Former Student Profile - Claire Thomas Class of 2002
What years did you attend WHS? 1996-2002
What did you get up to at WHS in terms of study and extracurricular activities?
For GCSEs, I did Double Science, English Language, English Literature, Maths, French, Spanish, Chemistry, Geography, ½ Food Technology, ½ Information Technology.
For A-Level I got 4 As in Business Studies, Chemistry, Maths, Spanish.
I was part of the hockey, netball and tennis teams and played clarinet in the band. I did Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and went to Vietnam on the World Challenge Expedition in 2001.
Do you have any fond memories you’d like to share?
Friendships are my fondest memory. I am still best friends today with people I met on the school bus 20 years ago. The trip to Vietnam was a major moment in my life, cementing my love of travel and instilling a sense of purpose to be a good person and help others.
Mr Merrick was my absolute favourite teacher and I’m still in touch with him today. This photo was in 2015 when we last met in person.
What did you do after school? Gap year, straight into business or Uni.
I took a gap year after school. I spent 6 months working 80 hour weeks at Danesfield House Hotel (where George Clooney got married!) to save money for the second 6 months volunteering and travelling in South America with Quest Overseas. I always knew I was going to go to university, so I wanted to make sure I got some time out before starting another 4 years of study.
If you went to Uni where did you go and why did you choose it?
I went to Nottingham University to study Management Studies with Spanish. There was quite a lot of pressure to choose Oxford or Cambridge, but they didn’t do the courses I wanted and Nottingham allowed me to combine two subjects I really enjoyed and spend a year abroad (6 months in Spain and 4 months in Costa Rica).
What are you up to now?
I work for Hitachi Consulting, a technology consultancy focused on using technology to drive change for organisations and societal improvements. I am a sales leader responsible for finding and developing new relationships with customers, shaping technology programmes to meet their objectives and negotiating contracts between organisations. I’ve been with Hitachi Consulting for 6 years, joining after 5 years at Microsoft.
What do you know now that you didn’t in Year 13 that you’d like to share with current students?
That it doesn’t matter if you don’t know exactly what you want to do for the next 10, 20, 30 years at the age of 18. Be kind to people whenever you can. And be curious, an interest in always learning is a great asset.