Old Pocklingtonian 2019/2020 - Page 9


As with most events in recent times , the Pocklington School Foundation ( PSF ) Careers and Business Network events programme had to be curtailed . Luckily , the network event on creative and small businesses went ahead successfully in October 2019 well before the virus struck . The guest speakers for the evening were former pupils Beth Todd , who left the school in 2014 , and James Wilkinson who left in 2010 .
After trying a few different career paths , Beth decided a career in business was what she wanted to pursue . Whilst working in the family business , LMA Services in Pocklington , she undertook a workfunded degree in Marketing and Business , followed by a postgraduate diploma in Business and Finance , both completed online with the University of Essex . Part of Beth ’ s studies included developing a proposal to establish a new business , which she then decided to launch in her spare time . Her company , F & B International , creates and sells country homewares , clothing and gifts online and is growing rapidly with customers both in the UK and overseas .
James Wilkinson graduated in Business , Management and Marketing from Leeds Beckett University and worked in marketing and business development before moving to Uganda in 2014 with another former pupil , Jonny Rowland , to help start Agri Evolve . Agri Evolve works with Ugandan farmers to help improve agricultural output and focuses on coffee processing . James has now set up Omwani Coffee Co . to develop the UK side of the project , importing speciality arabica beans directly from Agri Evolve ’ s processing plant in Western Uganda .
Beth and James shared with guests their experiences of setting up their own businesses , what motivated them to do so and the challenges they have faced along the way . They also spoke about the power of social media and how it has helped
L-R : Trevor Loten , President of the Old Pocklingtonian Association , Toby Seth , Headmaster , Beth Todd , F & B International and James Wilkinson , Omwani Coffee Co ..
them to grow their businesses and communicate with their customers .
Headmaster , Toby Seth , co-hosted the event with three Pocklington School business studies students , who helped create a highly informative question and answer session .
Toby commented : “ This is my third Careers and Business Network event . We have heard from OPs who are lawyers , business people and now entrepreneurs who have started their own businesses . What former pupils get up to when they leave Pocklington is astonishingly varied and so I think it is even more important that we prepare them for life after school with more than just excellent grades . That is why I think our Values and Virtues are fundamental .
Beth and James demonstrated these in so many different ways and I am so grateful to them for coming back to Pocklington . I was also delighted to see so many of our current students in the audience . This is really energising to see – they can learn so much from people like Beth and James . We were also so pleased to welcome a great mix of current parents and returning Old Pocklingtonians .”
The PSF Careers and Business Network is open to everyone in the wider Pocklington School community , including current and former parents , Old Pocklingtonians , current and former staff and supporters . Membership of the network is free ; to sign up visit the school website at : https :// www . pocklingtonschool . com / support-us / careers-andnetworking-opportunities .

Careers &


With members working in organisations including Tampa Bay Tourism , The KIA Oval , the Press Association , Sheffield Hallam University , PwC and many more , the Pocklington School Careers & Business Network has been busy over the year sharing advice and experiences to help inspire the next generation of students as they consider their career options . The Network was even named as a Finalist in the Independent Schools of the Year Award for its work in the area of student careers development
In addition to regular events , every month the Network focuses on a different industry sector , and members across the globe generously share information about their individual career paths and tips on how to enter their respective industries and professions .
Current and former students also use the Careers & Business Network to access work experience and employment opportunities . For example , George Redfern , who left Pocklington School in 2013 to study Business with Marketing Management , secured a position with a leading food manufacturer after seeing it advertised in the Network ’ s LinkedIn Group . George said : “ The Network proved a great source of help and contacts for me when I was looking for a job in marketing , and I ’ m now thoroughly enjoying my new role .”