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I enjoyed my time at Reigate College a lot, from the range of subjects I studied to playing in the Netball team and making new friends. Across the board, I had fantastic teachers who supported me to ensure I got the best grades possible. Studying such a variety of subjects meant I had loads of options when picking my university courses. Choosing a Social Sciences degree really built on the skills I gained at A Level.

I didn’t get the grades I was hoping for when I first took my A Levels, so I ended up taking a year out before going to university. Looking back this was hugely valuable – it gave me the chance to take a step back and really consider what I wanted out of university. I worked for a year, re-took my exams and secured a place at my dream university.

At Bath, I grabbed the opportunity to do a year-long placement in industry to gain more real-world experience before I graduated. This was hugely competitive and after some pretty gruelling application processes, I landed a job at Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) as an HR & Talent Acquisition Intern. The tenacity and resilience I’d shown by having a year out and retaking my A Levels was a key reason they gave me the position – not something they looked down on.

My placement year coincided with the start of the pandemic and a new era of working from home, and when it ended, I went back to complete my final year at Bath at the height of Covid-19. I learnt a lot in that year as an intern about the importance of a routine and discipline, so in my final year I worked in the university library from Monday to Friday 9am-3pm (which felt short compared to a full workday!) and gave myself weekends off. I ended up achieving a first-class degree and when I graduated, my team at WBD wanted me back.

WBD is one of the biggest film and entertainment companies in the world. I look after the Early Careers programmes which are designed to help new young talent to break into the business. I manage the recruitment process for the company’s UK programmes, which includes Placement, Graduate and Apprenticeship programmes, but also support programmes in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

My job varies every day, from going to careers fairs and shortlisting applications through to running assessment centres and delivering learning sessions for our interns. I work with people from every area of the business and I love welcoming new faces into the organisation and seeing them thrive. While many do stay, others go on to do amazing things at other companies which makes me proud. My role has its challenges, particularly working across countries in Europe, but my team are so supportive and the working culture is unmatched.

Although my path hasn’t been the smoothest, I wouldn’t change it for anything; going to university a year later meant I felt more ready to leave home, I made some incredible lifelong friends, and it got me the job I’m in today!

I always felt there was a lot of pressure on me to know exactly what I wanted to do in the future, and if I’m completely honest I still don’t know! I would say to anyone at College now that you don’t need to have everything figured out or know exactly what your next step is. Follow what you enjoy most, and you’ll fall into the right career that fits for you. And if you don’t, you can always change jobs and try again – no job is forever!

Annie Oxlade

Reigate College: 2014-2016

Higher Education: BSc Social Sciences with year-long placement, University of Bath (2017-2021)

Currently: Early Careers Advisor, Warner Bros. Discovery

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