Big Careers Event at Hartpury connects students to business leaders

Photo shows Hartpury Graduate Harrison Lowe

Students gained specialist careers advice from successful Hartpury graduates and major businesses at a showpiece event at Hartpury.

The 2020 Big Careers Event, which included Google-run workshops, provided current A-level, diploma and degree students at Hartpury University and Hartpury College with access to alumni, entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Industry representatives from Hartpury’s core subject areas – animal, agriculture, equine, sport and veterinary nursing – discussed routes into those sectors and career options.

Among the Hartpury alumni who attended the event to speak to students was BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching graduate Harrison Lowe, owner and founder of the business Coach Connect Ltd.

“Coach Connect is a recruitment site and social site for sports coaches, where businesses and sports coaches are able to link up, communicate and share things with each other,” said Harrison.

“There are a lot of businesses out there who are looking for coaches and it’s about pairing up the two.

“It’s something that I’m passionate about and it’s good to work for yourself – you get your own freedom and flexibility.

“With the help of Hartpury and its Innovation, Careers and Enterprise (ICE) team, I was able to set it up just before I left and I have been working on it ever since I graduated.

“Even though I’m not studying at Hartpury anymore, they’re still really interested in what I’m doing and continuing to help me out.

“I didn’t really know what I was going to do after leaving Hartpury, so I’m really pleased with the outcome and the massive way that Hartpury have helped me to do it.”

As well as networking with business owners, students could attend a series of workshops and presentations hosted by industry professionals.

Google’s presentations included advice to students about building a strong CV and how to recognise and celebrate their achievements in the workplace.

Christine Braithwaite, digital coach for Google Digital Garage – a Google initiative – said: “Digital Garage is a free initiative delivering digital skills training.

“We identified a lot of businesses in the UK don’t have the digital skills to compete and then we find young people who have digital skills but don’t necessarily the business side of things.

“You marry up those two populations and you create employability.”

Sessions delivered by a number of other experts included advice on managing money, how to impress in assessments, the benefits of taking a gap year, and how working aboard can enhance employability.

Simon Spooner, Enterprise and Careers Manager at Hartpury, added: “The Big Careers Event provides our students with a safe environment in which to engage face to face with some fantastic employers and business leaders and make key contacts.

“Alongside other work we do, it’s a great opportunity for our students to explore the graduate job market and discover opportunities they might not have even considered yet, like starting up their own business or working aboard.

“We invited organisations that were representative across Hartpury’s core subject areas – sport, agriculture, equine, animal and veterinary nursing – as well as employers from other industries to provide students with a broad range of options.

“It’s the sixth year that we’ve hosted the Big Careers Event and, thanks to the great support we’ve received from business and our core industries, the feedback from everyone who attended has been very extremely positive.”