On Monday 21 September, Year 11 were treated to a break from their studies and a virtual visit from three members of the WHS alumnae: Sky Carberry-Roger, Sue McVie and Alexandra Moon.
Sky described her Politics and International Relationships degree from Oxford Brookes as topical, and a good combination of both history and modern affairs. She recommended, no matter what degree you ultimately pick, that you choose modules that pique your interest but are largely unknown; she emphasised, regarding wider university life, that joining societies and sports teams makes your uni experience so much more fulfilling. She is currently completing a one-year teacher training course, hoping to inspire the next generation to get involved and interested in politics. She advised that you should follow aspirational people on social media, providing examples like Grace Beverly, and to ‘fake it ‘til you make it’, appearing confident even when you’re not! Having left Wycombe High in 2017, Sky spoke fondly of her school years, especially the Thorpe Park trip in Year 11, the Year 13 Leavers’ Ball and Sports Days.
Sue McVie, who now works as a managing director of consumer foods business Oakhouse Foods, achieved her French, Geology and Social Biology A Levels at WHS before going on to the University of the West of England to complete a Business Studies degree. She admitted how she didn’t know what direction she wanted to go in, choosing Business Studies to keep as many paths open as possible. An avid netball player, she added that many skills she learnt on the court were just as important, if not more important than, those she learnt academically, especially in terms of transferability. McVie entered McVitie’s in sales, working her way into marketing and concurring with Carberry-Roger’s earlier sentiment of ‘fake it ‘til you make it’. She was quick to point out that the situation has improved significantly regarding female influence in business over the past five years, however. McVie has worked for Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Walkers, among other companies and provided a real insight for pupils.
Alexandra is a specialist mental health pharmacist working at a local Mental Health Trust. She chose Biology, Chemistry and IT at A Level, finding the sciences easier than English or the humanities, eventually going on to become a qualified pharmacist. She again recommended joining in with wider life at university, having joined and later organised the St. John’s Ambulance unit at her university. Moon has worked in the NHS for eight years and outlined the general career trajectory upon questioning. Whilst school had required more effort, Moon explained how she had found her best coping mechanisms and methods, and stuck to them, and followed where her skills were strongest. She emphasised the importance of asking for and accepting what help you need, and trying to make yourself proud, not others. When asked of her favourite WHS memories, Alexandra spoke nostalgically of the Mock Trial Competition and the chamber choir.
This talk was one of many Careers and Inspire talks that are regularly organised for all years of WHS.