On Thursday 18 November, the Upper Sixth pupils had the fantastic opportunity to hear from Jodie Gibbens through the DH LINKS programme. Jodie spoke to us about her extensive career experience; spanning a role in a precarious Hong Kong-based marketing firm at 21, managing banks for all of Asia, working globally as an investment banker, and finally how she went back to university and founded her own executive coaching and consultancy company ‘Aesara Partners’ – which now has offices all across the world. Not only has Jodie managed to be successful in such a plethora of roles, but also been a working mother and a current Downe House parent; the achievement of which cannot be undervalued.
The DH LINKS event took the format of a discussion; after Jodie had told us all about her life’s path, we talked candidly, and she asked each of us individually what our plans for the future were. We were touched by the genuine interest that Jodie had in our plans and dreams for the future, and the time she took to give us specific and meaningful advice. For those of us who didn’t know what we wanted to do (which was most of us!), her probing questions allowed us to introspect, and consider which values were most important to us when considering a career path. Some found it was moral integrity, travelling, work-life balance, new experiences, and so on. She listened closely and suggested potential paths in life, not all work-based, that were in accordance with our priorities and what was most important to us.
I think it’s safe to say that we found Jodie’s stories and advice to be invaluable. She did the impossible and reassure us that the future was in fact something to look forward to, despite the pressure that is felt in having to have your life mapped out by the age of 18. Through Jodie’s humour, candour, and passion, she connected with us through her understanding of the anxiety of youth and all the uncertainty it entails. I can assuredly say that Jodie was one of the speakers at Downe House from whom we have learnt the most from, and whose impact will memorable and lasting.
Our DH LINKS global alumnae and parent network provides invaluable careers-based knowledge, guidance and practical support to give girls a head-start and a guiding hand on their journey beyond Downe House.
We are always looking for alumnae and parents to get involved and support our pupils, and each other, professionally.Read more about DH Links and keep connected here.
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