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Where Are They Now ?

The majority of our students go on to successful futures giving Havering Sixth Form the accolade of being the top College in East London for student progression to positive destinations – and we are in the top 10 per cent of all schools, sixth forms and colleges nationally.

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  • Georgia Wazny

    Published 03/04/19

    Georgia has just completed a Merchandising Admin Assistant apprenticeship with Arcadia and is based at one of the company’s flagship stores, Topshop, in Oxford Street.

    Having passed the Level 4 Business Admin apprenticeship qualification, specialising in Merchandising, she has now been offered permanent employment with Arcadia, which owns fashion stores Topshop, Topman, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, Wallis and Evans.

    Georgia, formerly of Hall Mead School, studied at Havering Sixth Form College from 2015 to 2017 and took A Levels in Psychology, Sociology and Communication Studies.

    Her day to day work is centred on global sales of Topshop jeans. She runs analysis on the stock, sale and intake of jeans at stores all over the world and then makes decisions on whether the store needs more or less stock and when to send it.

    She heard about the Apprenticeship scheme when she visited the College’s CUBE (Careers centre) and says if it hadn’t been for the good advice from the CUBE staff she wouldn’t have even known it was an option for her.

    The application process was tough but she managed to get through the assessments and interviews and hasn’t looked back.

    She said: “I love where I work, I enjoy the environment – it’s a very social place to work but it’s also very professional. I have a really supportive boss and feel that I am learning all the time. Arcadia also treat their staff very well – there is even a hairdressers and beauty salon in our building that we can make use of when we want to for just a small charge.”

    Georgia says there is a clear and fast progression route at the company and she plans to stay in Merchandising and have a senior position by the end of 2019 – with then further promotion to become a Director of Merchandising in the future.

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  • Lee Van Geleen

    Published 29/03/19

    Lee is a former Performing Arts student and is currently starring in the new West End musical Only Fools and Horses at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket.

    The former Royal Liberty School pupil attended Havering Sixth Form College from 2008 to 2010, achieving a Triple Distinction in the BTEC Performing Arts Extended Diploma.

    He took a gap year, working as a waiter and securing roles in local theatre productions, and then joined the London School of Musical Theatre on their one year, full-time course, designed for those who wish to realise their full potential as musical theatre performers. He was trained to a high professional standard and developed his skills in singing, dancing, drama and performance.

    He has recently had a starring role in Les Miserables at Queens Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, playing Brujon and being the understudy for Javert, Bishop and the Factory Foreman.

    He was then cast in the ensemble of Only Fools and Horses – and the show has had fantastic reviews since its opening night in February 2019. The West End production has been written and produced by comedian Paul Whitehouse and Jim Sullivan, the son of John Sullivan who wrote the original TV series.

    Lee performs alongside Paul Whitehouse who stars as Grandad, Tom Bennett (Del Boy) and Ryan Hutton (Rodney).

    Lee will make a special guest appearance on the Community Stage at the Havering Show in Harrow Lodge Park, Hornchurch, during the August Bank Holiday weekend, Sunday 25th and Monday 26th. 

    His other theatre credits include:  The Warrior/Russian Admiral in Pacific Overtures at the Union Theatre, Southwark, London; Gwilim in Ivor Novello’s Valley of Song at the Finborough Theatre in Kensington, London; Dick Deadeye in H.M.S. Pinafore at the Union Theatre; The Balladeer in The Immortal Hour at the Finborough Theatre and ‘Tis The Season at the Jermyn Street Theatre which is a small studio theatre just off the West End.

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  • Dan Jobson

    Published 27/03/19

    Dan currently works as a Senior Geotechnical Engineer at the Wheal Jane Group in Truro, Cornwall.

    During his time at Havering Sixth Form College, from 2008 to 2010, he studied A Levels in Geology, Geography and History and then went to the University of Plymouth to study Applied Geology.

    After graduating from Plymouth, the former Sawyers Hall College pupil who used to live in Romford, stayed in the West Country and began working as a graduate engineering geologist in the Exeter area.

    He then progressed to a role as a geoenvironmental engineer in Bristol, where among other responsibilities, he was involved in the analysis and interpretation of data for clients, outlining geoenvironmental and geotechnical risks and recommendations for further investigation and he supervised a range of site investigation techniques.

    He then moved to work as a senior engineering geologist at Ian Farmer Associates in Truro, before progressing to his current job at the Wheal Jane Group.

    Dan’s responsibilities have included tendering for and effectively project-managing a range of sites, seeing these through from the project design stage to on-site investigation and writing interpretative technical reports.

    His love of Geology was developed at Havering Sixth Form College with the help of popular Geology tutor Keith Oak.

