We recently attended Peterborough Careers Festival for students at schools in and around Peterborough and Cambridgeshire; it’s one of the biggest events of its types and is really popular with hundreds of students attending with their teachers or parents.

But why should Creative Content Company attend, after all, we are a small team with no jobs or careers to offer – but we did have something to offer!

Creative Content Company was set up by me, Hazel Cottrell – the ‘average’ girl at school. I got reasonable grades in my GCSEs and couldn’t get into sixth form. It was at this point that the school just kind of gave up on you; I am pleased to confirm this has now changed, but previously if you didn’t get the grades to get in sixth form then that was kind of it.

I left school and went to work as a waitress, then worked my way up the careers ladder in Whitbread before deciding it wasn’t actually for me. I then jumped from job to job including a Holiday Rep, Business Development Manager, Sales Consultant, Head of Sales, Account Manager, Model and so much more. I was just jumping from job to job until I found what I loved.

I went along to Peterborough Careers Festival to celebrate just that, I wanted to tell students that they could be whatever they wanted if they put their minds to it. I wanted to be a teacher but couldn’t get the grades for it yet now I am teaching in prison.

I wanted to explain that great grades are not the be all and end all, I told the students my grades but also what I could earn in my most productive hour at work. I explained that while good grades are important if you don’t get the grades you want you don’t have to work in a low-skilled job.

I also wanted to help students understand that you may not have that one career for the rest of your life, that it’s okay not to know what you want to do in the future and give examples of how my jumping from job to job helped me gain skills and experience for the career I am now in.

I hoped to have that ‘light bulb moment’ with at least one student so I was thrilled to have 8 really good conversations with students who really understood what I was saying. I shall definitely be going along next year to do exactly the same thing again.