On Wednesday 23rd January, Academic Scholars from all year groups attended the annual Dinner for Academic Scholars in the Dining Room. Our Guest Speaker was Sophie Nye, a Calne Girl, Academic Scholar and Head Girl from 2013-14. Having finished her studies of History at Oxford, she is currently working in London for a strategic insight consultancy called Flamingo Group, helping global brands and organisations to harness cultural insights in order to drive change.
There were pre-dinner drinks for Sixth Form students, where they enjoyed talking with our Guest Speaker and discovering more about her journey since her time here at Calne. This was followed by a delicious supper provided by Mrs Linda Thomas and her catering team, where the girls were able to mix with Academic Scholars from other year groups.
In her talk, Sophie explained how her career has progressed and what she has learnt along the way. She spoke about scholarship at school; how wider reading is vital, but it is so important to follow one's passions and to read the books that excite you rather than the books that you think will reflect well on your personal statement. She told us of her studies at Oxford, where some sharp criticism pushed her to develop a steelier resilience and to become more confident to argue her ideas. By following her passions, she developed a specialism for Feminist History and became empowered to show a real conviction in her ideas and arguments.
Leaving university forced Sophie to reflect upon what she really loved doing and that led her to work in a field which, before then, she did not even know existed! She told us about her work for Flamingo, which involves travelling the world meeting influencers and experts, before analysing behaviours and cultural contexts to empower their clients with vital insights. In particular, she told us all about a proprietary research project she worked on that uncovered fascinating insights into 'Generation Z'. Overall, she stressed that although she was very much finding her way in the world, it was important to continuously reflect on what matters to you, to refine your understanding of yourself over time and to be dynamic in how you respond to opportunities.
Finally, our Head of Scholars and Societies, Sophie (Year 13), gave a well-received Vote of Thanks to Sophie Nye for her stimulating and inspiring talk. The insightful event had been an excellent way to celebrate the contribution made by our Academic Scholars to everyday school life here at St Mary’s Calne.
Mr Mark Cleaver, Head of Economics and Academic Award Co-ordinator
Photo: Former Head Girl, Sophie Nye, speaking at Founders' Day, 2014, at St Mary's Calne