A careers mentoring app which was piloted by a Sheffield school has been rolled out to 70,000 women nationally in a bid to encourage pupils to interact with and quiz like-minded professionals.
Sheffield High School for Girls in Broomhill were chosen last year by the Girls’ Day School Trust to trial the Rungway digital mentoring app which helps sixth form pupils access a network of contacts for careers advice.
And, due to the trial being so successful, the platform is now being rolled out to 24 schools and academies in the GDST network including Sheffield Girls’.
Year 13 pupil Agatha Stephenson Meech, who is interested in midwifery, has already made contact with Sheffield Girls’ aluma Becky Weston through Rungway who offered advice on becoming a health professional.
She said: “I registered with the Rungway app and posted a question asking for advice on how to get into midwifery.
“Sheffield Girls' alumna Becky Weston, who is now a midwife and community team leader in Sheffield, responded to my question and we got chatting on the app.
“We met up in school, and Becky also invited a colleague who is a lecturer on the midwifery course at Sheffield Hallam University, and we discussed the positives and challenges of a midwifery career and she also gave me lots of tips for my application and the interview process.
“I was offered four interviews at different universities and so am currently preparing for those as they all take place in the next few weeks. The confidence I gained, by having easy access to support from alumnae who were once in their exact same position, was unparalleled.
“Rungway has opened up new ways for us to ask for careers advice and get help from people in the workplace. I asked a question and people shared their experiences with me.
“It was really easy to use, and there was no need to feel nervous about asking a question.”
Becky Weston said: “I left Sheffield High School for Girls in 2009 and went on to study Midwifery. I now lead a team of community midwives in Sheffield and know that in my career, as well as so many others, it is invaluable to be able to get advice from people further along the career path than you.
“I’m very keen to be able to give back and love that by using the Rungway app I can do this in my own time. I get a notification when a question is posted that is relevant to my career and my skill set and I can go open the app and send a reply.
“I was able to give Agatha a real insight into different aspects of the job; we discussed the incredibly rewarding parts of the job, specialist areas and a range of opportunities a career within midwifery can offer.
Head of Careers at Sheffield Girls’ and GDST Consultant for Progress to Higher Education Carole Hall said: “This tool is a staple for Sixth Form pupils seeking advice about their next steps after leaving school.
“The girls can access the GDST Alumnae Network, made up of women from all sectors across the schools.
“The contacts, mentoring and job opportunities thanks to more than 70,000 successful women in all walks of life, are now right at the fingertips of pupils about to carve their own path in a tough employment market, giving them an invaluable advantage when finding a truly fulfilling career path.
“It’s fantastic for the girls to have as many sources of help as they can. Many users have had very quick and helpful responses from alumnae, and the instant access means they can send questions anywhere when they need to.
“As it expands to more GDST schools, pupils will increasingly realise its value, while alumnae continue to enjoy the opportunity to give something back to younger girls in a similar position to themselves.”