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On the evening of 5th October we were delighted to hold a Calne Girls' Assocation Talk in the Chapel hosted by CGA Chair, Fernande van Schelle (2000 Leaver). We were joined by sisters and alumnae, Hetti Afolami and Clemmie Broom (née Jackson-Stops) who left Calne in 1999 and 2001 respectively.

Pupils from UV and Sixth Form enjoyed an interactive talk about Hetti and Clemmie’s time at school, successful careers and their shared memories and reflections. Hetti went on to Durham to read History & Politics before qualifying as a lawyer with global law firm Allen & Overy, where she practised as an international litigation and arbitration lawyer in London. Realising that a career at a City law firm was not for her, she left A&O and spent a year at King's College London doing a Masters in Public International Law, with an eye to becoming a lawyer for the Foreign Office and then the Government Legal Department, where she acted for the Home Office. Her plans changed when her father suggested she join him in a mediation business, IPOS Mediation, and she is now responsible for marketing and business development, but with a longer-term desire to do more mediating and less business-running!

Clemmie studied English Literature at Durham. A fledgling career in journalism followed, with a stint working as a sub-editor on a paper in Pakistan, as well as UK newspapers including The Sunday Times Magazine and Daily Mail. A change in tack led into publishing, where she could fully indulge her love of books. Clemmie started out working as an editor, initially freelance, prior to working for Short Books, a fantastic independent publisher. This eventually led to the position of Head of Business Development for one of London’s top booksellers. After 10 years working across the book industry, in 2018 Clemmie set out to follow her passion - helping fellow bibliophiles find and enjoy the very best books. She launched Vellum, a private library and book consultancy and now helps clients build collections of books, new or old, to suit their reading, lifestyle and interiors. Working with private individuals and commercial clients, Clemmie curates libraries from 5 to 5,000 books - or more! She has now returned to university and is doing a Masters in Psychology.

Both Hetti and Clemmie encouraged the girls to follow their passions, and to really consider what success looks like – whether it be ambition, lifestyle, wellbeing or geographical location. They championed the importance of always asking for help, following up on connections and growing a personal network. With this in mind, they both reinforced their commitment to help, mentor and encourage any current girls looking to have a career in law, journalism or just wanting to discuss ideas for the future. With the wider CGA mentoring network available to all pupils and alumnae, we do truly feel very well connected!