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CONNECT Friends of NGHS Magazine

Issue 5 October 2013

Cover Story: My Gap Year; Working, Travelling and Studying

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School News ARTS FESTIVAL

The Arts Fes val was a big success, a ended by a huge number of parents and girls. The day featured performances from girls of Recep on age right through to Senior girls. We welcomed groups of performers from the local community; singers, dancers, jugglers

and s lt walkers. Our stall holders came with a wonderful range of goods from foodstuffs to cards. The art exhibi on of GCSE, A Level and Junior School work was superb and really professional. Our DT department displayed some really excellent GCSE and A Level work and also did a roaring trade in customised mugs and bags, and showed off the new 3-D tricolour printer. We housed No ngham Trent University’s photographic exhibi on as well. There was also an opportunity to view detailed plans for the new Performing Arts Centre and get an early look at our donor tree, launched

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in September. Our girls really shone and were the stars of the day as they performed dances, songs and drama. The sun shone, the Pimms flowed and a very happy day was had by all.


CERN

During June, eighteen Year 12 girls set off on a two day adventure to Geneva in order to visit CERN. Upon arriving at the CERN campus, they listened to a fascina ng talk by computa onal scien st François Briard. (See his presenta on: h p://www.cern.ch/briard ). This gave a brief history of CERN and an overview of the scien fic research currently taking place.

NOMURA SCHOLARSHIP

Congratula ons to Tabitha Romer who has secured a place on Nomura’s highly compe ve twoweek Immersion internship programme during her first year of university studies. The programme will enable Tabitha to experience the exci ng buzz of the City, build a strong founda on to support her applica ons for a summer internship programme, and she will gain a strong network across all business areas.

POLE VAULT

They were then taken for a tour of the LEIR experiment (the Low Energy Ion Ring), LINAC 2 (linear accelerator that accelerates protons to 2/3 the speed of light) and finally, the CERN computer centre, where they were shown a real me simula on of the worldwide computer grid that processes the vast amounts of data generated by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments.

Congratula ons to Jenny Robbins who was runner up in the pole vault at the English Schools athle cs finals in July.

On their final day, they visited the excellent Natural History Museum (h p://www.ville-ge. ch/mhng ) followed by a tour of the old town, a cruise across the lake and an a ernoon at the History of Science Museum. The trip was an excellent opportunity to see science in ac on and take in the atmosphere of the CERN campus - home to the largest experiment the world has ever seen.

UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG AND SHANGHAI

The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, London, launched a compe on again this year to offer UK secondary school pupils a chance to study at a Hong Kong university summer school. Congratula ons go to Anjum Jahan, Year 12, and Anna Giddins, Year 13, who have both won this compe on and have spent two weeks in Hong Kong at the University of Hong Kong and Shanghai. Last year this was won by Summaya Mughal who had an amazing me. To have girls win two out of the five places is fantas c and we are very proud of them.

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YOUR SCHOOL NEEDS

We are conscious that there are many alumnae with whom we have lost touch. We are keen to re-engage, involve and communicate with as many alumnae as possible and would urge you to let your networks know about us. If you know of friends and contacts who do not hear from us, please encourage them to get in touch and leave us their details in order for us to update the database. WE NEED YOUR HELP

We have lots of exci ng plans for Connect and want it to be a vibrant magazine, reflec ng all of the amazing things that our alumnae are involved in. But we cannot do this without you! Please visit our Facebook page and get involved. www.facebook.com/FriendsofNGHS

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EQUESTRIAN

The Dressage team had a fantas c day at Arena UK in June, where Eleanor Rycro , Molly Summerland, Ellie Wheelhouse and Eloise Eggington won the team dressage event and have qualified for the Na onal Finals in October. Also, Molly Summerland was crowned the winner of the individual elementary dressage class.

