Community Champions

MD goes back to school as former head girl helps with interview training

Written by Peter Davison.

Mark Stenton headteacher and Denise O'LearyA Wiltshire business manager has returned to her old school, to help students prepare for the world of work.

Denise O’Leary, managing director of Purpol Marketing, found herself back at Clarendon Academy Trowbridge, where she was head girl 27 years ago.

Along with representatives from Capita, Texas Instruments, Qinetiq, Splitz Support Service, Atkins Global, Army Outreach, Specsavers, Audience Systems, Little Light Bulb, the NHS, Dorothy House Hospice Care, the Ministry of Defence and Wiltshire YFC, Denise helped students with interview techniques.

The mock interviews provided the students an opportunity to discuss their strengths, and learn how to best highlight their skills. They were asked to detail what they particularly enjoyed and how they could add value to a future employer.

Denise – who was Denise Smith when she was head girl in 1990 – said: “It was a delight to be back at Clarendon after so much time, being part of the business community that was giving back by sharing experience and insight for the benefit of the students.

“When I left after being head girl, little did I know the different careers that would await, but even then, I had the dream of starting my own business. In fact the first marketing role I held was with the Young Enterprise Scheme at Clarendon.

“The students were enthusiastic and soon overcame their nerves, I am sure the experience is hugely valuable to their confidence and will help as soon as they are ready to apply for future roles.”