Teresa Allen (Class of 2003)

Tell us what you do for a living?
 I am setting myself up as a self-employed artist specialising in safari wildlife – fingers crossed it works out!
Are you doing what you thought you’d be doing after you left school?
Yes and no. I didn’t really know what I would be doing. If I were to pick what I enjoyed doing, then yes but I thought reality might be different.
What’s been your inspiration – what’s pulled you forwards and into your current role?
I was made redundant after working in Event Management for 10 years – a role that I fell into (I started on a 3-month contract and then never left!). I hadn’t been entirely happy so rather than get the same role at a different company I decided to look back on what I used to enjoy when I was growing up. Since early childhood it was always art, creation, making things with my hands . . . and animals/nature.
What would you say is your biggest achievement to date, the thing you’re most proud of? Professionally or personally!
Professionally, it was being a speaker at an industry event giving a presentation in front of 200 people. Personally, it was travelling around New Zealand on my own for 5 weeks in a campervan.
Was there a particular teacher, or a moment at school that particularly inspired you?
I loved Mr Barnaby who taught Resistant Materials (Design and Technology). Obviously, my favourite subject alongside art! I liked his mix of teaching what we needed to learn alongside enthusiasm, encouragement, support and a bit of fun.
How important do you think your school days were in shaping who you are today?
 I think I’ve changed much more from what I’ve learnt in the decades after school.
What’s your work:life balance like? How important is that to you?
It is massively important to me. In Event Management the sway was off kilter for quite a while and I didn’t like that it was accepted as the norm in the industry. I found the more experienced I got, the more efficient I became to be able to get a better balance. Currently, being my own boss is a breath of fresh air! I love being able to make my own decisions and be in charge of my destiny without having to comply with rules set by someone else.
What advice would you give to today’s students who may be struggling to choose which path to take beyond school?
Don’t feel like you have to have everything figured out – even decades down the line people still haven’t got it figured out! Follow your heart. What do you really enjoy doing and why? What are your natural talents and skills? Try and harness a career around those answers because life is too short to be in a job you hate. These days a job isn’t for life so if you try something and it doesn’t feel right, don’t stick with it because it’s what you know, be brave and move on to try something else. You learn by doing.
Finally, do you have a favourite quote, expression or mantra which inspires you to keep going?
If you do not go after what you want, you will never have it.

Application to Sixth Form 2023

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The Sixth Form Open Evening will be held on 17th November 2022.

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We are open today, Tuesday 13th December. If the situation changes with the weather we will update the website and social media accordingly.