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  • Shebani Walia

    Published 24/03/19

    ​​​Shebani has just started a new job at TV production company Label1 as an Officer Runner, having previously worked as a freelance camera operator, runner and production assistant in various TV studios.

    The former Plashet School pupil attended Havering Sixth Form College from 2013 to 2015 studying BTEC Law, and A Levels in ICT Applied and Moving Image Arts. She achieved a Distinction* and two B grades.

    She progressed to study Film and Television Production at the University of Hertfordshire where her passion for a career in the production department of studios producing films, music videos and commercials, was developed.

    While still at uni, she won the Indie Training Fund Creative Skillset Award at Visions Film Festival in May 2018 for her film ‘A Dancer Dies Twice’. She was also nominated for the Warner Bros Best Production Design for the same film.

    After leaving university she secured work as a camera operator at Private Affairs, director of photography on short film Sofa Surfer, a lighting director on a photoshoot, spark trainee on a music video and a runner at TVT Productions and Epiphany - as well as at the BBC.

    Shebani, 22, says she is independent and proactive and wants to succeed in everything she does. She is looking forward to her new role and is really excited about the challenges the job will bring.

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  • Rory Bidgood

    Published 28/02/19

    Rory is living in Hong Kong while working as an International Development Coach for Chelsea Football Club. He travels all over the world as part of his job, meeting famous players, officials and managers.

    The former Emerson Park School pupil attended Havering Sixth Form College from 2012 to 2014, achieving a Triple Distinction in the Sport BTEC Extended Diploma and also gaining the Community Sports Leadership Award.

    After leaving College, Rory was offered the role of Community Development Assistant at Chelsea FC, having worked part-time for them while studying for his BTEC Sport qualification.

    He was then made a Club Coach and subsequently Head Coach, and in 2017 as part of his role, he travelled to New York with former footballer and current TV pundit, Jamie Redknapp.

    As Head Coach, Rory worked for the Chelsea FC Foundation and Pre Academy Centre in Essex, delivering on various programmes.

    He worked at the Development Centres where the elite players in Essex would receive individual training in order for them to improve and then move into an Academy environment. Rory coached at the centres and he also had to oversee all the sessions that were being delivered.

    He also developed programmes to coach Under 6s and Under 7s at the Pre Academy Development Centre and was Head Coach for the Girls Development Programme where he was tasked with growing the female football game for Chelsea within the Essex region.

    He has also run Soccer Schools and has delivered PE sessions in various schools.

    In April 2018 Rory was made Chelsea FC's International Development Coach and soon after, moved to live and work in Hong Kong although he still returns to Hornchurch fairly regularly.

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  • Sara Pascoe

    Published 22/02/19

    Sara Pascoe, 37, is a multi award-winning stand-up comedian, actor and writer who has made numerous appearances on TV shows.

    A former Gaynes School pupil, Sara attended Havering Sixth Form College from 1997 to 1999 where her favourite subject was A Level Psychology. Although she was intelligent and capable, Sara admits she didn’t study as hard as she could have and left College with two Cs and an A. Her final grades meant that she was not able to take up the place at Cambridge University to study Philosophy that she had hoped for.

    She took a gap year, which became two years, moving to Nottingham and working as a backing singer and dancer for entertainer Pete Conway (Robbie Williams’ dad).

    From there she decided to go back to education and get a degree, studying English Literature at the University of Sussex. During her university days she became involved in drama groups and after graduating she worked as an actor, supplementing her income with temporary work, mostly charity fundraising for the RSPCA.

    She had never intended to be a comic or a stand-up and says she somehow fell into the career that was to eventually make her famous. She says: “I used to think comedy was for idiots. I was very sneering. I just didn’t get it and thought it was stupid. I didn’t know I wanted to be a comedian until I’d done it for about three months. I was trying to be an actor from the age of 18 to 27!”

    After university she began performing in theatre shows and at old people’s homes and went to open-mic nights with her guitar. But she struggled to make ends meet and eventually realised that there were far more opportunities in comedy than in theatre, so in 2007 she started asking comedians for gigs.

    The more stand-up she did, the better she became at it and got her big break when she was a runner-up in a Funny Woman Competition and was approached by her agent, who she now credits with ‘changing her life’.

    In August 2010, she performed her first show at the Edinburgh Festival - Sara Pascoe Vs Her Ego, which received very positive reviews.

    In 2012 she appeared on Live at the Apollo and then in 2013 she won an episode of the TV show QI with 28 points – clearly showing how smart she is. In 2014, she performed again at the Edinburgh Festival and toured the UK for the first time with her show Sara Pascoe Vs History.

