From education to employment

SERC Entry to Management programme secures graduate Rachael’s future

Rachael Kennedy, (left) from Comber, who has secured full time employment with Tricord following successful completion of SERC’s Entry to Management Programme with Beverley Harrison, Director of Further Education, Department for the Economy, Jenny McConnell, Deputy Head of School of Hospitality, Management, Tourism & Languages, SERC and John Rogers, Director of Tricord.

Rachael Kennedy (23) from Comber, who has recently completed South Eastern Regional College’s (SERC) Entry to Management Graduate Development Programme wants other graduates to know how the programme helped her on the path to securing a job in a leadership and management role.

Rachael followed her Ulster University Foundation Degree in Leadership and Management at SERC with the Entry to Management programme after seeking guidance and encouragement from her lecturers.

Speaking about her experience on the course, she said, “The Entry to Management programme was the obvious next step for me to take in order to secure a management and leadership role.”

Rachael continued, “Through this course I was employed by Tricord, a thriving direct mail and multi-channel fulfilment company, based in Lisburn.  I was working in the business development department.   I would never have known such a focussed industry existed had it not been for the Entry to Management programme which places value on matching participants with the right employer.

“Through the Entry to Management programme, I have learnt valuable transferable skills such as multi-tasking, prioritising, planning and time management.   On a personal note, I am more confident, and I have made friends for life.”

Claire Hatton, Training & Innovation Consultant at SERC said, “We are delighted with the success of young leaders, like Rachael, who have been working with top employers throughout Northern Ireland over the past year including Tricord Smart Fulfilment, FinTru, Devenish and Henderson Foodservice.

“The success of the programme boils down to the fact that it supports both employers and graduates who come from a diverse range of disciplines.   It is designed to develop the graduates professional and employability skills and we spend time matching the right graduate with the right employer to ensure success.   This is evident in the fact that 97% of participants gain full-time permanent employment following the programme.

She added, “Graduates complete the programme gaining real life graduate-level work experience, undertake business improvement projects and add a professional Chartered Management qualification to their CV all in 26 weeks.

“SERC work in partnership with 52 local employers and the Entry to Management programme has generated almost £2m in salaries for the NI economy.  In addition, business improvement projects undertaken by the graduates have amassed savings of £1.5m for local businesses.”

Rachael concluded, “My advice to any graduate who wants to get into the world of business is to enrol on the Entry to Management programme. The lecturers at SERC are friendly and knowledgeable and will help you find a placement that fits your aspirations. It is a fantastic route into a company which hopefully will lead to full time employment.” 

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