We have been very fortunate here at King’s that so many OVs have given generously of their time and advice over the course of the last few months. Whilst King’s pupils are now mostly working in their own homes, the joy of technology means that our Head of Careers, Helen Airdrie, can bring together a number of people from different locations to talk to the them via video link. Last week, we were delighted to hear what OV, Sam Raybone (W 06-13) shared with the LVI Key Skills class about his own experiences of life after King’s. Helen was introducing the idea that not all students leave King’s and choose the conventional university route of further study and the idea that apprenticeships add another perspective.
After King’s Sam took a gap year to try and decide what he wanted to do and then gained a place at UWE to study ‘Animation’. Fairly soon, he realised, however, that university wasn’t for him and he made the brave decision to leave UWE. He moved to London to live with this King’s girlfriend – now his fiancée! – Emilie Lynch-Williams (K 06-13) and he started taking on lots of different part-time jobs: film-making, illustrations, 3D drawings and using these as his creative outlets and exploring his passions. Friends of Sam’s asked him to build their websites and he did this for free in order to build up his own experience (and literally taught himself from the internet).
He also started doing more graphic design work, again for friends initially who needed posters and other artwork produced, all the while helping friends out but gaining experience along the way.
One of these ‘favours’ led to a paid job as a freelance designer for an interior design company, where Sam stayed for three years, taking on more responsibility and managing logistics of residential projects, design, customers and suppliers for the company. Whilst he was working Sam also enrolled on a number of courses, getting a qualification with the Chartered Institute of Marketing, as well as doing a course in ceramics. Through friends he also did work for Blackheath High School, GDST (Girls Day School Trust) School doing design work for a newly-developed facility at the school. They kept in touch and recommended him for the graphic design role at the GDST Trust Office, where he now supports their 25 schools.
At King’s Sam was particularly strong at Art and Design & Technology and he is especially grateful to Hon OVs Jenny Hewitt and Gemma Hardy in the Art department and says, “they are incredible teachers; I owe a lot to them during my time at King’s.”
Sam’s final advice to the Lower Sixth students was, “Follow your gut instinct and follow your passions, go to events, exhibitions, sign up to courses and take whatever opportunities that come along.”