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In The Spotlight > In The Spotlight > In the Spotlight: Carrie Whittaker

In the Spotlight: Carrie Whittaker

Tell us about what you do now. Has your time at the school influenced your life today?

I currently work at the Home Office as a civil servant in policy design and project delivery. Since joining the Home Office 3 years ago straight from leaving BMS I’ve worked on a multitude of crisis responses, from the fall of Kabul to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, from prisons overcrowding to the small boats phenomenon.

Although my family jokes I’ve been genetically modified to be a civil servant (we’re all public servants), and I always knew I would enter this line of work, my time at BMS absolutely influenced how I carry myself now in government. Not least because the school recognised going to university wasn’t the only route out and into success, it also taught me how to be confident in my own ability and to take up space in professional environments, that my thoughts are valid to share and my curiosity an invaluable skill to be nurtured.

BMS also demonstrates the valuable lesson on a daily basis that an individual does not need to be confined to one passion or way of working and can boast a multitude of varied but equally valued skills. Across the school community every individual demonstrates that the key to success lies within the soft skills and values of kindness, fairness and understanding. This importance placed on the way we act, that is so excellently demonstrated at BMS, has greatly influenced me and I aim to embody the soft skills so valued within the community everyday as I take on new challenges.

Tell us about your time at BMS. Do you have any special memories you would like to share?

My time at BMS was all too short, I had the pleasure of attending the sixth form, however it was abruptly cut short by the pandemic in 2020. Despite this I can honestly say my time at BMS was one of the best times of my life. There are too many fond memories to look back on, all owing to the amazing friends I made and the relations with staff who really valued us all as young adults. Particular highlights for me were often found within the social life BMS gave me, including the Christmas social, free periods on the sofas, our belated prom and the unique OBM matches. Other special memories include being able to work at BMS, both at the holiday courses and coming back as staff after I left for a brief time before beginning with the Home Office.

Who was someone from your time at BMS who had an impact on you and why?

There are far too many people to name who had a direct impact on me during my time at BMS, and even more people I can now see the subtle lessons I learned from with hindsight. Particular shoutouts go to Mr Whomsley, Mr White, Mr Sanders and the entire English department. From all of these individuals I learnt the value of the soft skills I mentioned before, that you can be a well-respected leader, expert in your chosen area and demonstrate professionalism, all with good humour and laughter.  

What do you do like to do in your spare time?

I’ve just moved to London and am really loving the London life, particularly visiting many galleries, museums and food spots. I also love to read and crochet my own clothes and accessories.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Continue to ask as many questions as you can think of, grab every opportunity that comes your way and fully appreciate that the time you have right now will soon be looked upon fondly. School is so valuable anyway, not least a school like BMS, so really soak it all up. Also allow yourself the time to be young and enjoy the present, as there is still so much time to learn, succeed and achieve. Not everything needs to be done right now so take your time.

Are there any other thoughts you would like to share with the OBM and BMS community?

I think what has been created in the BMS community is incredibly unique and special. There really isn’t anything like it and that is owing to the values we embody from such a young age which we should all continue to demonstrate as we learn and navigate the ever polarising society we live in.

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