London Event 2013

London Alumnae Networking and Reunion Event Thursday 17th October, 2013

It was a real pleasure for the Development Office team to welcome two illuminating alumnae speakers Emma Slater, Investigative Journalist (Class of 2004) and Katy Lindemann Freelance Strategist (Class of 1999), to the New Cavendish Club, London. Both gave up their time freely to deliver two extensive presentations to both WGS alumnae in attendance and to WGS Sixth form pupils, via a live webinar link. It was the first attempt, by the Development Office, at using webinar technology and our aim was to open up and share best practice with a virtual audience. The technology was successful, Orlagh Fallon, Upper Sixth said. “I found this evening’s event extremely interesting and informative. I was intrigued and enlightened about what the ladies had to say about their professions and I felt it was a really worthwhile event.” And Amria Akhtar , Class of 2013, said, “Thank you for organising the webinar yesterday, me and my little sister who is in Year 11 listened to it! We both enjoyed it and found it really interesting. I’d definitely be up for getting involved with another webinar at some point.” In real-time attendance our guests included working professionals and from the media, marketing and PR and university students considering their career options. Our speakers introduced their presentations by reading a letter to their 18 year old self which highlighted how assertive twenty-something professionals need to be in getting a high-flying career off the ground. Katy read “Your years at WGS will help you develop a sense of fierce determination, and a resolute ambition to be the best. WGS will instil in you the belief that you could achieve whatever you put your mind to – the world will feel like your oyster. You’re encouraged to excel at all sorts of things beyond academia, and to have fun doing so. The idea that being a girl should make any difference at all to your future career will never occur to you – why on earth would being female make the slightest difference at all? These values will undoubtedly shape the adult you’ll go on to become, and play a key role in the many successes you will go on to achieve. The confidence you gain in your school years will come into play on so many occasions in your future – the best opportunities don’t usually come along and tap you on the shoulder, and having the guts to put yourself forward and have a go will reap dividends.” Emma read, “Ten years ago I didn’t really know where I’d end up. Life for me isn’t really planned, I moved from stepping stone to stepping stone. To be honest, in ten years’ time, you won’t know what’s around the corner either. But it’s about the journey, and in ten years you’ll enjoy the variety that life brings. When it appears that you’re moving sideways, or even backwards – don’t despair. You can learn something valuable from every single job, relationship and experience. You were taught at Withington to be ambitious. So sometimes it’s difficult when you feel like you’re not at the right place or you’re not achieving what you want to achieve. But these things take time, so just carry on. Ad Lucem, eh?!” The presentations were in-depth and thoughtful and the content provided discussion and debate afterwards. Emma Slater studied Law, followed by Investigative Journalism at City University, London. In December 2012, Emma was awarded the prestigious New Journalist of the Year at the Press Gazette Awards. She has worked for BBC Panorama, where she turned her Masters dissertation into a TV documentary on criminal informants. Then went on to make two programmes for Channel 4’s Despatches, including one based on the illegal designer dog trade. Emma is now working for the ITV’s new investigative unit and her first programme is due to air this November. Katy’s presentation highlighted a drive and determination throughout her early career. She spent her gap year working at The Guardian newspaper before studying History at Oxford University. She continued to work at The Guardian, she produced a number of theatrical productions including a month-long stint at the Edinburgh Fringe. Katy moved onto to developing highly creative and innovative media strategies for Sainsbury’s, Harrods, Simple, BMQ and Warner Music, before moving to Naked Communications agency as a senior Strategist. In 2010 she took the brave step to go freelance setting up her own agency Seemingly Unconnected, a move she admits was challenging, but the right move, providing her with the opportunity to work on varied projects with a mix of consulting clients and freelancers for a range of agencies. Katy also talked about the importance of finding the right work/life balance, and how running her own business provides this. Katy’s favourite quote is, “Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.”   If any of our readers are interested in presenting at our networking alumnae events, then please contact Penny Knipe at