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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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  • Abby Palmer

    Published 28/09/18

    Abby Palmer works as the Groups and Reservations Manager at Copthorne Tara Hotel, London Kensington.

    A student at College from 2007 to 2009, Abby was successful in Business, English Language, English Literature and General Studies A Levels and went on to study for a degree in Business at the University of Kent.

    She started work as the Front Office Assistant at The Cavendish London Hotel and worked her way up to Assistant Revenue Manager. From there, she became Central Reservations Manager at The Ascott Limited, working for a year in the UK and Germany.

    The former Albany School pupil then moved to the Copthorne Tara Hotel as Reservations Manager and is currently the Groups and Reservations Manager at London Kensington.

    Abby regularly returns to Havering Sixth Form College to give talks at our Higher Education and Careers Event to current students about finding and securing a Career in Hospitality and what it involves.

    She said: “My time at Havering Sixth Form, my A Level subjects and the support I received from my teachers all set me up for my current career. The College was a great starting point for me.”

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  • Tobi Oredein

    Published 28/09/18

    ​​​​​​Tobi Oredein is a freelance journalist and the founding editor of Black Ballad – a niche lifestyle website written for and by black women.

    A former student at Eastlea Community School, Tobi attended Havering Sixth Form College from 2006 to 2008. She achieved high grades in English Literature, History, Sociology and General Studies A Levels and went on to gain a BA in American Studies at King’s College, London.

    After finishing University, Tobi was employed as an Entertainment and Features Writer at the TV Times magazine where her weekly writing duties would include celebrity interviews, features, real life copy and news stories. She also freelanced for publications such as Entertainment Wise, Look, the Daily Mail, Woman: Diet Special, Chat and Pick Me Up.

    But Tobi grew increasingly frustrated with the lack of representation of black women in the media and so in 2014, she decided to launch her own website,

    She calls it ‘a forward thinking lifestyle website for the black and mixed race women of excellence’. The website’s mission is to create a media platform that helps black women in Britain live their best life and it has covered a varied range of topics, such as mental health, beauty, careers, politics, disability, dating and higher education.

    After three years of being a free platform, in December 2016, Black Ballad ran a successful crowdfund to transition into a membership platform and has achieved an average of 18% month-on-month growth since its launch.

    Tobi continues to develop her website and to write as a freelance for publications such as Grazia, Glamour and BuzzFeed. She says she is passionate about creating unique content that simultaneously engages readers and that puts publications and brands on the cutting edge.

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  • Mark Hunter MBE

    Published 28/09/18

    Olympic Rowing Gold and Silver medallist Mark Hunter – awarded an MBE in the 2009 New Year’s Honours List - attended Havering Sixth Form College from 1994 to 1996.

    Mark, who won his gold medal in the lightweight double skulls rowing event at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and a silver medal at London 2012, went to Bower Park School before joining College.

    He was introduced to the sport of rowing by his father at the age of 14, and while at Havering Sixth Form, he represented the College at the London Youth Games.

    Mark studied A Levels in Media Studies, Environmental Science and PE. On leaving College he chose to fully immerse himself into the sport he loved and was determined to reach the top.  In 2001 he made the important decision to change class and race as a lightweight, and he never looked back.

    He won Gold in Beijing with his lightweight double sculls partner, Zac Purchase, but the pair were pipped at the post in the London 2012 Games and had to settle for silver. They were so distraught and emotional after the race that even presenter John Inverdale, who was interviewing them, shed a tear on live TV.

    Experiencing such disappointment and having to pick himself back up, made Mark the perfect motivational speaker. He retired from competitive rowing in 2013 and came back to College to give students an inspirational talk at a Motivational Conference.

    He gave students a presentation on his experiences and how he motivated himself to become the best in the world at his sport. He also gave advice on how to approach challenges in order to make goals become a reality.

    Now retired from rowing, in 2014 he was elected as a Henley Steward of the Henley Royal Regatta and he took on a Project Management role in the City. From there he became Programme Director and then interim CEO at London Youth Rowing, a charity that introduces young people to the sport of rowing.

    After years of enduring the gruelling regime of being an Olympic sportsman, since retiring from competitive racing, he has enjoyed doing different things and seeing more of his family and friends.

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  • Tola Adeseye

    Published 31/07/18

    Tola is employed as a lawyer with global law firm Morrison & Foerster and has worked at their offices all over the world, including in the USA and Singapore.

    He attended Havering Sixth Form College from 2006 – 2008, taking A Levels in English Literature, Law, Maths and Psychology, before going on to study Law at Brunel University and achieving a First Class Honours degree.

    A former student at Eastbury School, Barking, Tola has built his career through working as a Case Manager at the Crown Prosecution Service – the UKBA Unit, and as a Paralegal at Clyde & Co law firm. He then trained as a Solicitor at Morrison & Foerster, which included a six month secondment to their office in Singapore. He is now a Litigation Associate based in London.

    Tola married another former student who he met while they were both studying A Levels at Havering Sixth Form College – and the couple have a six-month-old baby.

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  • Dorothy Abiola

    Published 31/07/18

    Dorothy Abiola is currently working as a Medical Doctor and Youth Mentor at The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust in Suffolk.

