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Kristina Luburic

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Aspire to Inspire

September 4, 2018

​Last week our team had the immense pleasure of hosting a group of year 10 students from Granville Boys High School as part of ASPIRE’s Degrees at Work program: a UNSW-run work experience program with a twist.

Three years – that’s the average gap in mathematical, scientific and reading literacies between 15 year-old students from high socioeconomic status (SES) and low SES backgrounds; a statistic which highlights why programs like this are so essential.

The Degrees at Work initiative seeks to introduce students from ASPIRE schools to a variety of workplaces, given that many have had little contact with tertiary-educated professionals. Degrees at Work therefore allows ASPIRE students to discover career opportunities and gain new perspectives on potential pathways.

We kicked the morning off with a presentation about Ogilvy CommonHealth’s (OCH) people, values and work, after which it was time to bare all. Six OCH staff bravely volunteered to form an interactive panel where we shared our personal journeys and answered questions from the students. In truth, these discussions were deeply revealing; some of us had started our careers in a position similar to those of the Granville High boys, while others had been totally off the grid. Ultimately, what held true for all was that we love our jobs and have worked hard to get here. Evidently, there’s no one way to achieve success, as long as you follow your interests and curiosities.

After mingling over lunch on the balcony, it was back down to business with an interactive workshopping session in small groups. Here, we explored each student’s transferrable skills, from computer literacy to communication, and worked together to create short and long-term goals. This activity highlighted that the students are keen to do well and find the future slightly scary as the pressure to perform is great.The students displayed wonderful initiative. They were smart and insightful. We walked away from the Degrees at Work session hoping that we were as much of an inspiration to them as they were to us. To find out more, or to get your organisation involved in Degrees at Work, please contact Jane Artup via email

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