SPORTS DAY

On the last Tuesday of term, and one of the ho est days of the year, all of the Senior School girls made their way to Harvey Haddon Stadium for Sports Day. The stands were awash with colours - red, yellow, green and blue as the girls cheered on their House mates. Congratula ons to Skeel House who, once again, won the Bowering Sports Day Trophy with 500 points.

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D OF E ROUND UP Gold D

OF

E in the Lake District

Twenty three Year 12s completed a very successful Gold Qualifying Expedi on in the Lake District this summer. They survived the heat wave and enjoyed being surrounded by the beauty of the hills. The team of girls were so good that some are now a emp ng the Three Peaks Challenge this October half term. They will walk up and down Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, all in 24 hours. This sponsored event is raising money for NORSACA, a charity that supports people with au sm in the East Midlands.

Gold D of E on Horseback

Congratula ons to Ellie Fielding and Annie Ellis who are the first students at NGHS to complete their D of E Gold Expedi on on horseback this summer. They had a wonderful expedi on in the Yorkshire Dales.

Silver D of E

Over the summer, 53 Year 11 girls completed their Silver Qualifying Expedi on in the Peak District. Great weather, fantas c routes and lots of laughter meant that a good me was had by all.

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Bronze D of E

Following heavy snow earlier on in the year, the Bronze Qualifying Expedi on had to be postponed. However, 88 students completed their Bronze Qualifying Expedi on in the Peak District in yet more glorious weather. This rounded o the 2012-13 D of E season very well indeed. 103 students have already signed up to par cipate in Bronze D of E next year; approximately 60 have signed up for the Silver award and around 42 have signed up for the Gold Award. It looks as though it is going to be a busy season!

Challenge Norway 2014

Training has begun for 14 students who have been selected to take part in Challenge Norway 2014. The team have accepted the challenge of fundraising nearly ÂŁ2000 to complete a 17 day expedi on on mountain bikes, sea kayaks, walking on the Hardangerjokulen ice cap and trekking across the Hardangervidda Plateau (for their Gold D of E expedi on). The next training session in November will involve improving fitness levels and naviga on skills along with wild camping in the Lake District.


Party in a Party

Join us for a ‘party in a party’ and reconnect with old school friends and former staff. Reminisce about mes gone by and take a tour down memory lane.

MENU A choice of main course served with seasonal vegetables:

Whether you come alone or bring a party of friends, you will find a warm welcome at NGHS. There will be live music, tours of the school, including the opportunity to have a look at our archive displays and hear our exci ng plans for the future. We do hope you’ll come and join us for a lively a ernoon, including a drinks recep on and lunch.

COQ AU VIN Chicken marinated in red

If you would like a cket, please contact Miss L McAdam, NGHS, 9 Arboretum Street, No ngham NG1 4JB or email events@not. gdst.net

LANCASHIRE HOTPOT (V) A hearty

wine with lardons of bacon, bu on onions and mushrooms, with a parsley mash

POLLOCK CHORIZO & CHICKPEA STEW Pollock, chorizo and chickpea stew finished with baby spinach leaves vegetable hotpot with root vegetables, thyme and pearl barley, layered with sliced potatoes A choice of dessert:

ARE YOU PART OF THE CLASS OF 1988, OR THE CLASS OF 1963?

SPICED PEACH & SPONGE TART

If so, why not come and celebrate your 25th or 50th anniversary of leaving NGHS with us at the reunion? Get in touch if you are interested in a ending, we’d love to hear from you!

PEAR & MERINGUE MESS

TICKETS @ £17.50

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY Spring Lunch

Spiced peaches in a light sponge tart served with a vanilla custard Meringue topped with whipped cream, poached pears, toasted hazelnuts and chocolate sauce Followed by COFFEE AND MINTS

Saturday 26 April, from 11.30am www.facebook.com/FriendsofNGHS

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Performing Arts ANIMAL FARM

This year’s end of year drama produc on was Animal Farm by George Orwell. With a cast from Years 7 to Year 12 the girls put on a magnificent show. It was a tribute to all involved and everyone should be very pleased with such an excellent produc on.

