On Wednesday evening two Old Oakhamian Modern Foreign Linguists returned to talk to the 6th form about life, languages and career opportunities. Lara Clift, who left in 2009 before the 6th Form is now the Head of International Marketing at Sweet Cherry, a publishing house which specialises in translations of English language children’s books for the international market. A 1st Class Honours degree at the University of Leicester in Marketing with Spanish and Italian and some work in the marketing department of a modelling agency during her time abroad gave her the chance to join the publisher before she had even finished her university course. She is currently based in Leicester, but fitted in a flying visit before going to China at the weekend.
Robbie Kilpatrick who graduated from Edinburgh last summer in French and German, found himself a position as a fraud investigator as part of Amazon's international team of French and English employees based in London and regularly phones victims of fraud and even fraudsters in France and Morocco.
Both spoke engagingly about their journey from Lower School to the present. Lara's tip for the 6th form was to enjoy the year abroad at university and if possible to work in a business overseas as early as possible. This gave her impressive employment opportunites at a very young age and greatly enhanced her linguistic abilities. Robbie suggested that it was worth considering taking up niche languages - there is a demand for all, but very little supply. He was surprised that at Amazon's interviews he was one of only two applicants who spoke German, which gave him the upper hand.
Three of their former teachers looked on with great pride as two of the previous generation of Oakhamians helped to advise a large, attentive group of their successors. As Lara said, Language skills open doors which remain closed to the monolingual - the whole world, especially outside Europe, does not speak English. We wish both Robbie and Lara well and hope that they will return to see us soon.