrell – First Officer, Monarch Airlines
Attended Homewood: 1999 - 2007
I was previously deputy head boy and, having had my struggles with academic performance and discipline, have achieved my dream of becoming an airline pilot! I'm more than happy to come back to Homewood to talk to current students about how things have gone for me.
Andrea Avena – student at Royal Holloway University
Attended Homewood 2007-2012
Since leaving school I have started a Geography Bsc degree at Royal Holloway and I'm now going into my third and final year. I'm working on my dissertation which is on the cultural geographies of authenticity in Italian restaurants. I've also been working at my uni's Career Service as an events and marketing assistant to create promotional materials for Careers events, as well as helping to manage the events. Since working there I have become interested in a career in Public Relations, with a special interest in restaurant PR, so I am currently undertaking an internship at a PR company in London. I'm really enjoying uni and would recommend it to anyone - it's not just about the degree you are studying, it is about the people you meet, the experiences you have and opening your eyes to different ways of life.
Tim Hoyland – Environmental Consultant at WSP
Attended Homewood 2003-2010
"I left Homewood in 2010 after studying English Literature and Language, Geography and History at A Level. After leaving I was fortunate enough to be accepted to the University of Nottingham to study BSc Geography in September 2010. I graduated from university in 2013 after which I spent two months backpacking in western Canada. Upon my return I secured a position as an Environmental Consultant at WSP UK in London.
I highly recommend going to university to study a subject that you are passionate about as it will lead to interesting and rewarding career opportunities. Make sure that you pick the right course for you considering that you will study it for at least three years. It's wise to consider the type of career that you are interested in when you apply for your course, however your interest in the subject should be the key driver in your decision.
I made lifelong friends and gained valuable knowledge and skills for the workplace and life at university. It was a great three years involving plenty of partying but also a lot of hard work. Good luck with whatever choices you make when applying to university and get the UCAS forms in early!
Jack Hayes – student at Bath University
Attended Homewood 2005-2012
I have currently just taken modules in Marketing, Operations, Business IT and Organisational Design at Bath University. My favourite module is Business IT as I am aware of the importance of IT to gain a competitive advantage. I also enjoy marketing as it gives me the ability to be creative when applying a marketing scheme to a business and I also enjoy the learning the mentality behind a consumers purchase decisions.
Next year I will be studying further IT and Marketing which tie in well with my Social Media Job.
Since being at Bath University I have become a social media manager for Koh (UK) Ltd where I am responsible for increasing awareness of the brand and advertising the concept to further increase sales. Within a year of bieng at Koh I have made them the largest online fan base on social media for all UK Thai restaurants.
I would like to eventually be a Manager of Marketing for a large global brand to help bring my success in a small sized business to a large business
Lewis Moore – Medical Student Kings College London
Attended Homewood: 1999 - 2006
In June 2010 I graduated from my Biological and Medicinal Chemistry degree from York. The exams went rather well and I somehow attained a 1st and was awarded a medal for my performance.
Later that year I started at Kings College London on a 5 year degree in Medicine and I am now coming to the end of my 4th year. I have just finished a placement in Paediatrics which has been incredibly inspiring and has perhaps grabbed my interest regarding my future career.
I start my final year in September and quite fittingly I have been placed at the William Harvey for my first rotation and then will be doing general practice in Tenterden after Christmas.
Domnique Finn: Manager of Kennels and Cattery Business
Attended Homewood 2000 – 2005
Dominique Finn started at Homewood in 2000 and left after her GCSEs in 2005. During this time she improved her predicted grades of F and E to all B & Cs. On the strength of this she gained a place at Hadlow College to pursue her passion for working with animals. She gained a National Diploma with Merit, the equivalent of 3 A Levels.
Dominique worked for two years in administration and then decided to enter university. She was offered two unconditional entries to Lincoln and Plymouth Universities. She opted for Plymouth and became an under graduate in Animal Science (Behaviour and Welfare), during this time she spent a year in South Africa caring for the African penguins in SANCCOB (Cape Town) where she rose to supervisor and at CARE (on the border by Botswana) acting as Enrichment Officer caring for orphaned baboons.