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BUGSY MALONE

Bugsy Malone was an ambi ous Year 6 produc on which delighted the audience during all performances. The standard of ac ng and singing was quite incredible and every girl must be commended for their lively and very entertaining performances. A great team eort from sta and girls!

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A LEVEL AND GCSE RESULTS

During the summer we celebrated outstanding A Level results as the class of 2013 showed why success comes as standard in our Sixth Form, with 50% of our girls achieving A* and A grades for every single subject.

Our GCSE girls also performed well with 99.1% of all passes at A* to C, and an outstanding 73.4% of all results being awarded A* or A. A total of 45 girls have achieved A*and A grades in all ten GCSE subjects taken demonstra ng the breadth of their ability across a wide range of disciplines.

With our A Level pass rate of 100% and our A* to C pass rate of over 98% once again, girls educa on triumphs. Flying high under the banner of the Girls’ Day School Trust, we promote educa on for girls in a single sex environment.

PRIZEGIVING CEREMONY

On 11 September we celebrated the fantas c achievements of our A level and GCSE students at our annual Prizegiving ceremony at the Albert Hall. It was a great evening, and special thanks must go to our guest speaker, Olympic athlete Mara Yamauchi, for joining us for the celebra ons.

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‘Raise the Curtain’ ON OUR NEW

PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE

OPENING 2015 A DESIGN FOR THE FUTURE

will be flexible. With a variety of theatre sea ng layouts, the flat floor configura on can be subdivided into two performance teaching spaces. The foyer will benefit from views over the Arboretum.

This contemporary flagship building, designed by award winning No ngham architects Marsh Grochowski, will provide the school with a 345 seat mul -purpose auditorium, foyer, box office, dressing rooms, back of house areas and music rehearsal/theory rooms. The auditorium

Sustainability is a key feature of the design. It will be naturally ven lated and make use of solar energy, daylight and rainwater recovery. Natural materials will be used, such as rammed earth and mature mbers.

We are delighted to unveil our plans for a new state-of-the-art Performing Arts Centre at NGHS, to be built on the site of the old school dining hall on Arboretum Street.

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‘RAISE THE CURTAIN’ DEVELOPMENT BOARD

We have the support of dis nguished alumnae, Dame Stella Rimington, former Director of MI5 who is our Patron and Rosemary Squire OBE, joint CEO of the Ambassador Theatre Group as the Chair of our fundraising commi ee. The commi ee comprises an enthusias c group of volunteers from alumnae, parents and former parents, with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the Arts. Dame Stella Rimington

Rosemary Squire, OBE

I am delighted to support the Raise the Curtain Appeal. When I was at No ngham Girls’ High School in the 1940s and 50s our plays were performed on the stage in the school hall, with primi ve curtains and ligh ng and space for only a small audience. We and our friends in the orchestra would have loved the opportunity to perform in more sophis cated surroundings. Now the world has moved on and the facili es we dreamed of are set to become possible thanks to the imagina on of the staff of NGHS and the support of the GDST. We now need your help to complete the funding. The school gave me a sound educa on but it also taught me the skills needed to perform successfully in public, from which came the self confidence which has carried me on through my career. With your help the Performing Arts Centre will provide the opportunity for a new genera on of girls to learn the same skills in a modern environment.

My me at No ngham Girls’ High School taught me so much beyond my academic subjects, important as they were. I learnt to think out of the box, to aim high, to be determined and resilient, and that with diligence almost anything is possible. These quali es have had a huge influence on my life and have been a defining factor in my success. This project is, of course, par cularly close to my heart given my career in the performing arts. This new facility will create a wonderful space for NGHS and the wider community, helping to transform the heritage area where the school has been located since its forma on almost 140 years ago. It is testament to the vision and viability of the project that the GDST Trustees have agreed to underwrite the majority of the project with a pledge of £5m. With your help we can raise the remaining £1.5m and make this vision a reality.

