Momentum is a mentoring and work experience scheme designed to assist the students of the Wellington Academy achieve their aspirations.
The scheme has been running for nearly 7 years and was formed by two Old Wellingtonians, Nick Cowley and Rupert Taylor. The aim of the scheme is to mentor, and provide work experience, for a select group of Academy leavers. The Academy now has a track record in producing talented and qualified leaders, however students do not always have the links to high end work experience opportunities. The idea of the scheme is to offer access to, and financial support, for, work experience. The simple reality is that many careers can only be accessed if the applicant can show work experience on his/her CV. There is however a significant inherent un-fairness in this system – namely that work experience is generally unpaid and as such it is only students who can afford to spend weeks at a time working for free that can afford to gain the experience. The scheme therefore exists to provide the contacts required to access work experience opportunities, as well as the financial support needed whilst the students gain that experience.
Momentum is now a fully funded programme offering work experience packages to Academy students over the summer that they finish their A Levels, and ongoing support in the years after, as most of them progress through University.
The programme has so far included work experience opportunities at companies such as; OK! Magazine, M&C Saatchi, Rathbones, The Mirror, The Telegraph, Fever Tree, SystemiQ, Ivaldi, Actorum, Coode Associates, Evening Standard, Freuds, the Budding Entrepreneur Magazine and Red Lion Court Barristers.
Many students have also been invited back in subsequent years to access more Life changing work experience and in some cases paid internships.
Magan Davies (2012)
Megan Davies (Head Girl 2011/12) was one of the first students on the Momentum scheme and as well as returning in subsequent years for more experience she was also asked to be the group leader for the last two years. The opportunity this programme gave her has ultimately supported her ambition of becoming a Journalist.
Megan stated the following; ‘I’ve always dreamed of working in media but found it very difficult to gain work experience at reputable publicaCons in the city. The Momentum scheme provided me with the opportunity to gain work experience at The Telegraph, Evening Standard and OK! Magazine, which reinforced my drive to succeed in media. It was these work placements that got me an interview for a place on the Magazine Journalism Masters course at Cardiff University. The course is highly recognised in the media industry, so it was a huge achievement and surprise for me to even be interviewed! During the interview, they asked about the Momentum scheme and were very impressed by the experience I had gained during my years with them. I completed my Masters in July 2017 and just one month later I started my first postgraduate job at OK! Magazine as the new Sub Editor.’
Miray Ozdogan (2017)
Momentum was absolutely brilliant. From the moment I found out I was one of the lucky few that was accepted onto Momentum I had really high hopes, but I can safely say that Momentum was everything I hoped for and so much more. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I am so glad to be a part of it. The whole experience from start to finish was one I really enjoyed and I feel very privileged to be a part of it. I met some amazing people and made some great contacts during Momentum, and I made many new friends too. The atmosphere the whole time was great; everyone that I met (whether as part of a work experience, a speaker or someone else on Momentum) was so friendly, helpful and welcoming. In addition, I was able to develop my teamwork skills and my knowledge of the day to day life of working on projects, which should be incredibly helpful going forward. The atmosphere was particularly helpful to me as it was my first time living away from home and I feel that I was able to make that adjustment quite well. Furthermore, I really enjoyed experiencing London and the unbelievable places we were able to visit. I just hope I get to go again next year.
As part of the Wellington College Academy Trust our students are lucky enough to have the unique opportunity of applying for an Internship at one of our partner schools in China. Students can apply for a position at the Tianjin International School, The Shanghai International School or for those who would like to immerse themselves further into the Chinese culture the Bilingual School in Shanghai. The internships can be classroom based or focused more on the role of a boarding house tutor and activities coordinator. Successful students will have accommodation and lunch provided free of charge and receive living expenses of around £100 a week. Students will also be covered by the College’s medical insurance and return flights are included. The Academy has had a number of students accepted onto these internships (10% of Year 13 leavers in 2017) with students’ feedback confirming what a life changing opportunity it was. Many have also used this as an opportunity to have a base whilst travelling.