Following the manifesto from our whitepaper ‘Change starts with bravery’ we wanted to focus our attention on helping students, particularly females to expand their aspirations and break down barriers regarding gender bias career paths.  Bitterne Park School is a local secondary school who asked if we could assist with their ‘Big Interview’, joining other volunteers to meet with Year 10 students to help them prepare for the journey ahead.  As we know interviews can be a stressful experience so we wanted to offer our help to hone their skills, confidence and ensure that they were prepared for success!

Simplify Consulting are committed to helping schools and students have a better understanding of roles in the Financial Services industry and supporting them with practical employability skills.  Giang and I were joined by many other volunteers to meet a student, read their prepared CV and conduct a mock interview.

In preparation we were briefed on the diverse range of students we were meeting, for some the engagement and confidence might not be on a par with others but all students had committed to wanting to go through the process and were going to give it their best shot.

We managed to interview the biggest year group in Hampshire with over 390 students, each of us interviewing between 10-15 students, not a small feat, but we did it and we were completely blown away by the calibre of these students.

Students were scored on their CV, appearance, engagement and future plans and additional feedback was provided.  All scores were extremely high, we were in awe of these young adults who were confident, engaging and had clear interests and hobbies that had contributed to their GCSE subject choices and building the foundations of their career paths.

It was such a positive experience and we came away feeling extremely confident in the future generation.  There were many conversations about how covid had impacted their confidence, friendships and interactions and some were suffering with high anxiety levels.  They all showed immense resilience, had developed coping methods and were excited by the future although some were daunted by making the wrong choices.  Reassurance was provided that the choices that they make today were right for them now but their life might take a completely different path to what they had planned. They were interested to hear about our own career journey and if that had differed from our plans when we were at school.

It was a privilege to be able to spend 10-15 minutes with each student sharing their hopes and aspirations, giving them interview experience in a safe environment and providing positive and constructive feedback to help them for the future.

Thank you Bitterne Park School students – you were excellent.

We are looking forward to helping out with similar events in the future and offering career advice for financial services and mentoring to better equip young adults for their journey ahead.


Kirstin Brooks

Business Support Manager