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It may not have been the networking opportunity we've been used to providing for our Sixth Form students, but the weekly business seminars have given our students some real food for thought!


Sixth Form Business Seminar Programme


Over five weeks our Sixth Form students embarked on a series of seminars with guests from a range of industries. Previously these seminars have taken place as 'Business Breakfasts' , but due to Covid restrictions, ran as virtual events instead.


We welcomed speakers from five well-known brands; Philip Bain (Co-Founder, Shredbank), Stephen Downey (Owner, Auntie Anne’s Belfast & Bangor), Emma Derby (HR Director, Vodafone), Bryn Cunningham (Head of Operations, Ulster Rugby) and Stephen Orr (Vice President and Director General, Spirit AeroSystems).


Each guest spoke about their careers to date and shared some top tips for life after school. Every week our students gave up their lunch hour to attend and interactively engaged amazingly!


Our guest speakers gave their individual advice, and were perhaps unaware of just how valuable each piece of advice given was to our young people, who took away some key learning points from the sessions.


Heather McBride - Head of Sixth Form, said,

"We are pleased with how well the seminars worked and really grateful for the time our speakers gave so generously. I felt the students engaged brilliantly and it was clear to see they really took the advice on board now they are thinking of their future paths."

Emma Thompson, Head of Marketing, said,

"It may not have been the in-person enrichment opportunity we hoped for the students but we know they learnt so much. My favourite piece of advice was, 'It's OK to get angry and upset when things don't turn out as planned, just keep moving forward."

What a great opportunity for our students, we're very grateful to all involved.


"I found the seminar useful and very beneficial as I’m interested in starting a film production company someday." Ethan, Year 14
"The seminar this week was very useful and all the sixth form students learnt a lot. Stephen talked about his life and the process he went through to open different franchises in Northern Ireland. This was not only very interesting but it also showed us how much hard work and determination is needed to own and run a business." Anna, Year 14
"The Business Seminar with Emma this week was very motivating and inspiring as she talked about the skills and techniques which are used throughout all careers as well as how she adapted to changes throughout university. We learnt a lot and benefited from her showing how determination and patience will lead to success." Katie, Year 14
"I really enjoyed hearing from Bryn Cunningham at this week’s Business Seminar. We got to hear about the history of his career, advice he would have liked to have known as a teenager and tips on how to stand out from the crowd. It was really cool to hear how Bryn ended up working in Ulster rugby Human Resources & the different events in his life that led him to his current career." Oli, Year 13