An outstanding experience at Canary Wharf

Year 9 students from both Ark William Parker and Ark Helenswood had the opportunity to travel to London and visit a variety of different business companies within the financial district of London, Canary Wharf. The trip was organised by the Hastings Opportunity Area in conjunction with the East Sussex County Council and Career Ready, a UK Charity that aims to inspire and prepare students for work.

The aim of the visit was for students to experience what it would be like to travel and work in London, in particular with a financial company within Canary Wharf.

The group travelled to London on the train and used the Underground to get to Canary Wharf - for some students this was the first time that they had ever used the Underground.

During the first session the students received a talk from Action Jackson, a motivational speaker, at Citi Bank. The students were then placed into groups and each visited a different financial company including Barclays, Citibank, ANZ Bank, Clearstream and Fitch Holdings. They took part in workshops which focused on careers and the skills needed to work in such environments; they talked to employees and heard stories of how their careers have panned out; some students also had the opportunity to tour the company building.

The students at Ark William Parker thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Student Jamhur said, “The Canary Wharf trip was an outstanding experience. It really helped me understand how much more there is to working in a bank. Experiencing and understanding how many jobs you can do in a bank helped me to change my mind to working in a bank one day myself.”

Student Lewis said “Going to Canary Wharf was very helpful for my understanding of working in London and what it may be like in the future. The trip was set up superbly with all students having an amazing time.”

Graham Morris, Careers Lead at Ark William Parker said, “This was an excellent opportunity for our students to visit well renowned, international finance companies. The day definitely gave the students a different perspective to financing and the different range of jobs that there are within each company from dealing with clients to marketing.

"This trip also gave the students from both schools the chance to get to know each other in preparation for the schools joining to form Ark Alexandra Academy in September.

"We would like to thank the Hastings Opportunity Area (Ian Gillespie and Emile Tambeh), East Sussex County Council (Wendy Gorham and Ruth Francis), Career Ready (Yvonne Plows) and all the companies who welcomed our students."

Jen Lelliott, Assistant Principal at Ark Helenswood said, “It was an excellent experience for the students travelling to and from London on the train and underground. Once at Canary Wharf, the students had an experience which broadened their horizons of the world of work within finance and many were pleasantly surprised in the amount of travel within the different jobs.”

Students from Helenswood equally enjoyed the experience and learnt a lot about finance and banking. Faye said, “I went to Citi bank and learnt how anyone can get a job with any subject. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it has inspired me to dream big and never give up. The employees I met with were very friendly. We had to introduce ourselves confidently with a handshake and it helped prepare for the future.”

Paige said, “I went to Fitch Holdings. It was a very fun experience and made me realise other job opportunities I could do when I am older. I also learnt how to introduce myself formally to people which is important for the future.”