In celebration of our 400th anniversary, during National Careers Week this week (4-9 March 2024), we released a series of Alumni Careers Stories, featuring insights and top tips from former DCGS students.

Many thanks to Year 13 students - Senior Prefect for Careers and UCAS, Yotam Margoninski-Morrag and Ayush Vaddiraju - for helping to bring this project to fruition.

The FIRST EPISODE features James Fahmy (DCGS 2013-2020) and his story from QPR to Harvard via DCGS and balancing his aspirations to be a footballer with attending school and taking A Levels. Three of his top tips are summarised below.


"Clout can be very transitory - don’t take what everybody is doing around you as a determinant for success but think about what defines success for you."

"When luck meets preparation you can take full advantage of an opportunity."

"Have a ‘Plan B’ - I always had aspirations to be a footballer but I decided to take a schoolboy scholarship which meant I could still attend school and take my A Levels just in case football didn’t work out for me in the long-term."

The SECOND EPISODE features Toby Pickard (DCGS 2009-2016) and his journey to become a wildlife photographer.

His story highlights the power of school subjects (for Toby, Geography, in particular) to inspire student choices: as Toby remarks, “If there is a subject you find interesting, really pursue it and see if you can create something exciting from it. For me, using my camera as a way to tell stories or get messages across to people is what has really driven me to where I am today.”


The focus of EPISODE THREE is on careers in STEM and the very different forms that these can take. The first video linked features Samuel Brown (left DCGS in 2022), who enrolled in an engineering degree apprenticeship at Siemens, a multinational technology company. His story highlights the benefits of increasingly-popular degree apprenticeships as an alternative to university, and has some great advice for anyone who's still considering applying for one of these.


On the other end of the spectrum, the second linked video is an interview with Professor Peter Atkins (left DCGS in 1956). Peter is a now-retired former professor of chemistry at Lincoln College, Oxford, as well as a highly successful author, known both for his textbooks and popular chemistry books. It was certainly fascinating for me to hear about his journey, from leaving school aged just fifteen to where he is today.


The FOURTH EPISODE is an interview with two alumni in the medical field: Luke Tester (DCGS class of 2012) and Mayur Murali (DCGS class of 2005). Luke is an A&E educational fellow, as well as an experienced volunteer paramedic, while Mayur specialises in anaesthesia and intensive care. Medicine is obviously quite an intense career choice, but one of the main things I found interesting from this interview was the variety that exists within the field, beyond clinical roles. Luke’s position in education, and Mayur’s as an academic researcher, really highlighted this. Their journeys into the medical field were also very different (and not entirely conventional), so I think hearing Luke and Mayur’s perspectives could be very useful for those of you planning for a medical career.


The FINAL EPISODE is also an interview with two alumni, this time focused on the law profession, and hosted by School Captain Ed Bellamy. Charles Bagot KC (DCGS class of 1991) is an experienced barrister specialising in medical negligence cases, and is also joint head of Gatehouse chambers. Ian Murdoch (DCGS class of 1983), meanwhile, is not a lawyer but a judge, working with civil and Court of Protection cases. Ed and I certainly enjoyed hearing about working in the legal system from these two very different perspectives, but I think we especially appreciated Charles and Ian’s insights on careers advice more broadly. One theme which both alumni emphasised was, as Ian put it, to ‘be bold’: don’t be scared to pursue the opportunities which could land you your dream job, however unlikely or far away that may seem.


We also have a display of posters around the school which feature alumni, their career paths and handy career tips.

Here are just a selection of the posters

We hope that these careers stories have been helpful to some of you, either to find out more about a profession that interests you or just to broaden your knowledge about the world of work. Thanks again to Mr Gledhill, Mrs Watson and Ayush for their help with this project.