Skip to content ↓
Rooks Heath College

Rooks Heath College

Opportunity through Learning

Where are they now?

Name: Shashini Karunananda

Year you left Rooks Heath: 2016

Subject area of current career: Clinical Psychology

Subject studied at university:  - Psychology BSc

Brief outline of career journey and success:

Achieved high GCSE and A level results, currently completed two years of my degree at the University of Surrey which is going really well so far. I have secured a placement for a year at Richmond Royal Hospital as an Assistant Psychologist before returning to complete my final year at university.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don't be so hard on yourself, even if you may not be good at the subject at the start, put in the extra work and it will pay off. Ask your teachers any questions you have as they are there to help!

What did you enjoy most about your time at Rooks Heath?

The close friendships between the students and how we all helped each other to do well, as well as taking part in extra-curricular activities, such as Netball and Badminton.

 

Name: Krupa Vakani

Year you left Rooks Heath: 2010 (GSCE's); 2012 (A Levels) 

Subject area of current career: Neuropsychology

Subject(s) studied at university: BSc Psychology with Professional Development (Brunel University London) & MSc Clinical Neuroscience (UCL)

Brief outline of career journey and success:

In all honesty I had no idea what I wanted to do and become whilst I was at Rooks Heath. As you get older and further in your studies you realise there are a lot more options out there. I enjoyed psychology at A’ levels and I pursued it further. This is where I realised I enjoyed the neurological aspect of psychology and the human brain which led me to accomplishing a Masters in Clinical Neuroscience. Putting both my degrees together I realised the most enjoyable aspect for me included research. Which is why I am currently working as a Practical Support Assistant aiding a PhD student in their research. I hope to progress further and work on a novel research project in the field of Neuropsychology.  

What advice would you give to your younger self?:

I would simply just say believe in yourself. If you want to achieve a particular goal, then believe in yourself and strive for it. You will eventually get there with hard work and the correct mindset but there is nothing you can't do. 

What did you enjoy most about your time at Rooks Heath?:

The best aspect about Rooks Heath was the community atmosphere amongst students and teachers. Our whole year group got along even though there were numerous different friendship groups and personalities which ensured everyday was fun and different. My most memorable times at Rooks Heath include the Ski Trip, being a prefect and senior prefect and prom. 

 

Name:  Faizan Joya

twitter: @faizanjoya    Linkedin: uk.linkedin.com/in/faizanjoya

Year you left Rooks Heath: 2010

Subject area of current career: Product (Engineering)

Subject studied at university: Computer Science at King's College London

Brief outline of career journey and success:

I enjoy learning and problem solving, naturally found science and mathematics interesting subjects at school and was awarded the Science Shield at Rooks Heath.

In recognition of my volunteering and fundraising efforts for various charities, I was humbled to receive the Diana Award. Next thing I knew, I am featured in local newspaper and invited to the Downing Street to meet Prime Minister. 

For achieving outstanding academic performance and making significance of contribution to improve the department of Informatics at King's College London (KCL), I received the Alan Turing Centenary Prize. I was introduced to Venture Capital and Startup world at KCL Business Club, where I also went on to lead the Technology & Startups division.

Eager to learn more and experience the fast-paced agile working environment, I went into startups. As a product person I bring ideas to life and help build businesses.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Enjoy the process and do your best as it may lead to something much better than your desired outcome.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Rooks Heath?

School is a great time to explore and learn more about yourself: subjects you are good at; sports you enjoy; friendship; and extracurricular activities. I enjoyed the overall experience and have been fortunate to make some great friends.

 

Name: Zuhayr Chagpar

Year you left Rooks Heath: 2010

Subject area of current career: Computer Science

Subject studied at university: Computing

Brief outline of career journey and success

- Achieved 3 A*s, 7 As and 3 Bs at GCSE at Rooks Heath

- A*AAB at A Levels from St Dominic's

- Graduated from Imperial College London with MEng in Computing

- Working for Amazon Video as Software Developer Engineer since Oct 2016

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Do your best but don't be afraid to ask for help. I wouldn't have gotten to where I am now without help from my friends, family, and teachers.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Rooks Heath?

I met some of my best friends at Rooks Heath. Hanging out during lunch was always fun.