Dame Stella Rimington Patron, ‘Raise the Curtain’

Rosemary Squire, OBE Chair, Development Board for ‘Raise the Curtain’

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Thank you for your support.

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• We will be able to build on the valuable outreach programmes already in place - widening access and diversity for children and young people from different backgrounds • It will encourage innova on and introduce new ar sts and their work • We will be able to offer a valuable resource to local schools and develop partnerships with local arts organisa ons • It will support the renaissance of the Arboretum heritage area of No ngham

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• It will create a space that can be dedicated to rehearsal and performance as well as being used for a variety of other events and ac vi es

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• We will expand and enhance the current programme on offer to pupils with a wide ranging programme of interdisciplinary opportuni es including stage cra , produc on, sound and ligh ng experience

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• The new centre will enable us to use performing arts to develop confident, well rounded young women with strong communica on skills - preparing them to make a difference

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Our school has a long and proud tradi on in the Performing Arts. Genera ons of girls have grown and developed their talents in music, drama and dance. However our facili es have remained unchanged. Such excep onal talent needs facili es which will allow our girls to showcase their full poten al. We need a Performing Arts Centre which will be worthy of the talent we have currently in school and of the, as yet, undiscovered talent. Our talented girls and future genera ons deserve this. If we are really to develop the talents of our young people, let’s give them the tools to shine, to be the stars of the future, and help them to be the best they can be.

The trustees of the GDST have pledged £5m of this £6.5m project and now the school needs to raise the balance of £1.5m locally to make this happen. We are well on our way to achieving this target with over £1.5m already donated or pledged. With your support and our commitment to these ambi ous plans, our vision will be realised.

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WHY DO WE NEED A PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE?

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INTERESTED TO LEARN MORE AND TO GET INVOLVED?

Further details of the new Performing Arts Centre are available on our website h p:// www.no nghamgirlshigh.gdst.net/Raisethe-curtain-donor-tree or contact Marie Soar, Director of Development m.soar@not.gdst. net (t: 0115 9354410) for an informal chat about the project and opportuni es for you be involved either as an individual or through corporate sponsorship. To get involved directly in our fundraising campaign and help the future genera ons at NGHS, why not support our Donor Tree by buying a leaf? The leaf will then be engraved as both a las ng legacy of your me at NGHS and a testament of your help to build this wonderful new facility.

Or support our ‘Raise the Curtain Ball’ to be held at NGHS on Saturday 17 May 2014 – Save the Date for your diary and join us for a fabulous evening with great food and drink, entertainment and much more. Further details and cket informa on will be posted on our website in the coming weeks.

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SUPPORT OUR DONOR TREE

WHAT IS A DONOR TREE?

The donor tree is an a rac ve means to publicly display our apprecia on of the pledges made by our donors and their support for our Performing Arts Centre campaign. At the same me it will create a stunning piece of art, which will take pride of place in the new Performing Arts Centre when it is complete, and will be a las ng testament to the generosity of all our supporters. In the interim, the donor tree will reside in the School Dining Hall.

THE WAY IT WORKS

There are four different leaves to choose from determined by the level of dona on you wish to make. Simply choose a leaf, and we will engrave it with your name, or why not commemorate a loved one and have the leaf engraved 'loving memory'. Alterna vely, get together with former classmates to buy a leaf

and have it engraved with the 'class off ...'. The choice is yours! The leaf will be engraved and displayed on the donor tree in perpetuity - a las ng and permanent reminder of how you helped build the NGHS Performing Arts Centre. L

Bronze

£150

Silver

£300

Gold

£450

Gold Super-leaf £10,000 Add an extra 25% to your gi , at no extra cost to you!

HOW DO I BUY A LEAF ON THE TREE?

Decide on the colour of your leaf, then click on the Performing Arts tab on our website www. no nghamgirlshigh.gdst.net and follow the link to the Donor Tree and complete the online form - don’t forget to ck the Gi Aid box to maximize your dona on! Once you have made your dona on, we will contact you to discuss what you would like engraved on your leaf. Thank you for your support.

