Spotlight On: Life Beyond Queenwood

28 August 2020

This article first appeared in Queenwood News Weekly 28 August 2020. 

In the same way that an answer to the common question, “What do you do?” does not give a full picture of who a person really is, what our girls choose to study beyond Queenwood is not the whole picture of who they are becoming. The array of career and further study options available to our girls can easily lead them into the paradox of choice; it is anxiety inducing to have to make a decision amongst all the possibilities, not only in Sydney but also across the country and globally.

Our Careers Program has been designed to help your daughter manage the first steps in their journey beyond Queenwood. Moreover, the whole of your daughter’s education at Queenwood is designed to instil the knowledge and confidence they need to create a future direction that is of service and of meaning to them.

In Year 10 Queenwood girls undertake Morrisby Career profiling, to give them a sense of where their aptitudes and career interests lie. They then make subject selection decisions for their final two years of high school, in consultation with teachers and other curriculum staff. In Year 11, all girls attend a Careers Expo to explore university and further study options. Throughout Year 12, girls have one-on-one appointments with us to manage their post-school plans and applications.

We take delight in discovering the variety of paths our graduating girls choose. Each year, some of our girls head for adventures overseas. Alex Smits from the class of 2019 is following in Sophie Houston’s (Class of 2018, Yale) and Matilda Kearn’s (Class of 2018, University of Southern California) footsteps and heading to the USA. Alex has been accepted to Harvard University and will be joining their University rowing team. Isobel Forbes from Class of 2019 is heading to Glasgow, Scotland and Megan Taylor (Class of 2018) went to York, England the year before her.

Two well-regarded Universities outside Sydney remain popular choices: University of Melbourne and the Australian National University in Canberra. Interestingly, one of our Duces from 2019 (Georgia Mentzines) and the 2018 Dux (Wendy Lin) both chose to study Bachelor of Design (Architecture) at University of Melbourne. They are also both enjoying living on campus at residential colleges.

Many of our Class of 2019 took advantage of the ever-increasing flexibility and choice offered by Universities and are studying combined or double degrees. Examples include a Bachelor of Arts with a Bachelor of Engineering (Annika Burge) or a Bachelor of Commerce with a Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Abigail Rutherford). Studying double degrees in different fields is a good way to explore interests and maintain the breadth of knowledge they experienced at Queenwood as they move into Higher Education.

Employment markets are moving into what is being called the fourth industrial revolution, and the courses our girls choose to study post-school will have increasingly less bearing on their future professions. Alumnae studying literature may find themselves employed as financial consultants for example. Employers in this field are focusing less on a candidate’s degree title and more on their mindset, looking for creative thinking and ethical decision making skills. Preparing for unspecified career paths requires a flexible mindset and an ability to cope with change; something for which our class of 2020 will be well-prepared!

Interestingly, we are seeing our girls go into new degrees that would not have existed just a few years ago. Georgina Phillips from the Class of 2019 is studying a Bachelor of Business with a Bachelor of Creative Intelligence & Innovation at UTS. This is just one way in which Universities in Australia and overseas are actively supporting entrepreneurship; many are also encouraging students to create start-ups or businesses.

Beyond Queenwood there are a multitude of exciting options our girls can look forward to that will lead them towards rewarding and fulfilling careers.

Ms Clare Hurst & Ms Justine Fowler, Careers Advisors