    Since then her career has rocketed and she has appeared on TV panel shows such as Mock The Week, Have I Got News For You, 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Twenty Twelve.

    She has had acting roles in The Thick Of It and W1A, and she's written a book, Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body, which was published in 2016. That same year she went on tour again with the show Animal and she is currently touring the UK with her show Lads Lads Lads as well as working on her second book.

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  • Leah Rawlins

    Published 12/02/19

    Leah works as a second year general management apprentice at Transport for London (TfL) and is studying for a BA (Hons) in Business Management as well as working in the busy Change, Design and Delivery team.

    A former Abbs Cross School pupil, she studied A Levels in Business, English Language and Geography while at College from 2015 to 2017 and was convinced she would be attending university after leaving.

    However, after looking into degree apprenticeships she realised she could gain industry experience while also achieving a degree at the same time and felt this route would suit her better.

    She said: “It was a no-brainer choosing to do the apprenticeship. I love working at TfL and I have found my role as a general management apprentice is varied and exciting. Every day is different – from being a Station Supervisor at Liverpool Street Station to shadowing the Emergency Response Unit for buses – I am getting great opportunities to develop my skills.

    “As part of my Diversity & Inclusion project I helped to design a scheme that is now being utilised throughout the organisation and this is quite exciting.

    “When I’m studying for the degree, there are many times that I can relate my practical experience at TfL back to theories we are being taught about in seminars and lectures. It really helps to develop your understanding of the topic having some industry knowledge.”

    Leah aims to complete her degree apprenticeship with TfL and will then investigate any opportunities that come her way for permanent management positions.

    She said: “I can’t recommend degree apprenticeship schemes enough, but be prepared! There is a lot of work involved so you need to be committed if you want to be successful.”

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  • Joy Johnston

    Published 31/01/19

    Joy Johnston (formerly Joy Tottman) is a Havering Sixth Form College Governor, a Governance Manager at Sport England and has also been an Olympic Ice Hockey referee.

    Joy attended College from 1999 to 2001 and achieved straight A grades in Maths, English Language, History and Media A Levels. She then went on to study for a Politics, Philosophy and Economics degree at Oxford University.

    After graduating from Oxford, which she describes as a life-changing experience, Joy, a former Albany (now Hornchurch High) School pupil, took on a job as a researcher for a headhunting firm.

    Six years later she moved into the sports sector which is an industry she cares passionately about. She is now working as a Governance Manager at Sport England where her role is to ensure that the national governing bodies of sport who are funded by Sport England, are well governed and fit to receive public funds. 

    She said: “Beyond this I help to drive improvement in the way sports organisations are run, which means more people can benefit in a positive way from sport just as I have.  My experience of building organisational structures and getting strong leaders as a headhunter has allowed me to influence the way sports organisations appoint leaders and helped to make them more effective.”

    Joy’s love of ice hockey began at an early age. She started reffing when she was 14 after playing the sport for a few years. She soon gained her international licence and progressed to international tournaments and then the Winter Olympics. She stood down from her competitive referee role after her third Olympics – the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, where she was the referee in the gold medal women's ice hockey final.

    Through her involvement with international ice hockey, Joy met her husband Scott Johnston, a player for the Canadian national team. She is still involved in the sport, being the Chief Referee and Director of Officiating for the Ice Hockey UK Referee Section.

    Joy still manages to find time to fulfil her voluntary role as a Governor at Havering Sixth Form College, saying it is important to her because it provides a chance for her to give back to an organisation that set her on a good path as a young person.

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  • Bobby Izzard

    Published 17/01/19

    Bobby Izzard, who attended Havering Sixth Form College from 2007 to 2009, has just set up a social media project in an effort to teach more people sign language.

    The former Albany (now Hornchurch High) School pupil launched Project BSLUK (British Sign Language UK) earlier this month on Facebook and Instagram. He now posts short daily videos to teach followers the basic hand gestures required to communicate with those people who have hearing problems.

    Bobby, who studied Accounts, English Language and Law while at College, has worked in hospitality for several years. Last year he was working as the floor manager at the Shepherd and Dog Restaurant in Harold Wood when he was unable to properly communicate with a group of deaf people who were ordering a meal.

    He told the Romford Recorder, who featured his project in their newspaper last week: “There was a group of deaf people who regularly came in and a few of us thought we’d start to make a bit of effort and learn how to say basic things like ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘would you like any water?’ in sign language, and it just went from there.

    “I realised how few people know British Sign Language and wanted to encourage more to learn.”

    He added: “There is a whole deaf community that often goes unseen in mainstream life which has a lot to do with people not knowing how to do sign language. The importance of it is one thing, but how handy it is as well - excuse the pun - and how it can enrich your life and those around you are other great reasons to start learning. I’m really proud of how it has gone so far.”

