I spent a morning mock-interviewing year 12 (lower sixth form) students at a local secondary school recently, most doing A-levels and a few an A-level and a BTEC in Business Studies. Although a fewwere nervous initially, most relaxed quickly and showed their enthusiasm fo r their subjects. One of my main messages to them was to seize early opportunities to set up a debating society, run a club for younger students, take the Duke of Edinburgh Gold award or be part of a team, sports or otherwise.
My MSc research showed the advantage of seizing early opportunity for young people, whose pre-frontal cortices are still developing. Having early leadership responsibility plays a key role in building a sense of self-efficacy, which in turn fosters adaptability and resilience. I see that adaptability and resilience too in my coaching clients who took opportunities early in life. Good schools offer and support these opportunities, as this school was in setting up these mock-interviews for all their year 12s.