BBC Newsround presenter and St Margaret’s alumna Jenny Lawrence returned to her former school this week to encourage and inspire the next generation of potential newshounds.
Ms Lawrence hosted a presentation workshop for the junior school followed by a session with career advice for the senior pupils.
A regular contributor to the St Margaret’s School for Girls newspaper as a student, Ms Lawrence wanted to show the pupils that every career is open to them.
P7 pupil Ava Scott said that Ms Lawrence’s visit inspired her and her older sister to explore new possibilities.
“It’s been really cool to have the opportunity to meet a journalist and to see how much fun she has doing her job and it’s been interesting hearing about her career.
“My older sister in S3 is thinking about her career options now and has so many choices that she just loves it.”
Set your goal and go for it
Ms Lawrence told pupils not to get discouraged if they don’t see their dream job on the curriculum.
“There are lots of different ways (to start a career). Once you find the area that you want to work in, it’s about working really hard and trying to get as much experience as you can.”
And sometimes there’s no better teacher than a mistake. She told the pupils not to let setbacks discourage them.
Strong role models make the difference
Ms Lawrence said the visit reminded her of the opportunities the school offers to young women and girls. Having powerful role models from all walks of life can make any career feel attainable.
“It was brilliant to get the chance to speak to the girls and see how enthusiastic they were about TV and journalism and they had some brilliant questions.
“At Newsround, a big topic that we work on is gender equality and whether boys and girls are equal.
“Visibility is crucial – having role models is very important and I was surrounded by strong women and girls which has had a big impact on me without even realising it. I’m so glad they all have the opportunity to grow up and develop in an environment where they will be encouraged to believe that they can do anything.
‘They can achieve anything’
And no matter what the pupils want to do in life, no one should put them in a box.
“I know that when I was growing up I felt like you had to follow one path and if you didn’t fit the box then that was it, it was over for you, but what I really want to tell the girls is that it’s okay to make mistakes because that’s how you learn.
“If you don’t know what you want to do right now then that’s okay. Sometimes when you think something is a flaw it might end up being your greatest asset. I was really chatty in school but that’s a good thing in my job now.
“News is different every day and I love that about it and I would like the girls to know that they can achieve anything.”