Ballymena Academy held its annual Careers Evening recently for pupils in Year 10 preparing to make their GCSE subject choices.
Always a highly successful and exceptionally well-attended event, the Careers Convention has become a very important part of the school’s calendar and is one aspect of the programme of Careers Education, Advice, Information and Guidance provided for students at the school.
Parents and young people alike benefit from the opportunity to discuss career options with practitioners in the various fields who gave a 20 minute presentation about their work, potential career progression, rewards in terms of job satisfaction, salary and relevant academic requirements.
The parallel sessions were presented twice to allow those attending to hear more than one talk. The presentations were followed by an open forum, giving young people and their parents the opportunity to question the speakers.
There was a wide range of talks, covering a variety of careers and occupational areas. Those taking part included:- Mr. John Carson (Accountancy), Mr. Chris Bell (Architecture), Mr. Thomas McKillen (Business Management), Mr. Stephen Reid (Computing), Mrs. Laura Jones (Dentistry), Miss Judith Thompson (Dietetics), Mr. Philip Crawford (Drama), Mr. Gavin McFarland (Civil Engineering), Mr. Alister Hanna (Electrical/Electronic Engineering), Prof. Roy Douglas (Mechanical Engineering), Mr. Glen Rodgers (Graphic Design), Mrs. Kerry Clarke (Healthcare Professions), Miss Jane Witherspoon (Journalism), Prof. Janice Carruthers (Languages), Mr. James McKervill (Law), Dr. Alastair Aicken (Medicine – General Practitioner), Dr. Jenny Hughes (Medicine – Paediatrician), Dr. Jonathan Drennan (Music), Miss Emily Boyd and Mrs. Liana Montgomery (Nursing), Dr. Lorraine Martin (Pharmacy), Mrs. Maureen Stirling (Physiotherapy), Mr. Mark Beattie (Primary Teaching), Ms Ciara Cairns and Ms Clair McElhone (Social Work), Mrs. Sheryl Jenkins (Speech & Language Therapy), Dr. Andrew McDowell (Stratified Medicine) and Mr. Neil Johnston (Veterinary Medicine).
A Careers Convention followed the presentations which was open to all pupils, from Year 10 to Year 13, and their parents. They had the opportunity to find out information from the exhibitions and the representatives including Agriculture/Food & Rural Enterprise, Army, Banking, Electrical Training Council, N.I. Housing Executive, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Radiography, R.A.F., Wright Bus and various Higher Education institutions.