DRD Inaugural Summer School: Bridging Gaps and Building Futures

18 Aug 2023

DRD partnered with Future First, a charity dedicated to improving students’ motivation, confidence, and life chances, to launch our first ever ‘DRD Summer School’.

The value of hands-on work experience is critical in helping give students the best chance possible to pursue their career of choice. The DRD Summer School experience needed to be much more than a line on a CV, it needed to be about providing an opportunity to develop essential employability skills and giving each participant the knowledge and confidence to pursue careers that may not be immediately familiar or seem accessible to them. With this in mind we developed a three-day programme to provide skills that are essential alongside traditional academic qualifications to help prepare for life after school, college, and university.

“I liked it all as I was able to take valuable pieces of information away from everything we did…I thought it was interesting and fun at the same time”.

DRD Summer School participant

The day after English and Welsh students received their A-Levels results, we look back on a successful three days of the launch of our DRD Summer School.

There was a mixture of workshops which covered everything from the basics of PR, media relations, politics and influencing, through to CV writing, and practicing interview skills.

The Summer School was more than just theory we wanted to give the students the opportunity to get some ‘real world’ experience. Led by our associate and analyst teams, and following a session on policy making we took our students to the new City Hall building where they had the opportunity to speak with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

On day two the students learned about the role of law and its impact on how we work with our clients. Later that day they toured the Royal Courts of Justice and sat in on a court case. Across the three days the students also heard from the  team at Mishcon de Reya about entering into the legal sector and insights from My Life My Say (MLMS) on youth engagement in politics. Many of DRD’s team – former lawyers, civil servants, journalists, and policy advisers – also ran sessions on their career paths ensuring our students left with several potential career paths in mind.

It wasn’t all hard work – our media case study looked at ‘Barbie’ the movie, our students turned the tables and interviewed some of our senior team and, being based in Covent Garden, we of course visited one of our local favourites for lunch.

Everyone at DRD would like to thank the class of 2023 for helping make our first Summer School a success and we look forward to the next intake in 2024.