11th May 2020
Writing: Miss Cronin
Here is the second edition of 'How our Alumni are Coping in Lockdown' series:
Leon Glenister, Barrister (Class of 2006)
Being self employed, the lockdown was initially a worry, but work has been fairly constant, helped by the fact many Courts have adjusted to video and telephone hearings. I've found it fascinating seeing everyone's interior decor. There are some terrible curtains out there. I've been staying sane with daily exercise, and running in the Olympic Park which is great. I look forward more than anything to my weekly Morrison's shop. Given it's my big outing I put on my Sunday finest. Phoebe, my wife, is getting rather too used to this life and I suspect she will not enjoy going back to the office.
Jonathan Snell, Investment Manager, Charles Stanley (Class of 2002)
I have now been in WFH (work from home) lockdown mode for a month and was fortunate that we have a spare room and I was able to get a second monitor to use with my laptop to replicate my desk at work. We are also incredibly fortunate that my wife is a key worker for the government and so we have the two young children in nursery for Monday-Wednesday and then just juggle on Thursdays. We have settled into a routine and have resided to the fact that you simply cannot be as productive when looking after children too, but with weekends no where near the ‘norm’ we are doing a little work in the mornings while the kids watch TV to keep on top of workflow. Am I looking forward to getting back on the train for my commute? No. Where do I see things in the future? I know that I will ask to WFH at least one day a week going forward but I suspect at best I will be in 2-3 days a week until the end of the year. Technology is my lifesaver in being able to communicate effectively with my clients.
Matt Rogan, Chairman, Two Circles, (Class of 1987)
I’ve spent much of the lockdown period going ‘back to school’ myself – as first line support for the Year 5 English curriculum. It’s certainly been a while since I needed to know what a ‘fronted adverbial’ is (and I did Modern Languages at University!). I’ve managed to free up quality time to do this by finding that digital skype meetings take much less time than physical ones, and that my commute to the office in the house is much shorter than the Chiltern Line to Marylebone. The next big challenge is to work out how to chair a panel for a forthcoming sports industry conference now it has moved digitally. The thought of questions flying in left, right and centre on the digital chatroom while I try to keep a sense of structure is a little terrifying, but I am sure it’ll be fine on the day!
And from a slightly different perspective as an Alum and current Assistant Director of Sixth Form
Richard Gledhill, Assistant Director of Sixth Form, Dr Challoner's Grammar School, (Class of 2005)
I've been so impressed with our Sixth Formers' response to lockdown and how 'necessity has proven to be the mother of invention' in the present circumstances with our Year 12 students producing some impressively creative and thoughtful video presentations remotely for both their Young Enterprise Area Finals 'Digital Showcase' and Extended Project Qualification. As a result of COVID-19, all Young Enterprise competition finals were amended to be delivered digitally, meaning video presentations were required from students at short notice. These would be significant challenges for established businesses, let alone young people with very little business experience. I have to say how proud I am of the way the young people approached them, demonstrating resilience, creativity and innovation in spades. It is truly a testament to the enterprising mindset of our students that they not only ‘found a way’ but eagerly rose to the challenge and created their own opportunities.