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In the Business of… Education

3 March 2024 11.30 - 12.30
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Jesus College CB5 8BL

Join us at this special In the Business of Education event hosted by the Master, we will be joined by diverse panel of alumni working across the state and maintained sector who will be sharing their insights and experience of getting on and getting ahead in the world of teaching, including challenges they have faced and lessons learnt along the way. A must for any aspiring teachers!  Current students can register for free via Eventbrite.

Daniella Mardell (2002) studied MML at Jesus from 2002-2006, returning to college the following year to complete her PGCE. In 2008, while teaching at Bancroft’s School, she came back to Jesus on a part-time basis to study her Med. After 5 years as Head of Spanish at Bancroft’s, Daniella moved to St Paul’s Girls’ School as Second in MFL and as their Educational Visits Coordinator. In 2018, Daniella was made of Head of MFL and Spanish at North London Collegiate School where she ran a large and successful MFL faculty offering six languages. This September, Daniella started her new role as Assistant Head: University Guidance and Careers at the same school.

Kim Smith (2002) studied Law at Jesus and graduated in 2005. She qualified as a solicitor and practised law in Manchester at various firms both large and small, until 2018 when she decided to change career. In September of that year Kim started her PGCE in Primary Education with an additional maths specialism. Upon qualification she commenced a period of work as a supply teacher before the first COVID lockdown. From September 2020, Kim has worked at Woodlands Primary School in Whitby, Ellesmere Port, first as a generalist support teacher for COVID "catch up" and since 2021 as a class teacher, in Years 3 and 4. She is currently on maternity leave after having her son, Finlay, in November 2023. 

Alex Thompson (2008) read Classics at Jesus from 2008 to 2011, before beginning his teaching career at King’s College School, Cambridge. He then taught at Tonbridge before spending 7 years at Rugby, where he became Deputy Housemaster, Master i/c Cricket and Head of Classics. Since 2021 he has been Assistant Head (Academic) at Headington.

Nick Davies (1982) Nick grew up in North London and read Natural Sciences at Jesus before switching to Chemical Engineering at the end of his second year, initially deciding to pursue a commercial or marketing career, Nick was offered a place on Unilever’s management training scheme, but deferred his entry whilst wandering the world. He first sold encyclopaedias door-to-door (unsuccessfully) in Silicon Valley and eventually worked as a waiter and sommelier in one of the best restaurants in San Francisco. After nearly two years in California, it was time to put on a suit and start his ‘career’. He spent his first year working in Unilever’s graduate recruitment department, running courses, screening applicants, and interviewing at universities around the country before joining Quest International, a Unilever subsidiary making flavours, fragrances, and food ingredients as an Industrial Marketing trainee.

Following this, Nick worked at several other Unilever subsidiarys, including National Starch, and Alco. After twenty years in industry, Nick started as a teacher at his first School, and after 6 years he was offered a role at Wilmslow High School where he is now Head of Physics. Nick is very proud to have introduced and embedded the Isaac Physics platform (produced by Cambridge University), which reduces his workload, making his work-life balance as good as it has ever been. Nick was awarded Ambassador status for Isaac Physics and now helps promote it to a wide range of teachers in the UK.

Nick says that teaching is the most rewarding and easiest job he has ever had (at least after the first couple of years), but would strongly recommend working in the ‘real’ world for at least 4-5 years, before re-joining the academic world. He now appreciates the 13 weeks holiday far more! Both Nick's careers have involved understanding the perspective of others and selling his credibility to them, customers in his first and students in his second. The transferable skills he has gained working in industry, have greatly aided his teaching career.