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St James’s Place offers careers insight to Sixth Formers

Mrs Hannah Ash, Rendcomb’s Head of Economics and Business Studies took her Year 12 and Year 13 Economics and Business students to St James's Place in Cirencester on Friday, 20 September. They were treated to a unique industry experience at the local FTSE100 company.

The students spent a day at the headquarters, touring the facilities, meeting key members of staff and hearing about the functional roles within the business before having a taste of what it might be like to be a financial planner and hearing about career opportunities at the company. 

The Sixth Formers had talks from the Investment Management team and Private Client division and learnt about the various funds that clients are able to invest in and learnt more about how the risks and rewards of the these funds are determined.

Mrs Ash said: “It was wonderful for our students to meet Jake Crozier-Davies, an Old Rendcombian, who works in Investment Consultancy at St James’s Place. It was inspirational for the Sixth Formers to see a familiar face in such a prestigious role.” 

Further talks were given by two of Mrs Ash's former pupils, in which they spoke about their journey into the various options for careers in finance.

Mrs Ash said: “Our Economists heard first-hand how important understanding the wider economic situation is as well as looking at business performance from the bottom up.”

The students visited the HR department, who tailored their talk to perfectly fit some of the Business BTEC pupils’ coursework content, allowing them to hear about HR in practice and gain more insight into how vast and important this area is. This was followed by a very inspiring talk on Marketing. They learnt a lot about the complexities of targeting a proposition and the importance of market research to ensure campaigns are relevant and worthwhile. Mrs Ash said: “Marketing is a topic that the Business students cover, so it was wonderful for them to hear more about it in practice.”

After a networking lunch, where students were able to talk with staff from the St James’s Place Charitable Foundation, Corporate Responsibility, Client Banking and Partnership Accreditation, they were energised for the afternoon sessions. Mrs Ash said: “Accounting is often a popular career choice for pupils with strong mathematical ability and they heard all about the various opportunities from payables to tax to actuarial work. This has given food for thought to the students regarding which area of accounting and which route of qualification they may wish to take when they complete their studies at Rendcomb College.”

The final part of the day saw the students split into teams to compete in a game where they took on the role of a Financial Planner. Points were awarded based on who best understood the needs of the client. One student said: It was a lively and fun way to experience the day job of the St James’s Place Partnership. It has inspired us to consider a career option we were previously not so aware of.”

The students ended the day with advice and information regarding careers, including apprenticeship options, internships and graduate programmes. Mrs Ash stated: “It is always good to hear directly from businesses what they are looking for in their next intake of employees. Keeping up to date with the wide variety of options is crucial for us to be able to offer our students the best opportunities when it is time for them to move on from us. It is very clear that the transferrable skills we are already developing in our young students will be crucial in differentiating themselves in highly competitive labour markets over the coming years.”