 

Name:   Debbie Hartley

Year you left Rooks Heath: 2008

Subject area of current career: Paramedic

Subject studied at university: (if relevant) BSc Sport and Exercise Science (University of Birmingham) and FdSc Paramedic Science (Open University)

Brief outline of career journey and success:

After doing my BSc, which I loved, I decided that I wanted to have a career in the medical field. I came back to Harrow and worked as an administrator at St Luke's Hospice in Kenton; this gave me an insight into medicine and meant I could earn some money whilst I decided what was next for me. I knew that I didn't want to be a Doctor or a Nurse based on the hospital or ward environments, so I looked into being a paramedic. Having already been to university full-time I wanted to learn on the job and secured a place as an Apprentice Paramedic with the London Ambulance Service in 2013. I worked full-time on an ambulance whilst studying part-time for my Paramedic Science degree, and have now qualified and work as a Paramedic in NW London.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don't put any pressure on yourself to decide what you want to do as a career - you're allowed to change your mind like I did! Find something you enjoy, and see where it leads you. If you enjoy it, you'll work hard at it and achieve. When I left Rooks Heath I had no idea I wanted to be a paramedic but as you study and begin working you realise what it is you want to do. I knew that the variation of shift-work, being out-and-about, and being in the field of medicine was right for me only after I had done a degree and gained some life experience. Then knowing what my goal was, I worked out the most effective way to achieve it. Explore lots of options and speak to people in that field to work out whether the career is right for you - be prepared to change your mind and be open to all sorts - you never know where you are going to end up!

What did you enjoy most about your time at Rooks Heath?

The people - spending all day with your friends and teachers that care and want to help you achieve your best is something you only appreciate when you leave!

 

Name: Daniel Rogers

Year you left Rooks Heath: 2010

Subject area of current career: Doctor 

Subject studied at university: Medicine 

Brief outline of career journey and success:

In 2012 I went to the University of Leicester to study Medicine. During this time, I also spent a year doing a research project into cerebral blood flow in Parkinson's Disease. This year, I got a job as a junior doctor at the Leicester General Hospital. In the future, I would like to become a GP or a paediatrician. 

What advice would you give to your younger self?:

Don't think of your failures as failures. Think of them as learning opportunities. Each one will get you closer to where you're meant to be. Also, long hair really doesn't do you any favours, get a better haircut! 

What did you enjoy most about your time at Rooks Heath?:

I really enjoyed playing guitar in the music rooms at lunch times. 

 

Name: Heather Whitehead

Year you left Rooks Heath: 2005

Subject area of current career: Operations Manager in Leisure Centre (assistant manager)

Subject studied at university: Didn’t attend university

Brief outline of career journey and success:

Started as casual receptionist whilst in Year 11, continued as casual until finished college. Promoted to full time lead receptionist when finished college. Progressed then to Sports Officer, and then moved to Assistant Manager Junior Brands, and the progressed to Assistant Manager Operations. Company have supported me in gaining lifeguarding qualifications, swim teacher qualifications, and gymnastics coaching.  Currently completing my Fitness Instructor Qualification.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Believe in yourself that you can do what you want.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Rooks Heath?

The friendships that I have continued to keep 13 years after leaving, and the PE lessons. All teachers were friendly and supportive.  Also enjoyed Ski Trips that were organised by PE department.

 

Name: Denise Carroll

Year you left Rooks Heath: 2010

Subject area of current career: Software Engineering

Subject studied at university: MEng Computing at Imperial College London

Brief outline of career journey and success:

Studied Computing at Imperial College for 4 years. Spent one year working at McAfee and currently working at Microsoft.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Study hard for exams and do work experience whenever possible

What did you enjoy most about your time at Rooks Heath?

Music school concerts, hanging out with friends, school trips e.g. geography trip

 

Name: Dr Kevin McEwan MBBS Bsc(Hons.)

Year you left Rooks Heath: 2011.

Current Job: Doctor

Studied at university: Bsc in Pharmacology, MBBS Medicine

Brief outline of career journey and success:

I have just come to the end of my course at King's College London where I've been in hospital placements all across London and the South East. I will be working in Wexham Park hospital from the 1st of August as a Foundation Doctor in a number of different specialities, my first job is in Trauma and Orthopaedics. Next year I will be in the John Radcliff hospital and some of the exciting jobs I am looking forward to are Paediatric Surgery and Public Health medicine.

Advice I would give my younger self:

Give it a chance, what’s the worst that could happen. I really did not think I could get into medicine as my AS results were not great and I struggled to get clinical work experience. I gave it a go and very luckily I got offered a place. My next tip to myself would be to work as hard as possible in A-level because those 2 years can really pay off.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Rooks Heath:

Sitting and chatting to all my friends in the 6th form common room during the free periods and the laughs we used to have in the DT woodwork room which was my form room.

I have so many fond memories of my time in Rooks Heath, it was hard work but definitely worth it.

I wish you all the best in the career you choose, whether it’s at university, an apprenticeship or getting a job after school.