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United Nations Television Producer and Reporter ALEXANDRA KING (2004)

Alexandra King is a Television Producer and Reporter at United Na ons Television in New York. Her stories are broadcast world wide to hundreds of media outlets including BBC World, CNN Interna onal, and MTV - chances are, you've seen a story by Alex. A er leaving NGHS in 2004, Alexandra completed her undergraduate degree in English Literature at University College London. It was here that she developed her interest in journalism, wri ng for several university publica ons and was twice short listed for the Guardian Student Media awards. Upon gradua ng from UCL, Alex was accepted into the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York City. As a student reporter, she covered major metropolitan stories including the New York Marathon, New York's bedbug epidemic and the crime beat in Manha an's Lower East Side. Although most foreign students at Columbia have to return home to find work, Alex won a Columbia fellowship for young broadcast journalists at United Na ons Television, a broadcas ng opera on set up to provide people around the world who may not have access to objec ve factual news coverage with unbiased and accurate repor ng. UN stories and raw footage from the front lines of global conflict and crisis are distributed rights-free to global broadcasters, as well as broadcast on the UN's own TV channel, Channel 150. Within 6 weeks, Alex was hired onto UNTV's sta. In her first year she covered the crisis in Libya, the conflict in Darfur and the humanitarian response to the tsunami in Japan.

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Alex interviewing Stevie Wonder. Alex is now the United Na ons TV Producer and Reporter responsible for domes c coverage of news stories coming out of UN headquarters in New York. This includes everything from the opening of the Annual General Debate with its accompanying mul tudes of Presidents and Prime Ministers, to film screenings and football matches. In the past nine months, she has interviewed Stevie Wonder, Gordon Brown, Malala Yousafzai, and Bill Clinton. Most recently, Alex was chosen to accompany UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on a tour of the Great Lakes Region- Mozambique, Democra c Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia. Despite tough condi ons on the ground, over a ten day period she filmed, reported, wrote, voiced, edited and filed a video story each day from the field, which were sent and screened across the


Alex filming in Mozambique.

Alex with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on a recent tour to the Great Lakes Region.

globe. Stories ranged from a UNICEF school project in Maputo, to a profile of a hospital for vic ms of sexual violence in Goma, to repor ng on the African Union conference in Addis Ababa. Remarkably, she is the first ever female one-woman-band video producer to ever accompany a UN Secretary-General.

Alex is currently working on a short documentary following a Syrian refugee family torn apart by the conflict, which she'll be entering in the Human Rights Watch Film Fes val, and working towards her next trip with the Secretary-General, which will most likely be to Darfur/ the Sahel region.

Alex with the UN aeroplane.

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Milly Moore Jewellery CAMILLA MOORE (1993) I had a wonderful all-round educa on at NGHS and remember par cularly fondly hours spent in the Art studios and the excellent encouragement of Mr Imms, who inspired confidence in developing ideas crea vely and finding my own approach to working. The importance of a loose and experimental discipline stays with me in my crea ve prac ce to this day and is key to producing original design with its own signature style. I set up my jewellery business a er comple ng an Art Founda on course in No ngham and later Silversmithing and Jewellery Making in Loughborough. I began to exhibit and sell pieces through the Lakeside Arts Centre at No ngham University, and then further afield through various gallery shops across the UK, such as Yorkshire Sculpture Park and at trade fairs in London and Harrogate. Over the years the business has grown to include commissions for various private and corporate clients, such as a collec on of silver and gemstone No ngham Lace jewellery which is sold exclusively through No ngham Contemporary Gallery. Of course my proudest commission is for NGHS, which is a necklace given to the Head Girl and her depu es at the annual Prizegiving in September. I was absolutely delighted to be asked to design a piece that would be significant to the School. I based the design on the Rowan tree (Sorbus cashmiriana) which appears on the school crest and represents aspira on, as the majority of the berries are found towards the top, thus having to reach high for the rewards. The design for the necklace was taken from the Rowan tree that was planted at the school by Dame Stella Rimington, former Director General of MI5, and alumna of NGHS. Each necklace is a silver Rowan leaf with red berries and is marked with NGHS and date of service. As well as retail outlets my jewellery is available to buy online through my website www. millymoore.co.uk and also via other online retail outlets, and now exci ngly ships to customers worldwide, whilst keeping strong

