Careers Newsletter: September 2022

Welcome back to the new school year!

For those of you who are new to Hertswood, we publish a careers newsletter each month. The newsletter will provide you with details of work experience opportunities that are available, highlight careers you may not have considered and provide information about industries in Hertfordshire to help you start to make those important decisions about the future.

Hertswood Careers Team

Careers Spotlight: Air Traffic Controller

Each year, around 2.5 million flights and 250 million people fly above our heads in UK skies. Our Air Traffic Controllers work with pilots to make that happen quickly, efficiently and, most importantly, safely.

The UK, like many countries, has ‘controlled’ and ‘uncontrolled’ airspace. In controlled airspace, pilots take instructions from Air Traffic Controllers on where, when and how to position their aircraft. Most commercial aircraft operate in controlled airspace.

There are different types of Controllers, with different skill sets and responsibilities based on their roles.

Aerodrome Controllers:

Typically based in a Control Tower at an airport, an Aerodrome Controller (sometimes referred to as a 'Tower Controller') is responsible for the safety and movement of aircraft around an airfield. They issue clearances to take off and land and route aircraft around the airfield so they can taxi safely between runways, stands and other areas they need to travel to.

Area Controllers:

Typically based at Control Centres (such as those at Prestwick and Swanwick in the UK), Area Controllers manage aircraft at higher altitudes (often five thousand feet and above). They are responsible for aircraft in the climb, descent and en-route phase of the flight. Area Controllers issue levels, headings and speeds to separate aircraft, providing a safe and expeditious routing through the sector of airspace that they manage.

Approach Controllers:

Approach Controllers are typically based at airports, but those managing the big London airports are based at Swanwick. They manage aircraft approaching an airport putting them into the most efficient sequence to land. They also manage those that have just departed the airport in their initial phases of flight. Approach Controllers may also manage flights transiting the airspace around the airport.

Being a successful Controller isn’t so much about your previous work experience, it’s about the way you approach problems, handle pressure and adapt to changing situations.

NATS have developed a series of mini-games to help you decide whether it’s the kind of thing that might be right for you. They test a range of basic mental skills required by Controllers. Click on the link below to give them a go!

Boosting your CV

So what is a CV? CV is short for Curriculum Vitae and is a short document which summarises your unique skills, character, experience and achievements.

For students it can feel difficult to know what to write as you haven't had the time to build up the experience that employers always seem to want.

In this section we will look at ways of making your CV stand out for future employers so you can get that dream job and in an ever more competitive job market it is never too soon to start thinking about shaping your CV.

Get involved in extra-curricular activities:

You might not be aware of it, but we have a large number of activities that you can take part in that will help you gain valuable experience. Some of the best activities to consider signing up for include:

  • Sports clubs (shows you’re a team player).

  • Other clubs such as model making club or art club (shows you want to develop your skills and are happy to put in the extra effort)

  • School Council (shows that you have passion).

Above all, what these activities show is that you have initiative. Most employers are aware that young people find it difficult to get their first break and will appreciate the effort you’ve taken to gain as much work experience as you can.

Careers in Hertfordshire: Life Sciences

The 'Golden Triangle', made up of Oxford, Cambridge and London, marks the central cluster of the UK’s life sciences industry, at the heart of which lies Hertfordshire. Within the triangle are four of the world’s top 10 universities for medical and scientific research: Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College London and University College London.

UK researchers and institutions have been credited with major scientific breakthroughs including the discovery of penicillin and the structure of DNA, advancements in neuroscience and medical imaging, and developments in stem cell research and in-vitro fertilisation. Businesses benefit from the opportunity to tap into this pool of talent and research expertise.

Britain’s life sciences industry has a track record for excellence and is supported by a tax structure that rewards innovation. More than 5,600 life sciences companies operate in the UK, with a turnover of over £60 billion and exports that exceed £30 billion. These companies span product development, supply and associated services, and employ more than 220,000 people.

