Students, in Years 7 through to 11, were treated to a whistle-stop tour of an ex-student’s exciting career path since leaving Richmond School and Sixth Form College in 2005. Alumna, Catherine Parums opened the Aiming High assemblies by saying that our school values of creativity, excellence, independence, respect, resilience and teamwork are not just relevant in school, but throughout working life and they are values that she lives by. She told the students that they are very lucky to be at Richmond School which has developed so much and has such fantastic facilities.
Catherine was always encouraged to commit to and stick to everything she took on and say yes to as many opportunities as possible, as you never know what they may lead to. This approach has stayed with her throughout her career and she urged the students to do the same. As Catherine wasn’t sure what she wanted to do after A levels, she chose to pursue something that she loved doing and that was Music at York University. After graduating, Catherine moved to London to pursue a career in Music Education, working in Music Outreach and at the Royal College of Music. She subsequently volunteered with the Teenage Cancer Trust and this led to her organising events at the Royal Albert Hall. A job came up with BBC Proms, including working on the Horrible Histories Prom. Catherine is convinced her volunteering helped her application.
Catherine then moved to the City of London Festival and joined the central band of the Royal British Legion, having incredible opportunities of playing at Lords, on an Aleisha Dixon music video, and at Centre Court at Wimbledon. She has also sung with the Bee Gees at Wembley Arena.
Catherine went on to successfully apply for a job at Buckingham Palace working, for HRH The Princess Royal. A highlight of this role was working out all the logistics and briefing notes for the royal visit to Richmond. This was a really exciting job, working very hard with excellence very much the base level for everything. Gala parties, Ascot, Downing Street, the Trooping of the Colour, Twickenham, the list goes one, Catherine even went to Botswana!
Catherine was fortunate to have fun and really enjoy this job and encouraged students to strive for the same in their future careers. She was very privileged to work for the Princess Royal for five years.
Catherine is currently employed as Head of Communications and Events at the Royal British Legion, where she manages a team of ten, organising events such as the Festival of Remembrance and Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph in London. She explained to the students that she feels very fortunate to work for a charity and she often pinches herself, especially when she has the opportunity to meet incredible people such as the last-surviving Dambuster.
Eight months ago, Catherine became a mum to Zoe. She concluded her presentation by saying that she is 32 years old and has no idea what she wants to do for a career, but that she has had a pretty good journey so far!
There was some wonderful dancing during the assemblies and the symphony orchestra played beautifully, also ensuring some fun-filled audience participation for the students.