Carnoustie High School Alumni Day

Carnoustie High School’s ‘Alumni Day’ was a careers inspiration event for S3 pupils, involving former Carnoustie High pupils talking to current students about their career path.

The objective was to inspire young people and improve their knowledge and understanding of the variety of career pathways available both locally and nationally. The event was delivered via a ‘speed networking’- type setup, where the school alumni were to sit at a station each and talk with a different group of S3’s every ten minutes. A further objective, by giving pupils the opportunity to talk to former Carnoustie High pupils of various ages and backgrounds, was to provide the opportunity for the young people to meet someone they could relate to. It was hoped that this would help the young people feel reassured about their school-life and the possibilities when entering the world of work.


Around 14 former pupils of various ages, backgrounds and careers visited on the day to meet the S3’s. There were individuals from a range of employers such as Police Scotland, E W Edwardson Electricians, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Thorntons Law. There were also representatives from several other industries including engineering, agriculture, performing arts and fitness.

The whole of Carnoustie High School’s S3 year group participated in this. Small groups of 3-4 pupils spoke to each Alumni member for 10 minutes. The pupils had prepared questions that they used to interview the Alumni about their current job, career path so far, what they enjoyed at school and whether or not this all linked together to give them a straight or winding career path. The preparation and subsequent discussion of interview responses provided the young people with a rich experience that developed their understating of the world of work.

DYW Tay Cities also participated, allowing pupils to interview them using the prepared questions. The team also asked the pupils what they found useful when finding out about possible careers – many agreed that hearing first-hand by speaking to people is effective.


By running this event, Carnoustie High School pupils were able to gain a first-hand insight into what life can be like once they have left school. It helped them better understand the range of careers and the variety of possible career pathways.

This is an annual event in which the school runs, and therefore it has allowed them to develop positive relationships with the employers of the Alumni.

The event has also been identified as a model for other Angus secondary schools to adopt. School coordinators from Brechin High School and Montrose Academy are interested in this and plan to implement it.

“In total, over six years, more than seventy guests have thoroughly appreciated the invitation to return to their Alma Mater to explain to our young people their own career path since leaving school and answer questions the pupils were keen to ask. Feedback from both pupils and guests has been extremely positive and we look forward to next session, when we plan to repeat what has become, in terms of career education at CHS, a signature event.”

– Carolyn Joss, Carnoustie High School DYW School Coordinator.

“I definitely think that when you’re at school people push on going to university and getting a degree but that doesn’t work for everybody and I think it’s good to know that there are other options especially speaking to people and not just seeing it online or reading a book. I would definitely say to get involved, you might find your future employee, I think it’s a really good thing to be involved in.”

-Lucy Rourke, Carnoustie High Alumni, Former MA at Thorntons Law, now working there training to be a paralegal.