Our alumni community have continued to support the School during lockdown, inspiring our pupils via online lectures and interviews. Normally Oakham invites Old Oakhamians into School to offer this advice and careers guidance. These events continued this term – just from the comfort of everyone’s homes!
Leading the way in coordinating these opportunities for our pupils and those from neighbouring schools was teacher of Biology, Dr Andrew Nicoll, who organised a series of DocSoc and Biology Society meetings featuring Old Oakhamian scientists.
OO Dr Navin Leanage (07), a trainee emergency medicine doctor, took part in two separate events. The first was a DocSoc meeting in May, where Navin spoke about his first-hand experience treating patients suffering from Coronavirus. A few weeks later he participated, together with members of the Science Department, in a series of practice interviews to help current and former pupils prepare for their medical school applications. OO Tuesday Healey (17) said of the experience: “Talking to Dr Leanage really helped me to decide on whether to apply for an undergraduate or graduate course. The interview was my first ever practice, and the feedback really helped me in my actual (and successful!) interview at medical school.”
Old Oakhamian Abi Mustard (15), whose work as the Information Officer for the Rutland Osprey Project was highlighted in May, visited the virtual Lower 1 classroom to talk to pupils about her work with ospreys. In June she joined three other accomplished Old Oakhamian scientists to discuss their experiences working in science and their post-Oakham journey, in a virtual Biology Society ‘café scientifique’. Dr Lotty Brand (09), a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Exeter, described the nature of speciesism in primatology, and her current interest in human societies. Florence Schanschieff (14), a scientific and health policy recruiter, answered questions on the use of psychometric testing in ‘head hunting’, as well as her earlier research on plant circadian rhythms. Finally Dr Jamie Blaza (06), a lecturer in Cryo-Electron Microscopy at the University of York, engaged in a spirited discussion with Drs Nicoll and Ingles on open access publishing in science and the role of universities in training the next generation of scientists.
Oakham’s sporting alumni have also been supporting the School by taking part in a series of interviews with Director of Sport Iain Simpson, giving insights into their sporting careers after leaving School and advice they would give their younger selves.