During college and university holidays she has worked- running both Livery Yards using her Equine Management Diploma and also in Catteries, where she helped to assess and work on behavioural problems with abandoned cats. Dominique graduated from Plymouth with a 2:1 degree.
She is about to join a local business as a manager for a Kennels and Cattery business and her long term aim is to create her own small animal business using both her administrative experience and animal science knowledge.
Jon Savage – Dancer with Rambert
Attended Homewood: 2002 – 2007
Jon started dancing at Homewood School under the direction of Alison O’Neil and furthered his training at Dance Warehouse and London Contemporary Dance School. In September 2007 he joined Central School of Ballet.
In 2010 Jon worked on a project with Henry Oquike before performing works by Christopher Burce and other renowned choreographers in the 2010 Ballet Central Tour. He graduated from Central with a BA (Hons) in July 2010.
After graduating, Jon danced with Scottish Ballet, and joined Rambert as an apprentice dancer in September 2011.
Danny Smith – Dancer with Central School of Ballet
Danny studied A Level Dance at Homewood and went on to gain a place at Rambert Dance School, and then the Central School of Ballet. He landed his dream job when accepted into cast of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. Following a West End run the production toured the world. Danny has subsequently dance a variety of roles in a range of Matthew Bourne productions including, Cinderella, Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty.
Sam Cox – Student at University of West England, Bristol
Attended Homewood: 2005 - 2012
Sam recently held his own ink based illustration exhibition, including digitally coloured designs at the Show Off Gallery in Whitstable. Sam’s designs are made up from a mixture of characters, patterns and objects that combine to create exciting and visually satisfying images. Sam is planning to hold a further joint exhibition of his illustrations in Twickenham, London, details eagerly awaited!
Sam said “Homewood has been an incredible source of influence and development for me. The teachers have almost always been extremely supportive of the illustration work that I have wanted to do. Even in younger years such as Year 7 and Year 8 when I was pushed to incorporate my cartoons into Science, History and English projects! Not only has the school allowed me to work in a way that I found suited me, they have also elevated projects in the sense that teachers were always finding me bigger spaces and larger surfaces to create work on”
Summer in the airline world is very busy!
I've always wanted to be a pilot but wasn't always the most hard working of students when it came to some subjects, but hard work was certainly required to get where I am today! I'll tell you how I got to become a pilot below, though forgive the length, brevity isn't my strong point!
After leaving Homewood I went to Brunel University, where I studied Aviation Engineering with Pilot Studies (pilot studies meaning I trained to get a private pilots licence in light aircraft during the first year of the degree) As it happens I did not get the required a level results, and so did a 'Foundations of Engineering' single year course at the university.
From university, I left with a 2:1 BEng (Hons) under my belt, as well as a Private Pilots Licence. I looked around various flight training organisations and decided to (at great expense!) train with CTC aviation based in Southampton on a full time 'integrated' course. Having gained a class 1 medical and passed the stringent assessment with the flight school I was accepted onto a course starting on 28th December 2011. I have been very fortunate in that I was also offered the chance to apply for an airline specific course with Monarch Airlines, meaning I did not have to worry too much about getting a job at the end of my course.
After 6 months ground school, sitting 14 exams, I went to New Zealand to conduct basic flight training for a further 5 months. This was done in light aircraft, before returning to the UK to spend 6 months in an airbus simulator for the more advanced stages of training. This included not only training on operating the aircraft and it's high tech systems, but also emergency procedures and failures.
Having completed my Licence Skills Test, I joined monarch airlines in June 2013. Before I could fly with passengers, as an 'inexperienced' pilot I was required to conduct base training in the aircraft, flying a jet with no passengers to practice takeoffs and landings. On the second of these flights, we took a company aircraft from Gatwick to mansion airport for myself and some other cadets to carry out some circuits. On the way, we flew overhead tonbridge wells, Headcorn and Ashford, and could clearly see tenterden and Homewood from 6000ft (fairly low for a jet).
I've now been at the airline 14 months and I've accrued 800hours (as of Aug 2014) of flight time in the Airbus aircraft. As I write this email I'm at 34000ft over the Atlantic approximately 250miles north of Madeira on the way to Gran Canaria. It's not all glamorous though, I'll be returning back to manchester straight away, no time to have a rest in the sunshine!