Sam Packer (Class of 2012), Detective, Metropolitan Police
How did CLS get you ready for the world of work?
Nearly every job is about 2 things - dealing with people and absorbing and reacting to information. City is a pretty ideal environment for both; pupils are encouraged to engage with teachers beyond learning by wrote (imagine it’s a practice for dealing with a boss in a decade’s time; sometimes you like them and sometimes you don’t!). Re processing information; the way the various arts subjects were taught, especially at 6th form, preps you in a way you might not expect for the world of work. One of the great undervalued skills is efficiency; your weekly essay crisis is actually preparing you in ways you wouldn’t have thought !
What was your first job?
I was a political campaigner in the 2016 US election.
Your biggest professional achievement?
Whatever you do, professional achievements pale compared to personal ones. So my main advice to schoolboys is do as many extra curriculars as possible. You will never look back and think ‘I wish I hadn’t done that thing.’ City offers plenty; try them all! Sport, debating, music etc - these are what you will remember looking back at your life, whether at school or after.
Your most challenging professional moment?
Professional difficulties tend to be personality clashes; learn to deal with different types of people and the number and depth of the difficulties will be cut.
In terms of policing, you are dealing with murderers, rapists and all sorts of bad people. On a daily basis, you’re spending time with and investigating the worst people - you have to have some way of coping with that and an ability to remind yourself that thats not universal. I have seen innocent people’s corpses, dealt with bereaved mothers and spouses - again, like most jobs, learning to deal with all different types people is the centre of it.
What inspires and motivates you at work?
I am lucky because the motivation to catch criminals is a fairly
universal one. A job in which you make a genuine difference to society is a real bonus. But I would be lying if I said that personal drive and ambition wasn’t also part of it. I am sure nearly every boy at City shares that and so whatever job you decide on, make sure you use that drive - it is a massive advantage over those who are less fussed.
One piece of advice for pupils and other Old Citizens about getting into your profession?
Join! Police recruiting has changed; I have joined on a direct entry detective scheme and half of new met detectives now do the same. That means you wouldn’t have to spend years out on the street in uniform (although if your dream is foot chases, guns or rolling around In fights with criminals then that is definitely for you too). Are you analytical; do you like finding answers to mysteries; or perhaps you find criminal dramas or documentaries intriguing ? Then detective work might be for you.