When I first met Lloyd, he really didn’t want to talk to me. Although he didn’t say this, the one-word answers and avoiding eye contact pretty much gave it away.

Lloyd was a Y11 student facing Post 16 options, a situation hundreds of students are currently experiencing across the city. It’s a daunting time when the world suddenly starts opening up in front of you, especially if you don’t know which path to follow. You might know where you want to end up, as was the case with Lloyd who told me he wanted to become an Electrician, but figuring out how to get there isn’t always clear.

During this first meeting, we spoke about his Post 16 options, including college and apprenticeships. Lloyd was taking three GCSEs and was on track to achieve a grade 4 in Maths and English.

Our second meeting took place four months later and Lloyd came in with a completely different energy. He was animated and eager to tell me about his progress since we’d last met.

He’d applied to both Rotherham College and Sheffield College (his preference) to start the Electrical Installation course. However, this was a Level 2 course, and the Sheffield College entry requirements were 3-4 GCSEs at grade 4+, including Maths and English. As Lloyd was only taking three GCSEs, this wasn’t a guaranteed success.

He’d gained quite a bit of work experience since our initial meeting, being proactive in arranging this, and had actually been offered an Apprentice role at one of the firms, pending completion of his course.

After speaking with Lloyd’s teacher, I contacted Sheffield College to advocate on his behalf and explain all the progress he’d made and how motivated he was. I queried whether there would be a possibility of an interview, despite him not meeting all the entry requirements. They agreed to offer him an interview.

For our third and final meeting, we concentrated mainly on interview prep, doing a run-through of example questions so he could practice his answers. The difference in his attitude from our first meeting to this one was remarkable.

A few days later, I received an email from Lloyd, thanking me for my help. He’d been offered a conditional place on his preferred course!

If you’re in a similar situation and you need some guidance, speak to one of our advisers. We might already be in your school. Visit our careers page for more information.