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roots in my No ngham hometown. I also hold Open Studio exhibi ons twice a year in my converted stable workshop (where I work each day with my Jack Russell, Tigger, for company) to launch new collec ons, and have a party with friends and customers. A key theme of the jewellery is to celebrate life's poignant events. Many pieces may be personalised with significant wording into the silver to make each unique to its wearer. Natural pearls and rough-cut gemstones are sourced from around the world and are selected for their colour, lustre and innate imperfect beauty. The result is a joyful and vibrant collec on of life-aďŹƒrming jewellery. I feel very fortunate to have had the confidence to build a crea ve business and thankful for the educa on that I received at NGHS, which provided the perfect founda on to build on when making the transi on from educa on to professional life.


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My Gap Year; Working, It’s unbelievable that my gap year will officially be over in a month when I go to University. Over the past year I have worked for five months, travelled around the world and applied and got into university. I can safely say that it’s been the most even ul year of my life! I decided to take a gap year mid-way through Year 13 but I didn’t start to make serious plans un l the summer a er exams. The biggest problem I faced was finding a job that I would be able to have for about five months. I had a stroke of luck at the end of August - I got a call from NGHS with a project that I could help with. It was to help organise the School’s archives specifically for a big alumnae reunion event that October. So from September I started working back at school, ini ally just to help with this specific project, but I actually ended up working there un l January. I also worked part me at a bar in the evenings. Working and saving towards travelling forced me to be disciplined and focused, which is one of the most useful skills I’ve come away with. Around November, I’d saved up enough to buy my round the world cket. I booked a Qantas flexi cket that allowed me to fly into South East Asia, Australasia, and then to South America, where I would return to the UK from Brazil. I’d started to map out a route; Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argen na, Uruguay and Brazil. I also booked a three week tour through South America called ‘In Search

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of Iguassu' which starts in Buenos Aires and finishes in Rio, via Uruguay. I decided to go travelling by myself, one of the reasons for this being that I have family in Australia and New Zealand, and I’d already visited them by myself when I was 16. I decided that the freedom that travelling alone gives was worth any apprehensions. On 24 January I flew from Heathrow to Bangkok and the travelling had begun! I’d already been to Thailand so I had some idea of what to expect. I travelled around from Bangkok to


Travelling and Studying HOLLY HEMMING (2012)

the islands of the West and East coasts. Then I went north to the rural provinces where I went elephant riding, saw the Erewan Waterfalls and went to a Tiger Temple. Thailand is easy for backpackers; every second person you meet is European and the country is incredibly tourist friendly. Thailand was the perfect place to start - within a day I’d already met people and in my hostel, on the island of Koh Phangan, we formed a group who I went on to travel with. On 14 February I flew from Bangkok to Sydney, Australia. I was born in Sydney and lived there when I was young, and I s ll have a lot of family

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there. I stayed with my family in Woollahra which is a suburb about 20 minutes drive from the Harbour Bridge. Sydney is one of my favourite ci es in the world because of its unique landscape and cosmopolitanism. A er a month in Sydney I went to Melbourne for two and a half months. I got a job waitressing in a restaurant near the city centre. As I am an Australian ci zen I didn’t need a working visa. In April I flew to see other family in New Zealand. I went on a road trip with my cousins around the North Island from Auckland; Taupo, Rotorua, Paihia, the Bay of Islands and finishing

