Year 12 at Halley Academy attended Student Careers Question Time on Tuesday 10th March. Hosted in the impressive listed hall at the academy, our valued guest panelists were:

Wayne Wilson, Network Manager of KATO and previously a professional footballer

Dr Joan Wales, Head of Safety and Operational Risk at BP

Tom Milner, Director of the Natural Resources Investment Banking Group

Gabriella Belgrave, Forensic Accountant at KPMG

Run along the lines of the popular BBC TV programme, Question Time, students were given biographies of our guests beforehand to give them time to consider the types of questions that they would like to ask.

These included:


  • What questions did you ask yourself before starting your career? 
  • What is the one thing you learnt from your chosen career and would you change anything?
  • What advice would you give to your teenage self?
  • What is the basic and highest wage in your field?
  • What was your motivation to succeed in the area you did.?
  • What advice would you give a student who hasn’t made up their mind what to do as a career/university?


Panelists gave comprehensive answers with several key tenets running through the advice that they gave such as it’s not always about salary but rather about finding work rewarding and stepping up to the mark. 

More specific individual questions included:

For Tom-  What are the advantages of studying the International Baccalaureate?

For Gabriella  (who had explored her interest in teaching by volunteering in Ghana and Cambodia)- Would you recommend teaching abroad; what kind of experience did you gain from it and was it hard to deal with certain cultural differences?

Again, answers were detailed and enlightening.

Students thanked our guests at the end of the panel session with a loud burst of applause.

We are most grateful to our panelists, most of whom are regular supporters of Halley Academy with Gabriella and Joan being Governors and Tom and Joan also being STEM mentors at the academy. We are also grateful for the support of the Tallow Chandlers Livery Company with helping to introduce us to so many impressive business contacts.