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Amazing alumni

6 October 2021

“I went to Westminster City School and I made my dream come true,” said Aaron Tam Akinyemi, one of our inspirational alumni and now a BBC journalist, to our sixth formers this week.

Students at Westminster City School have been hearing from some of our amazing alumni during two special assemblies this week, with a Vice President from Citigroup and a BBC journalist both giving fascinating talks on their careers.

Our sixth formers first heard from John Olatunji, who left Westminster City School in 2010 and is now Vice President, Treasury and Trade Solutions, at Citigroup, a multinational investment bank and financial services corporation. On Tuesday, John gave an incredibly interesting talk in our Main Hall, describing his years at Palace Street as some of the happiest of his life. He also explained how our School’s location, in the heart of London, further fuelled his passion for politics and how opportunities offered at our School, such as the chance to learn Latin or undertake work experience, helped his future career.

As one of our School’s governors, John also took the opportunity to extend a message of thanks from our School’s Governing Body, to all our students, for their stoicism and hard work during the challenges caused by the global pandemic.

On Wednesday, our sixth formers then heard an inspiring talk on his career in journalism from Aaron Tam Akinyemi, who was at Westminster City School until 2001. Aaron had decided, while still at our School, that he wanted to be a journalist and undertook extensive work experience, including writing for the student newspaper at university. He now works as a multimedia broadcast journalist and producer at the BBC. As he said to our sixth formers, “I went to Westminster City School and I made my dream come true.”

As well as talking to our students about routes into journalism, Aaron also shared some brilliant behind the scenes insight on some of his biggest news stories. He described covering the 2020 US election as “being at the front of history” and also talked about the unique experience of reporting on the Olympic Games in Japan, with no fans present due to COVID-19.

After his talk, Aaron was inundated with questions from many of our sixth formers, who are also thinking of a career in journalism. He then took time from his busy schedule to chat with Year 10 students who are budding journalists, offering his advice on how they too can make their dream come true. Finally, he squeezed in a quick tour of our School, noting new buildings and facilities, and admitting that it felt a little surreal to be back at Palace Street after 20 years.

Mr Broughton, Headteacher, said: “Westminster City School alumni continue to make a difference across the globe and we were delighted to have both John and Aaron return to Palace Street to inspire our future alumni. We look forward to welcoming more former students back this term, with future talks planned by alumni now working in law, in recruitment, and in finance.”

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