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News article

12th November 2019

IT students gathered into the Theatre to be joined by experts of the digital world last week and were instantly captivated by the opportunities that were on offer.

Guest Speakers

Guest Speakers

Students welcomed Anna Helberg-Hasen from Lloyds Banking Group, Neil Collard from Great State, Shannon Ford and Sarah from Microsoft, Mark Ireland, Paul Delooze and Mark Purkis from Babcock and Chef Neufville, owner of Rice & Things to the inspirational conference. Organised by IT staff members Jonathon Aird and Leona Roberts, this was a great opportunity for the students to engage and ask any questions in preparation for their next steps after college.


Anna Helberg-Hansen was the first of our speakers to present all the opportunities Lloyds Banking Group has to offer, which were an array of Apprenticeship Schemes at A Level, Degree and Masters Level within, Financial, Digital and Technology and Professional Services.


Following Anna, Neil Collard, Managing Director of Great State, presented with enthusiasm about working in the world of Digital Technology. Great State is a new breed of agency, which was created to help brands keep pace with today’s connected consumer. Neil explained that Great State inspires businesses to take the next level through digital media. Great State works with big companies like, Bristol Airport, ASOS, Aston Villa and the Royal Navy but also get involved in many charity opportunities. Neil’s goal for Great State is to expand its employee’s by 20% each year, so encouraged the students to think about working in the exciting and creative world of digital technology and told them it will be ‘the best job you will ever have’.


Shannon Ford and Sarah Bergg, both working at Microsoft explained the mass of opportunities that are on offer at Level 4 and Degree level through Apprenticeships and Intern positions. Shannon, a consultant at Microsoft and a recent University graduate in Computer Science encouraged students to take this opportunity and push themselves out of their comfort zones, and assuring them that great results will follow.


Babcock ambassadors, Mark Purkis - Data analytics & Governance Manager, Dr Paul Delooze, Head of Digital Connectivity and Mark Ireland, Technical Support Engineer demonstrated through creative videos and imagery what the Bristol and Bath based company do. Babcock is a leading provider of critical, complex engineering services, which support national defence, save lives and protect communities. The trio described in-depth that Babcock regularly recruits apprentices and graduates across all of its divisions within the UK; a great home for students passionate about all things Engineering, Maths, Coding and IT related.

Chef Neufville, Owner and Founder of Rice & Things in Bristol passionately described his journey from being born in Jamaica and moved to England with just $8 and now owns a successful business in Bristol with a turnaround of £700,000 a year! Students instantly became inspired by his journey and determination of starting his own business and Chef Neufville emphasised that failure was not an option and if you put in the time and work, you will succeed. Chef Neufville believes in authenticity and strives for excellence in everything he does. Students came away from this talk, feeling encouraged and inspired that they can achieve anything if they put their heart and soul into it.

Thank you to all of the inspirational visitors who took time to motivate and inform students of the many exciting career and apprenticeship opportunities ahead of them.