    Bobby already has more than 800 followers and is determined to try and make the skill accessible to everyone.

    Visit Project BSLUK on Facebook or @projectblsuk on Instagram.

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  • Mustafa Daud

    Published 11/01/19

    Mustafa Daud has just been offered a highly sought-after position at KPMG (part of the ‘Big Four’ financial services) in the City, starting this September on their Audit Graduate programme.

    A former student from 2013 to 2015, Mustafa achieved an A* and three Bs in A Level Business Studies, Accounts, Maths and AS French and then progressed to The Cass Business School which is based at City University, London.

    He is currently in his final year there studying BSc (Hons) in Accounting and Finance and is hoping to graduate with First Class Honours.

    While at City, Mustafa has been the Captain and Vice-President of the university's American Football team - City Wolfpack - and has edited the university’s newspaper, The Cass Exposure.

    He has recently returned from a study year abroad programme in the US at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, where he says the main highlight of his visit was working on a consulting project for a FTSE 250 client that resulted in the project being successfully implemented by their senior management.

    He also developed a strong interest in Financial Analysis, Company Valuation and Taxation which he hopes to be able to further explore during his career.

    He said: “Beginning my professional career in the City with KPMG places me in the best position to equip myself with numerous valuable skills, develop commercial knowledge as well as being able to work with a diverse portfolio of clients.

    “I plan on working and travelling globally in the long-term, so I hope KPMG will be the company that provides me with the platform to achieve my dreams.”

    Mustafa, a former Forest Gate Community School pupil, often returns to Havering Sixth Form College to motivate and inspire current students. He recently spoke to prospective parents and students during the Principal’s Presentation at the College Open Day.

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  • Keenan Munn-Francis

    Published 14/12/18

    Keenan Munn-Francis is an actor and singer who has starred in Thriller Live and The Lion King and was singled out for praise by The Guardian newspaper reviewer for his performance as a young Marvin Gaye in the show, SOUL.

    While he was at Havering Sixth Form College, Keenan studied BTEC Creative Media Production (Audio Visual) and BTEC Music Technology, along with a Maths qualification. He left in 2014 to take up a major role in The Scottsboro Boys’ production in the West End.

    He said at the time: “It’s brilliant performing in the West End. I love it. I’d like to do film and television in the future but I’d love to be in the West End for as long as possible.”

    He sung and tap-danced in the show but when it came to an end, he moved on to play Simon in The Lord of the Flies at the Birmingham REP.  He was then cast as a young Marvin Gaye in SOUL at the Hackney Empire and then at the Royal and Derngate Theatre, Northampton.

    He received rave reviews for his acting and singing - the Telegraph newspaper stating, ‘the highlight of the night is the smooth-voiced Keenan Munn-Francis, who plays Gaye’s younger self, raising the roof early on with a brace of gospel and doo-wop numbers’. And the Guardian reviewer wrote, ‘Keenan Munn-Francis is deeply touching as the young Marvin’.

    After SOUL he went on in 2017 to play Titus in Filthy Business at the Hampstead Theatre and was cast soon after in the smash-hit musical Five Guys Named Moe at the Marble Arch Theatre, playing Little Moe.

    He is currently in rehearsals for the UK premiere production of Our Lady of Kibeho which takes to the Royal stage in Northampton on January 12th 2019. The play is set in 1981 in Rwanda and presents a haunting insight into the horrors and the true events that captured the world's attention.

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  • Sam Wilkins

    Published 14/12/18

    Sam Wilkins is working as a Roto Prep Artist at the London studio of Industrial Light & Magic – a company that specialises in visual effects, imagery and animation for blockbuster films.

    A student at College from 2011 to 2014, Sam, formerly of Albany School, achieved A* and A grades in Graphics, Moving Image Arts, and the Creative & Media BTEC Diploma. He then stayed on to study the Art & Design Foundation Diploma, gaining a Distinction.

    He progressed to study Visual Effects for Film & TV at the University of Hertfordshire and when he graduated, he started as a 2D trainee, quickly moving on to be a Roto Prep Artist at Double Negative Visual Effects. He then became a Junior Compositor at the same company before landing his current job at world-renowned film specialists Industrial Light & Magic (ILM).

    ILM have offices in San Francisco, Singapore, Vancouver and London and have produced visual effects for movies such as Jurassic World, Star Wars, Marvel Avengers and The Mummy.

    The studio collaborates with filmmakers on projects from initial concepts through final shot production and delivery and Sam’s role as a Roto Prep Artist contributes to the studio’s work in turning out awe-inspiring imagery.

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