Evening Workshop for Parents of Gifted & Talented Children

Parents want what is best for their children. This is especially true when the child is classed as “gifted” or “talented”. But those parents won’t necessarily know what the top universities look for or what the top employers look for.

I was asked by the Gifted & Talented Coordinator at Saltash.net Community School to present a workshop for the parents of gifted and talented children. I was able to draw on my experience of having studied one of the most prestigious courses at one of the most prestigious colleges at one of the world’s elite universities and having worked in graduate recruitment at one of the world’s top graduate recruiters. I know what it takes to get into a top university and I know what top employers want to see in their candidates.

The workshop included sessions on:

  • Experiences and anecdotes from adults who were gifted or talented – what their parents did to help or hinder their chances at success
  • What to expect if asked to a top university interview and how to prepare
  • What universities look for apart from good grades
  • How to improve the impact your child makes and their skills in interviews
  • Hard truths about the graduate job market
  • How the top graduate recruiters go about attracting candidates and how students should use this information
  • The universities that the top recruiters target
  • The degree subjects that top recruiters want
  • The other characteristics that top recruiters look for
  • Getting the right work experience and why work experience is all about acquiring skills
  • Using social media to be more employable


“Mark’s session was an interesting and informative experience both for parents and for my colleague and I as G&T co-ordinators. He adapted well to our requirements and discussed the session with us beforehand to ensure that it fitted with the school’s practices and philosophies. The session itself was a good mix of reinforcing messages that we already give, but with the added authority of a consultant of Mark’s background, and new insider information drawn from Mark’s personal expertise and experiences from having got into a top university and having worked in graduate recruitment for one of the world’s top recruiters of graduates. Mark had clearly done his research into the experiences of G&T parents and students and gave particularly useful input into what top universities and employers look for”    

– Adam Killeya, Gifted & Talented Coordinator, Saltash.net Community School


“It reassured us that we are giving our child sufficient encouragement to achieve the goals they are setting for themself…(we were) especially encouraged by the comments from the ‘gifted friends and friends of gifted friends’ section, because it highlighted the fact to us, and others we hope, that you do need to be careful and maybe a little more creative in how you ‘push’ your gifted and talented offspring forward into the world.”

– Parents of ‘G&T’ student at Saltash.net




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By Mark Poles

Chartered Accountant, Google Qualified Advertising Professional, Google Analytics Qualified Individual, creator of "You're Hired!".