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with a visit to Waiheke Island. The beauty of New Zealand is underrated, it o en gets ignored, but New Zealand is stunning. Having seen most of the North Island and parts of the South, it’s one of the best places to have a road trip. My favourite experiences from New Zealand are swimming with dolphins in the Bay of Islands, seeing Huka Waterfalls and Waiheke Island. At the start of May I flew from New Zealand to San ago. I actually crossed the interna onal date line so I le at 5pm but arrived at 11am the same day! Chile was a fantas c introduc on to South America. Chilean people are very friendly and I stayed with a family in San ago which gave me some true understanding of their culture. Then I travelled to Argen na by are interes ng and the culture is completely unique. From street par es in Rio to the island of Ilha Grande, Brazil was incredible. It was the perfect end to my travels and on 26 June I flew back to the UK. Since coming back to No ngham I’ve spent the summer mostly preparing for university. This October I start my first year at Downing College, Cambridge to study Law. Having worked, studied, and travelled around the world, I couldn’t be more content about my gap year. Anyone thinking of having one, I couldn’t recommend it more! If you’d like to see any of my photos, my travel blog is at www.hollyhgapyear.blogspot.com.

bus which takes you past some of the Andes Mountains. I stayed in the North in Mendoza before travelling to Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires is amazing; it has the appearance of a European city but with the atmosphere of the La n culture. I started my tour there with a group of 14 people and our Colombian guide. We went through Argen na and Uruguay and started Brazil at the base of Iguassu Falls - the widest falls in South America that border three countries. Brazil was my favourite place in all of my travels. We went from the border in the South up along the East Coast to Foz do Iguaçu, Paraty, São Paulo, Ilha Grande and Rio de Janeiro. Brazil is the most vibrant country I’ve ever been to and Rio is incomparable. The scenery of the country is amazing, the ci es

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Deloitte Scholarship EMMY WILCOCK (2012) Towards the end of Year 12, suddenly everyone seemed to be turning their a en on to life a er Sixth Form. University open days, careers talks and applica on prepara ons had started in earnest and I felt bewildered by all the decisions I had to make. When I heard about the Deloi e Scholar scheme, I thought this sounded like a fantas c opportunity; a seven month paid placement gaining invaluable work experience as well as me and money to go travelling, what’s not to like! The first step in the process was an online applica on form. I then con nued through the stages which included online numerical and verbal reasoning tests, an ‘E-tray assessment’, group exercise, manager interview and finally a partner interview. A few months later, I was thrilled to find out I’d secured a place in the Birmingham office. Before I knew it, A Level exams and summer had flown by and September had arrived. I was placed in Interna onal Assignment Services, a division within Global Employer Services in the Tax service line. As the name suggests, our role is to advise firms who have employees on interna onal assignments and a large part of this is preparing tax returns for these individuals. As the UK tax return filing deadline is 31 January, the months leading up to this were very busy, with around 800 tax returns to prepare as a department. The interna onal aspect of the work really appealed to me, and I found looking at overseas tax legisla on and tax trea es par cularly interes ng. My engagement teams also took advantage of the fact I’m studying French and Management at university, for example I was asked to extract informa on from French payslips, which was not an easy task! I was also given the opportunity to work on a Swiss compliance project, where we teamed up with Deloi e Switzerland. This meant I had to become accustomed to a completely different tax system a er I’d only just got the hang of the UK!

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However, it is by no means just technical knowledge I’ve got out of the experience. I was treated as a graduate joiner which meant I’ve had to take on a lot of responsibility, perform under pressure and work as part of an engagement team. My communica on skills and confidence have also benefi ed from constantly interac ng with people much more senior than me, and also from organising presenta ons at schools to promote the scheme. It has also been really interes ng to be exposed to what working life in a big company is like, and to observe how the department is run. Looking to the future, a er my travelling, I’ll start studying for my degree at Leeds where I’ll receive con nued support by means of a bursary and the opportunity to carry out work placements in different areas of the firm during my holidays. Although I’ve really enjoyed GES, I’m looking forward to these placements so I can ul mately have a much more informed decision about my career path when I graduate, which is the most valuable thing to me.

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