Oakham School welcomed four entrepreneurial Old Oakhamians, Jess Armitage (13), Ivo Nanev (14), Tia Naneva (17) and Tom Home (14), to talk to seventh formers about entrepreneurships and different pathways. They were also joined virtually by David Gilman (89) and Charlie Schanschieff (16) who spoke passionately about making it in the television industry.
It was a wonderful session that demonstrated to Form 7 that there are many other pathways that can be taken after Oakham, as well as going to University.
Ivo opened the talk by explaining his journey after leaving Oakham; he studied an Engineering Degree at University, and then spent some time travelling before coming back to Oakham to work at Fika. At University, Ivo secured a placement year at Rolls Royce – “during my placement, I discovered that the corporate environment was not for me. The bit that I did really enjoy was the Entrepreneurship project, which taught me how to set deadlines, work towards targets and create strategy. It was here that I began to realise my desire to set up a business.”
Tia, who deferred university after School, was hired for a part-time job at Fika, quickly becoming a manager, and then a director of the business. She explained that the experience she acquired through working for the business, and then managing it, brought her to the same conclusion – she too wanted to run her own business. Tia and Ivo went on different pathways after leaving Oakham, and now have joint ownership of Fika, running a successful business together with the skills that have learnt.
Tom Home, Founder of the charity BlOKes, was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and PTSD while studying at Northumbria University. Tom spoke to Form 7 about his realisation of the importance of speaking about mental health issues, and how his own experiences sparked his passion for encouraging men everywhere to do the same. “The most important advice I can give, is to do something you are passionate about. This is where you will find your biggest drive.”
Jess, the mobile milkmaid, gave a vibrant presentation on launching her business Proganics – delicious fresh organic, pasteurised, unhomogenised milk vended into reusable glass bottles. Studying Business Management at Reading University, and living with Londoners, Jess quickly realised that her intended pathway, to work in Events in London, was not where her passion lay after all. It was through educating her friends on the countryside, and chatting with the Agriculture students, that her passionate for Agriculture really grew. Jess really enjoyed the opportunity to share her journey with our current pupils, “a morning of fantastic speakers and excellent, engaging questions from the students.”
David, Senior Director at Sky News, explained to the pupils that the most admirable quality when recruiting individuals for roles, is their passion, drive, and love for what they do. Both David and Charlie explained that when they were looking for work, it took emailing big companies, such as the BBC, for months before they eventually got a foot in the door – showing your drive and dedication pays off. (Or, as Charlie said, maybe they just give in to quiet their inbox…)
Charlie gave an overview of how the Oakham Hub, and the opportunity for mentorship using the OO Club Network, has helped him to understand and acquire the necessary skills to make it in the Television industry. The advice and opportunities that fellow OOs have been able to offer to him has been invaluable, and he strongly recommended that the Form 7 pupils do the same. “Network – sometimes it is a case of who you know, not just what you know!”
Alumni Manager, Becca Maddocks said, “A huge thank you to our fantastic OO panel who each demonstrated vibrancy, tenacity, and a great passion for what they do. The advice and experience that they gave to our Form 7 pupils was a brilliant way to inspire the next stage of their journey, after leaving Oakham.”