Izzy M joined Langley in 2005, leaving eight years later with A-Levels in Business Studies, Design & Technology, and Photography. Here Izzy tells us about the passions she pursued in and after school, leading her to setting world records and taking part in ultra-marathons across the world!

Which extra-curricular activities were you involved in at Langley?

Sport played a big in my life at Langley; I have fond memories of the many athletics meets and hockey fixtures I participated in. I also took part in the Combined Cadet Force, which I continued for three years and was promoted to Petty Officer.

Do you think these extra activities have been useful to your career?

Unknowingly then, sport and my participation in the CCF ignited a love of the outdoors and made me a lot more resilient as a person – crawling through a muddy field, covered in camo paint, with a riffle strapped to you certainly helps make you a stronger individual!

This love of adventure evolved into a love of ultra-marathon running. Since leaving Langley, I have taken part in many different running races across the world; from placing third female in a 100km race in the Himalayas, to setting the female world record for running across the width of the UK (86 miles in 18hrs, 40mins).

Although these accomplishments do not link directly to my career, having a mindset that is constantly striving to reach new goals has certainly reflected positively in the way I approach my job – it also makes for interesting chats in the workplace!

What did you do after Langley?

After school, I took a year out to travel to different parts of the world, before starting a Design degree at Goldsmiths University in London. This very conceptual degree taught me many valuable lessons on design thinking and how to approach a problem with smart, well designed solutions. I also found being a student in London, with its mixing pot of cultures and diversity, to be a great source of inspiration for my projects.

How did your career begin?

While studying in London, I undertook a six-week internship at a data insights company called Freemavens. Although this might not sound that ‘creative,’ much of what I learnt at university helped me find innovative ways to approach different briefs.

After developing a strong relationship with the company, I ended up working there during my final year as a freelancer. Once graduated I embarked on a three-month trip across Asia competing in various running events before returning back to London to work full-time at Freemavens.

I currently manage all the marketing for a small tech start-up called Maison Sport, which pairs customers with independent ski and snowboard instructors across the Alps.

What advice would you give to students considering Langley, A-Levels or career choices?

Langley doesn’t just offer students an education, it also offers invaluable tools that help students become well-rounded individuals. Langley helps you find your voice, encourages you to try new things and helps craft you into someone who is ready for life beyond school.

My advice to students is to take every opportunity presented to you at Langley; by constantly trying new things you are able to find out what interests you, and what you like and dislike. This could help you find your feet within a particular career path or encourage you to embark on exciting new challenges.

I really urge any student finishing school to take a year out before attending university. Whether you spend a year working or travelling, having that extra time to find your feet and work out what matters to you will really set you up for the years ahead. I learnt so much about myself during my 12 months of travelling and working, I also made a bunch of friends across the world who I still speak to on a regular basis.

Final thoughts?

Work hard, try not to compare yourself to others, trust your gut and don’t be afraid to go against the grain; believe in yourself, you’re going to do great.