Graduate profiles

Want to know where your Nottingham Trent degree can take you? Be inspired by these career profiles.

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Online Graduate Profile Nigel Beart 20/10/2017  
Name: Nigel Beart

quote: [NTU provided a good academic foundation for making a career change.]

Course: National Diploma in Horticulture
Year: 2007
Job title: Senior Gardener
Employer: National Trust

Current role?
Leading a gardening team at a large stately mansion.

Typical day?
Organising, planning, collaborating, resolving, meeting, procuring, recording, administration, budgeting, cost control, mediation, gardening.

Career developments?
I was self employed while bringing-up a new family. Volunteering lead to my full-time employment with the National Trust followed by developement and progression in that role.

Getting-back into full-time employment after a major career change, plus five years outside employment. I worked on my CV and improved my approach to job applications. I also gained useful experience volunteering.

Your NTU experience?
NTU provided a good academic foundation for making a career change.

Advice for others?
Make time to read around the work that you do. Keep track of your training and needs.

How friendly and supportive an environment did you find Nottingham Trent?
The academic staff were friendly and supportive.

Career highlights?
Deciding to take charge of my career direction, fuelled through full-time, vocational study.

Where have you taken your advice and inspiration from?
More recently - Richard Branson on LinkedIn, as well as good articles in Horticulture Week periodical.

Plans for the future?
To look for short courses to complement my current work position, to bridge shortfalls, and to keep contacts open to gauge future direction.

Online Graduate Profile Anna C Hunt 17/10/2017  
Name: Anna Collette Hunt
pic: [/view.image?id=5823]

quote: [The facilities were a really attractive part of the course.]

Course: BA Hons Decorative Arts
Year: 2009
Job title: Artist
Employer: Self Employed

Current role?
I'm now a Nottingham-based artist running my own successful business. Alongside studio collections, I have an installation called Stirring the Swarm, which was unveiled at Nottingham Castle in 2012, and continues to be both nationally and internationally exhibited.

Career developments?
After graduation, the first thing I did was to join the HIVE, the Business School attached to NTU. I went on one of their intensive courses to polish my business plan a little and learn a bit more about running a business. Alongside that, I was working towards my solo show at Nottingham Castle that I managed to secure with my Degree Show collection. I had to hit the ground running, there was no time for dawdling after graduation!

It was a bit of a surprise that I became a business owner. I just liked to make things, that's the only path I set out on really, so it was a bit of a surprise when I had to sell my work and become a business person. The course helped me down that path because we got the coaching and tuition to support me in getting there, and I think I'm doing really well in it now!

Your NTU experience?
The course content was really well thought out and it just worked for how I function; working on different projects, different briefs, trying so many different materials, techniques, processes; it never got stagnant.
On top of that, we had the most fantastic studio environment - that was probably the best part for me, just to be in that lovely space together. We were sort of like a family, and by the end of the three years, we just bonded. These are people I'm still in touch with now, eight years later.
We also had a Venice study trip in our second year; it was a nice way to get to know the other people on the course. Going to London for New Designers in our final year was a wonderful experience. Putting the Degree Show together was just full on and very fun, and you just bonded so much with your peers.

How supportive an environment did you find Nottingham Trent?
The facilities were a really attractive part of the course. You try so many different materials and processes and they have really good facilities in each of those areas, and also great technicians who really knew their stuff.

Advice for others?
My top three tips for other Decorative Arts students are:
Make the most of all the facilities at NTU because you're going to miss them so much when they're gone! Try everything! Even if you don't fancy it, give it a go because you never know what's going to happen or what process you'll discover.
Enjoy mistakes - sometimes things do go wrong, sometimes your work fails, but you always learn something from it. Sometimes those happy accidents are really strong points that can really help you along the way. Even if you feel like you've made a mistake or things haven't worked out successfully, don't write it off, just use it and learn from it.
Be very organised - as soon as you graduate, be ready to trade. You could open your shop the next day. In that little window from graduation to new graduate, it's very competitive. The more opportunities you can put into place so you're ready to hit the ground running, the better!

Plans for the future?
I hope that my business will continue to evolve, that's the most exciting part for me - making new work, and not knowing exactly where you're going to be heading. It's lovely to have surprises in the future because that's how I operate; I'm not always sure what's going to be happening in the next year. People get in touch with the most amazing projects that I can get involved with, so I love the surprises and the evolution of ideas and work.
Online Graduate Profile Thomas J Bingham 10/10/2017  
Name: Thomas Bingham
pic: [/view.image?id=5815]

quote: [Get involved in as many things as you can, from sports teams to volunteering as a Course Rep, to undertaking a placement year.]

Course: BA Hons Business Management (in-company)
Year: 2017
Job title: Civil Service Fast Stream - One HMG International Policy Lead
Employer: Civil Service

Current role?
After graduating from NTU, I joined the Civil Service Fast Stream. This is a fast-track development scheme creating the Civil Service leaders of the future and providing individuals with the opportunity to work on some of the most important issues the country faces. The scheme is four years long and involves four six-month postings and two 12-month postings which are based across all Government Departments and locations around the UK. I moved from my home in Derbyshire to London, to start my first posting in HMRC, where I am the One HMG International Policy Lead. This involves representing HMRC and its' interests on a cross-Government platform that aims to align the policies and procedures of different Departments closer together in order to support our operations. I am also involved with creating and clarifying policy areas that impact upon our officers and their families based overseas.

Your NTU experience?
From Day One of fresher's week to graduation, I found my tutors, NTU staff, and fellow students really welcoming and supportive. My tutors particularly were always very supportive if I ever wanted some extra support or something clarifying outside of sessions. Make sure you use them - I found that coffee helped as a bribe!

My course, BABM was very practical-based. From day one we were working on our CVs and tailoring to placement opportunities. Second year involved working full time on placement with Boots UK, while continuing full-time study. This was definitely a challenge (and a half), but a really great opportunity to link elements of theory and practice together. I can't recommend the value in undertaking a placement year enough - it provides you with brilliant practical experience and even a graduate job by the end! During my final year, as part of my course, I undertook consultancy work for the National Ice Centre, this provided a great insight into client relationships and problem solving management. Students can do similar things through the University's Thinkubator Challenge!

Advice for others?
My main piece of advice would be to get involved in as many things as you can, from sports teams to volunteering as a Course Rep, to undertaking a placement year. Your time at NTU is the best opportunity to try new things out, meet new people and make lasting friendships. Don't underestimate the value that these experiences have on you and your development, but also your employment prospects. Potential employers want individuals not carbon copy graduates, so get involved in lots of different things to broaden your experiences. This will give you lots to draw upon in applications and interviews and help to shape your personal brand.

Any tips for job seeking?
Do everything you can to make yourself more employable. So make sure you do your research on the organisation you are applying for - not just by reading up on their website like everyone else, but by using tools like LinkedIn to find NTU alumni that work at the organisation to get advice from them too. Make sure you make the most out of the Employability Team at NTU. They have a wide range of services available to students throughout their university journey and a wealth of knowledge and experience to share.
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