    She was a student from 2006 to 2008 at Havering Sixth Form College and studied A Levels in Biology, Chemistry, Sociology and Critical Thinking.

    Dorothy, a former student at Albany School, Hornchurch, took a gap year after her exams, working for Havering Sixth Form as a College Ambassador before going to the University of Liverpool and achieving a First in Physiology.

    She then attended Hull York Medical School, graduating in 2017 with her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery - and she has been working as an NHS doctor in Ipswich for just over a year.

    During her training to be a doctor, she underwent a six week clinical elective, working and observing at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria, focussing on paediatrics, general surgery, gynaecology, obstetrics and medicine (rheumatology). She has also worked as a personal tutor of Biology and Chemistry for the last 4 years.

    Dorothy says she is passionate about promoting equity in health and education. She says: “I am devoted to raising educational aspirations and developing untapped potential amongst young people, particularly those within under-represented and marginalised social groups.

    “My health interests include public and global health, access to healthcare and health education.”

    Dorothy returned to Havering Sixth Form College for the day recently to pass on her career knowledge and experience to students at our Higher Education & Careers Fair.

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  • Chris Shipway

    Published 31/07/18

    Chris Shipway works as a Transport Planner for Jacobs, a global company providing technical professional services covering industries such as engineering and construction.

    The former Emerson Park student’s specialism is traffic modelling; the mathematical modelling of transport systems using computer software to simulate traffic behaviours.

    This role builds on the skills Chris developed at Havering Sixth Form and at the University of Exeter, where he achieved a First Class Honours Master of Mathematics (MMath) degree.

    Chris moved to Exeter to attend university and enjoyed the Exeter lifestyle so much that he currently is still living and working there, four years after finishing his degree.

    The A Levels that Chris studied at College were Maths, Further Maths, Geography and English Literature, and although Chris studied Maths at university, it was his passion for Geography that led him to choose Transport Planning as a career.

    In his day to day work, Chris develops traffic models which allow him to predict how traffic patterns may change in the future, and to estimate the economic benefit of a transport intervention.

    He works on Business Cases to bid for funding for transport schemes and has developed small scale projects for Torbay Council and larger projects such as the A30/A303 and A12 in Essex.

    Chris volunteers on the South West Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation’s (CIHT) committee as the Events and Communications Co-ordinator and in February 2018, he was awarded the CIHT South West Peter Swain Emerging Professional of the Year for the South West, pictured, recognising how he has gone above and beyond in the profession in his work for the CIHT and as a Transport Planner at Jacobs.

    Chris’s advice to current students is to have a hobby that is different from your studies or work. He said: “This gives you a form of escapism from the pressures of everyday life and also makes you more rounded and employable. While I was at university I joined the Dancesport Society where I learnt to dance salsa, and in 2012, I became the society’s President.

    “I believe it is the soft skills that I developed from dancing that has helped me in job interviews just as much, if not more so, than my academic profile – and dancing has also given me the opportunity to travel to Nice, Warsaw and Berlin to attend salsa congresses.”

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  • Florence Adepoju

    Published 05/06/18

    Florence Adepoju or Flow as she prefers, has built up her own beauty empire from scratch and her lipsticks – specially formulated for black women – are loved worldwide, particularly in Los Angeles, France, Spain, Holland and Australia.

    Flow got into the beauty industry through science, having taken A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Fine Art while at Havering Sixth Form from 2007 to 2009.

    When she left College at 18, she made the decision to swap an offer to study Pharmacy for a place to study Cosmetic Science at the London College of Fashion. It was a decision which has shaped her life.

    During the four-year course, with a year’s placement in Belgium, she learned all the aspects of putting together a cosmetic product, from the chemical mixes and packaging to business planning and marketing.

    She began formulating foundations, eyeshadows, lipsticks and blushers in her parents’ garden shed in Rainham during the days and working at luxury beauty retailers in the evenings. But her real ambition was to develop her own beauty brand for black women.

    Her dream came true when she launched MDMflow, a lipstick line of bold, bright, highly pigmented colours designed to suit black women, when she was 22. She describes MDMflow as an accumulation of all her obsessions; bold colours, hip hop, beauty, fashion and science.

    Five years on and the brand is critically acclaimed and is growing month by month, year by year. It is stocked worldwide and sold in upmarket stores such as Harvey Nichols and online at popular websites such as Pretty Little Thing.

    Flow also works with various companies and campaigns to encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM subjects.

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  • Emma Velterop

    Published 04/06/18

    Emma Velterop has worked at the European Space Agency and is now living in the USA working on her PhD in Geophysics (Radar Remote Sensing) at Stanford University in California.

    The former Bancroft’s School pupil completed an MEng in Civil Engineering at UCL, during which she spent a year abroad at ETH Zürich on exchange.

    Her experiences during this time include satellite data applications for oceanography at ETH Zürich; analysing one of the Earth Observation satellite’s data at the European Space Agency; using Earth Observation satellites over Antarctic glaciers at Caltech; generating risk maps for cities from satellite data at Sarmap (a Remote Sensing company); and satellite instrument calibration at the University of Oxford. She also currently co-leads the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) project group on Space Technology for Disaster Management.