The sector is supported by a skilled workforce. In 2016, a total of 38,800 science, research, engineering and technology professionals worked in Hertfordshire – 50% above the national average, with an additional 10,300 people working as science, engineering and technology associate professionals.

There are 2,800 people working in pharmaceuticals and the industry is 4.1 times more important as a local employer than the national average. More people work in pharmaceuticals manufacturing in Hertfordshire than in any other Local Enterprise Partnership area in England. The total number of pharmaceuticals manufacturing jobs is 75% higher than in Greater Cambridgeshire, Greater Peterborough and the Oxfordshire areas combined.

Life sciences employed 13,200 people in Hertfordshire in 2015. There were 330 enterprises in pharmaceutical and life sciences research in 2016. While the sector is dominated by large enterprises, there has been a remarkable growth in the business population, which has risen by 4.1% annually since 2010.

For more information please go to

Current Opportunities

This month we have opportunities in technology, finance and construction provided by The Young Professionals Network. We also have opportunities to join Get into Into Medicine Conferences throughout this half term. In addition the Success at School team are about to publish online guides to help parents understand apprenticeships and university applications.

Some of the employers involved include - PwC, Goldman Sachs, British Airways, BT, Mazars, Grant Thornton, Siemens and Mott MacDonald to name a few! Upon completion of each event you choose to sign up for, you will be awarded a certificate which you can add to your CV! As always be giving away some fantastic prizes across the evenings.

Event Details: All events run from 5pm - 7:30pm in the evening, click the links to find out more details and book on!

Get into Medicine Conferences

Your aspiring medical students in years 10/12 are eligible to attend a LIVE VIRTUAL Get into Medicine Conference on:

- Sunday 18th September 10am - 3pm

- Sunday 25th September 10am - 3pm

- Saturday 1st October 10am - 3pm

Once students have attended, they will be awarded with a certificate from the Presidents at Medic Mentor to acknowledge that they are a student who has gone one step further than others.

The Get into Medicine conference is a significant turning point for Medic Mentor students. It will unlock exclusive opportunities such as scholarships and prizes, as well as help them to make a highly competitive application.

Students can register using this link:

Please note that all students must be accompanied by a parent/guardian for safeguarding purposes.

The Get into Medicine Conference is a comprehensive guide to the medical application process. Dr Kennedy and I will cover:

- Application Timelines

- How to Tactically Choose Medical Schools

- CV Building

- Personal Statements

- Interview Schools

- Medical Leadership and Awards Programmes

- Accessing Work Experience

- UCAT and BMAT - Entrance Exams to Medical School

- Accessing Scholarships

We strongly encourage all students to make the most out of this free opportunity.

Spaces are competitive and limited, so students should register as soon as they can using the link below. For this reason, we kindly request that students only book one conference.

Registration Link:

Here’s how the day will run:

10-10.30 Registration

10.30-11.20 Quick introduction to Medic Mentor, overview of the day, competition ratios, application timeline, Awards and Scholarships

11:20-11:30 Top tips form a successful applicant (medical student)

11.30-11.40 Break

11.40-12.00 Introduction to the UCAS application form and entry requirements

12.00-12.30 Interactive CV building exercise and exclusive access to leadership, research, presentation, publication, prizes and scholarship opportunities

12.30-12.40 Top tips form a successful applicant (medical student)

12.40-13.30 How to write the perfect personal statement

13.30 - 13.40 Break

13.40 - 14.10 Entrance exams - how to do ace the UCAT and BMAT exam

14.10-14.40 How to prepare for Medical School interviews

14.40-15.00 Next steps after conference and how to build on this experience

One booking = one booking for a student + their parent/guardian.

Getting into medicine may seem impossible to many students, but we’re here to break down the entire process into actionable steps.

New 2022/23 FREE Parents Careers Guides

We are delighted to announce that our brand new 2022/23 Parents guides to university and apprenticeships will be released digitally on the week commencing 12th September. Both guides will be available for parents and carers to access for FREE and will be sent directly to your inbox along with a free bonus STEM careers guide.

CLICK HERE for free guides