How Did Sixth Form Help You?

Sally Shorthose - Left King’s High: 1981

What and where did you study on leaving King’s? Law – LLB Hons at University of Manchester

What was your career path on leaving University? I did my articles (now known as a training contract) at one of the largest firms in the City of London and did corporate finance. I worked as a lawyer for 11 years, ending up as Legal Director for the Novartis group, a Swiss based multinational company with a turnover of £1 billion in the UK. I was responsible for all legal matters. I retired to private practice as a partner 10 years ago and joined my current firm, which is well known for its Intellectual Property and Commercial practices in particular, 5 years ago.

Memories of Sixth Form: I learned to get on with a wide range of people, to study effectively, and I remember how we used to have very useful talks from representatives of various professions and industries telling us about life beyond school. I got a huge amount out of the school by throwing myself into every activity, especially music. I think the most rewarding production was the performance of Trial by Jury and HMS Pinafore with Warwick School, at the Guy Nelson Hall. I remember the friends I made with huge affection and am still in touch with a large number of them.

Ruth Huddleston  - Left King’s High: 1979

What and where did you study on leaving King’s? St John’s College, Oxford. I won an Open Scholarship in a time when women had only been admitted to the College since 1978.

What was your career path on leaving University? I graduated in 1984, into a recession. It was 5 years until I discovered the work of the Rights teams in publishing – a career path which enabled me to combine my love of books, foreign languages and travel and my experience in education. I studied for an MBA by distance learning (from Warwick University) while I was working which helped take the mystery out of business practice, gave me confidence and helped me to realise that I was not just an academic essay-writer, but did have a commercial brain. I have just left the children’s publishing company of which I was a 25% shareholder.

I am now looking forward to a moment of catching my breath, catching up on my reading and some part-time work in related fields.

Memories of Sixth Form: King’s High taught us all to stand up for ourselves, have confidence in our brains and argue about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. Most of my happy memories are about the rewards of close friendship with my classmates, some of whom I still see. School was quite hard-going, but it did teach me to expect to have to work hard, which has made the rest of life easier! Mrs Hall stood out as an inspirational English teacher and I was sorry not to take it to A level – but I hope that I’ve made her happy by becoming a published writer – even if some of the stories only have 10 words!