The @HughBaird University Centre recently hosted a virtual ‘Meet the Professionals’ event in order to broaden students’ knowledge of career paths and opportunities available to them in their related subject areas. 

The event featured a number of industry specialists from a variety of sectors and students had the chance to ask questions to help prepare them for the next stage of their career journeys.   

The annual event would normally be held at the Hugh Baird University Centre campus but due to COVID-19 the event was took place virtually, with employers and professionals holding their sessions via Microsoft Teams. 

Sessions delivered throughout the day covered a wide range of industries and included talks from globally recognised and locally important organisations: McLaren Racing, Santander, Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine, Merseycare, Ministry of Justice, Merseyrail, Road to Logistics, Volair and many more. 

Andrew Wheatley, Control Systems and Software Engineerat Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine was keen to share his passion for engineering with the students: 

“Engineering is a fantastic career that I really enjoy, and I was more than happy to discuss what careers in engineering involve with the students of Hugh Baird. Engineers are responsible for creating new tech, helping improve everyone’s lives and tackling the big issues like renewable energy or national security. With a career in engineering you can directly contribute to building a brighter future, and I hope that this talk has helped you consider engineering as a career path.” 

The College enjoys a fantastic relationship with Merseycare, and so were pleased to welcome Nicky Fearon,Head of Nursing.   Nicky talked to the students about the diversity of a career in a healthcare setting, she commented: 

" I was privileged to be asked to present a session to students.  It was great to talk to themabout the opportunities, experiences and wide and varied career path mental health nursing has taken me over the last 25 years. I hope it helps the students to develop and awareness of what is available out there in the Health and Social Care sector and inspires the young people to follow their dreams and aspirations. 

Neal Barcoe, Deputy Director Family Justice and Policy Division from Ministry of Justice said: 

"I was delighted to be asked to present a seminar to students from across Hugh Baird College as part of their 'Meet the Professionals' event. Following college and university, there are lots of exciting opportunities within the civil service, and speaking to the students today, I’m confident that many of them could have a future working on solving some of societies trickiest challenges". 

Jennifer Swain, Head of Talent and Operations from Road to Logistics delivered her webinar focusing on the various job opportunities that exist in logistics. She said:  

"This was a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of the logistics industry and demonstrate the many roles and career progression available.  This is a great initiative from the college, working to bridge the gap between education and the working world.  I am confident that the students involved will go on to have successful careers where they can make impact from day one, due to the relevant guidance and preparation provided by Hugh Baird". 

Rebecca Shields a Criminology Foundation Degree Student at the Hugh Baird University Centre spoke of her experience after the event: 

"The Meet the Professionals event was brilliant!  The information and the confidence I got from the talks has been really beneficial, even from the talks that aren't necessarily related to my course.  It opened my eyes to the amount of opportunities and career paths there are available to me once I finish at the University Centre" 

Fellow student Emmarae Chambers who is studying a Degree in Digital Imaging and Photography echoed Rebecca's views: 

"The event was fab! One of my ultimate dream careers is to work in forensic photography but I just didn't know how to go down that path or if it was possible.So to hear from someone first hand who has gone down that route and talked through their experience from studying through to working was really inspiring". 

Colette Mawdsley, Dean of Higher Education and Access at the Hugh Baird University Centre, feels strongly about the benefits of giving the students this insight into what their careers could hold. She spoke after the event: 

"The ‘Meet the Professionals’ event was an amazing opportunity for our students from across the University Centre to network with industry experts.  They gained valuable insight into the opportunities available to them once they leave the University Centre and advice on what they can do to leave career ready.  I would like to thank all the employers who took part in the event and gave up the time to speak to the students". 

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