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Thank you for visiting our Where Are They Now page - we are keen to include as many stories about our former students as possible. It's a great chance for us to celebrate your success and we know it's a source of enormous inspiration for our current students.

If you'd like to contribute to this page please contact us at   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Read about former student Dan Harris, who left in 2009, in the Plymouth Herald. He is Kier Construction's  Assistant Site Manager for the build of Scott Medical and Healthcare College which is being built next to Stoke Damerel Community College

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STEPHEN ACTON - Hydrogeologist

Year you left Stoke Damerel: 2010

What are you doing now? I’m currently employed in one of the biggest design and engineering companies in the world working in the Birmingham office as a hydrogeologist (scientist/engineer) involved in several large projects most notably recently HS2. Work can take me all over the UK and even abroad.

What route did you take up to your current position? I completed my A levels and went to the University of Manchester to get a BSc in Geology and then went on to the University of Birmingham to get an MSc in Hydrogeology and was offered a job before finishing the masters so went straight into work as a graduate.

What have you learnt most about yourself? That nothing is impossible and hard work and dedication does pay off. I went from failing my A levels at the start of Sixth form to turning it round into As and A*s and going to good universities and making lots of new friends and memories along the way. Anyone can achieve success just by applying yourself and having some self-belief

What advice would you give a Stoke Damerel student starting in Year 7? Don’t get distracted by others, or tempted away from working. It’s very easy to try and fit in by misbehaving but this comes back to bite you in later life. Apply yourself from day 1, work hard, find a passion of something you enjoy in school. Don’t be afraid of others putting you down because you want to work hard you will be rewarded when you get good results and move on to great things when you are older. Stay out of trouble!

What advice would you give a Stoke Damerel student leaving Sixth Form? Make sure you are making the right decision. Don’t jump into a degree for the sake of it make sure you’re taking it for the right reasons. Pick something you are passionate about but do think about what career you can make after this. University isn’t the only option many people make a brilliant success without going so consider all the options and just go into whatever you decide to do with an open mind and challenge yourself! You’re probably capable of more than you think but you’ll never know if you don’t try!

 

SDCC-logo 1 SEREINE BARA - HR manager in the Ministry of Defence

Year you left Stoke Damerel: 2011

What are you doing now? I’m a HR manager in the Ministry of Defence, managing two admin teams and coordinating the adverts for our departments Public Appointments

What route did you take up to your current position? I completed a BA in Politics with International Relations and applied for an admin role in the MoD. I worked my way up to my current grade over the past two years and have been in four different HR jobs.

What have you learnt most about yourself? I’ve learned that the skills I have developed in my home life are very useful at work and vice versa!

What advice would you give a Stoke Damerel student starting in Year 7? When you look back on this part of your life in 10-15 years' time, you won’t even remember the names and faces of half the people you were at school with. What they say or think about you won’t even matter, so try not to worry about it now!

What advice would you give a Stoke Damerel student leaving Sixth Form? Life is a journey, not a destination. It’s the people you meet, places you go and challenges that you overcome that will define you, not the reputation, money or status you earn

 

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PAUL COMMANDER - Mechanical and Energy Services manager at Derriford Hospital Plymouth
Year you left Stoke Damerel:  1998 although I went on to Sixth Form to complete my Math
What route did you take up to your current position?   Plymouth College of Further Education (or City College as it is known now
What have you learnt most about yourself? I should have paid more attention at school as I have had to work harder now to gain the education needed to fulfil my job role. Maturity comes with Responsibility
What advice would you give a Stoke Damerel student starting in Year 7? Make sure they take the opportunity for free education and listen to the guidance the teachers are giving them

What advice would you give a Stoke Damerel student leaving Sixth Form? To have a plan of what they want to do and be 100% sure the work environment they’ll be going in to will give them job satisfaction. Enjoying your job is key to a successful career

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CRAIG POTTER - Senior Web Developer at Clockwork Marketing

Year you left Stoke Damerel:  2007
What route did you take up to your current position?
I attended Sixth Form at Stoke Damerel to obtain A-Levels before going on to do a BSc (Hons) in Computer Systems & Networks at the University of Plymouth
What advice would you give a Stoke Damerel student starting in Year 7?
Enjoy School. It is one of the best times of your life. Learn as much as you can. Listen to your teachers. It may sound silly but they are trying to get the best for you
What advice would you give a Stoke Damerel student leaving Sixth Form? Find something you love and do it. For some it will mean going to university. For others, it will be getting a job. Don’t expect to walk in to your dream position right away but with hard work, you will get there. Just make sure you enjoy the journey to that endpoint!

 SDCC-logo 1 DOMINIC BARA - Second Year PhD Student

Year you left Stoke Damerel: 2012

What are you doing now? I'm in my second year of completing a PhD in chemistry at the University of Glasgow, working on the development of Nano-materials for drug delivery. I also work as a demonstrator in the undergraduate labs, which has given me valuable teaching experience

What route did you take up to your current position? I've always been naturally inclined towards science, so during Sixth Form at SDCC I studied chemistry, maths, and physics at A-Level. I developed a strong interest in chemistry, so when I finished my A-Levels I began a 4-year MChem course at the University of Bath, graduating with upper second-class honours. During my final year I decided that I wanted to continue with academia and pursue my research interests as a postgraduate. After responding to an advert on FindAPhD, I began a PhD project with Dr. Ross Forgan at the University of Glasgow entitled "Surface Modified Metal-Organic Frameworks for Drug Delivery". I have found my experiences so far to be challenging and very rewarding, as I am always learning something new and interesting.

What have you learnt most about yourself? That I'm willing to work very hard and dedicate myself fully to achieving my goals

What advice would you give a Stoke Damerel student starting in Year 7? Be willing to ask questions when you need help, even though it can be embarrassing. Also, make sure you engage with the subjects you have a passion for and don't just do the bare minimum required.

What advice would you give a Stoke Damerel student leaving Sixth Form? If you're intending to go to university, make sure you're willing to take it seriously and not waste your time

 

 

 

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