    Emma, who studied at Havering Sixth Form College from 2010 to 2012, achieved 2 A*s and an A grade in Fine Art, Maths and Physics.

    She said: “College gave me a strong first step on the path to where I am now and I have had some amazing opportunities already. I would say to prospective or current students, ‘Don’t be intimidated by world-class institutions, apply to any opportunity that takes your fancy. Internships and placements give you priceless experiences and open so many doors. If there’s nothing that piques your interest, be pro-active - e-mail that professor, get in contact with that industry leader – you’ll be surprised at how open these people are and they’ll be impressed with your efforts’.”

    Emma is currently enjoying being in America at Stanford University, which is a private research university in California, known for its academic strength, wealth, proximity to Silicon Valley, and ranking as a top-10 university in the world.

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  • Clark Baker

    Published 04/06/18

    Clark Baker completed an MSc in Physics at Imperial College London after leaving Havering Sixth Form College and is currently a PhD student at Queen Mary University of London.

    His previous work includes the design of resonators for Superconducting Qubits with Quantum Computing applications at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology; and the design, construction and testing of temperature control systems for novel compact Magnetometers for use in satellite navigation at Imperial College London.

    He is now working on the discovery and characterisation of Exoplanets, specialising in instrumentation - specifically the design and construction of stable, high resolution Spectrometers.

    A former Royal Liberty Boys School student, Clark achieved an A* and 2 A grades in A Level Double Maths and Physics while studying at HSFC from 2010 to 2012.

    He said: “I can say completely that the Maths and Science teaching staff at Havering Sixth Form College were instrumental in my academic journey – along with being incredible teachers, they always had the best intentions for their students’ progress and in my case, I’m very thankful that they went above and beyond to let me be flexible with course modules to best suit where I wanted to go.

    “In fact, they put some concepts across so well that there are lessons of theirs that I still refer back to today.”

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  • Ahad Sheikh

    Published 18/05/18

    Ahad Sheikh is a Designer working at the prestigious Heatherwick Studio design agency which creates buildings, spaces and master-plans, focusing on large scale projects in cities all over the world. Their portfolio ranges from the design of the new London Routemaster bus to the Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Hampshire.

    Already at the age of just 23, Ahad has designed and built three projects in Wales, England and Indonesia.

    A former Stratford School student, Ahad used his graphic design skills to good use while at Havering Sixth Form, working part-time for the College’s Marketing team to produce posters, brochures, logos and newsletters, while also studying on the Art & Design Foundation Diploma course.

    While at College from 2011 to 2014, Ahad achieved 3 A*s, one A and one B grade in Graphics, Interior & 3D Design, Extended Project, Fine Art and English Language & Literature A Levels. He then secured a Merit in the Foundation Diploma and went on to achieve a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from Cardiff University.

    He always had a strong entrepreneurial spirit and as a teenager he founded his own design company, BluRoc, where he worked with over 150 clients on various projects all the way from corporate branding to interior design.

    Alongside his marketing and design skills, Ahad has also successfully mentored and supported a number of students on courses such as Teaching English as a Second Language and mobile app development.

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  • Sam Gould

    Published 18/05/18

    Former student Sam Gould, who attended from 2007 to 2009 is now a Governor at Havering Sixth Form College.

    After studying A Levels in Accounts, Government & Politics and Economics, he then graduated from the University of Essex with a degree in Politics. He has since worked for an anti-racism NGO, a campaigning agency, an education charity and, most recently, as a Labour MP.

    In late 2013 he was selected as the Labour Party's parliamentary candidate for Romford for the 2015 General Election, at the time being one of the youngest parliamentary candidates in the country. Since 2015 the former Marshalls Park School student has been working as a Caseworker for a Labour MP, which involves trying to help constituents with serious and often complex problems.

    He says: “It may be a cliché, but I got involved in politics because I wanted to make a positive difference. I see politics as the most effective way to do this. Through my job and my voluntary work with the Labour Party I have helped run a number of national and local campaigns, such as a national voter registration drive and ‘back to school week’, a campaign that sought to bring former state-school students back into their former schools to inspire today's young people.

    “Through my current role as a Caseworker I have helped hundreds of people with problems ranging from benefit appeals to housing repair issues and homelessness to health and social care complaints.”

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  • Tele Lawal

    Published 18/05/18

    Tele Lawal is a Labour Party Councillor on the London Borough of Havering Council, as well as a Public Relations professional at Metro Bank – where she is the founder of Mbrace, the bank’s diversity network. 

    During her time at College, she studied Performing Arts and Creative Media BTECs, achieving Distinction grades in both.

    She describes her time at Havering Sixth Form as “one of the best times of my life” and said: “College is where I learned independence and determination. This particular mind-set was drummed into me by some wonderful tutors who taught me that I could be successful through hard work.”

    After leaving College in 2013, Tele attended Nottingham Trent University, where she was awarded a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She has experience in Public Relations, the not-for-profit sector, and has volunteered at Belong Charity and Capital Moments. 

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