Meet the trainers

 

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Janice Montgomery, Senior Careers Adviser, University of Aberdeen

In my regular job I am a careers adviser with a caseload dominated by Law and Biological Sciences, I manage the training of staff in the Careers Service at Aberdeen and have a particular interest in assisting widening participation students. I came into HE careers advising after fifteen years in Community Education – training adults and building the confidence of participants (and following a second degree as a mature student).

I am really committed to enhancing the learning of colleagues, both locally and across the UK, and started training with AGCAS following the completion of a Training the Trainers course as part of my CEIGHE Diploma course. Since then I have taught on the Group Work, Challenges of Careers Work in HE and Designing and Delivering Peer Training courses.

It’s great! I have really enjoyed the huge amount I have learned from participants, meeting colleagues from across the UK, developing my own professional experience (and my confidence as a careers adviser) and having the opportunity to contribute to AGCAS.

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Kate Woods, Career Consultant, King’s Business School, King’s College London

After a degree in Economics and Accountancy, I entered the workforce via local radio and progressed to be a freelance television documentary producer and director, making national and international documentary series. Moving on to Executive Producer roles, I subsequently worked in-house at the BBC and Channel 4 in a commissioning capacity.

After taking time at home raising my family, I embarked on a degree – MA Career Development and Coaching Studies at The University of Warwick – and joined The Careers Group of The University of London in 2013. I joined UCL School of Management before moving to the new King’s Business School in 2016.

My postgraduate studies reignited my love of learning, and specifically the Warwick focus on integrating theory and practise. I really like teaching and facilitating learning with students of course, but also particularly with peers on the AGCAS courses. As professionals in this careers space, it is important that we are able to demonstrate that we are well qualified – I consider the AGCAS and CEIGHE qualifications a key part of our professional standing.

As a trainer and facilitator I adore the aha! moments in the classroom or online space. Also, through teaching you learn so much yourself: as a lifelong learner it’s really important to me to keep learning and developing.

Kate is currently a trainer on the Employability and Career Development Learning course.

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Laura Brammar, Senior Careers Consultant at The Careers Group, University of London

I’ve been in my role at TCG since 2004 and have worked at a diverse range of institutions including UCL, KCL and QMUL.

I was an instructor on the AGCAS Awards for Excellence-winning Enhance Your Career and Employability Skills MOOC and have had my work published in the NICEC and AJCD journals. I have extensive experience of providing individual guidance and coaching sessions and professional development training to external partners.

Before working in careers, I was an English Literature lecturer. Still miss Chaucer, to be honest! I absolutely LOVE training for AGCAS, whether it’s the Technology Enhanced Career and Employability Learning, Career Coaching (IAG) or other courses. Designing and then delivering these sessions, whether online or face-to-face, is a real privilege and gives you a fantastic insight into the developments of our profession and the diverse range of skills and expertise within our sector. You learn so much from the participants and your fellow trainers and I can’t recommend it enough!

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Dr. Laura Oxley, Careers Consultant, King's College London

I am a Careers Consultant at King’s College London, part of The Careers Group. I work closely with the Faculty of Natural and Mathematical Sciences and have also collaborated on projects relating to embedded employability, inclusive education, international students and students seeking self-employment. I have worked in a number of sectors including the civil service, secondary schooling and higher education. I have a PhD in Education and my thesis focused on global citizenship education, critical pedagogy and the Model United Nations programme.

I’m really excited about being an AGCAS trainer on the Employability and Career Development Learning course as it’s a fantastic way to have deeper discussions about education than we might usually have time for in our work. As a trainer I love to listen to participants, encourage thinking outside the lines and co-create new understandings of the topics we are investigating.

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Lorna Dargan, Director of Careers, University of St Andrews

I have worked in HE careers since 2007, first as a Careers Adviser for ten years and now in my new role.

I’m passionate about our Guidance Skills (Advanced) course because guidance is such a challenging and important part of our work and one of the distinguishing facets of our profession. GSA reminds me that our work is complex and highly skilled and, although Careers Services offer a huge array of valuable services, one-to-one guidance is a vital – and sometimes life-changing – experience for our clients.

Training for AGCAS means that I not only have the chance to geek-out about our work with my fellow professionals, but I also get to learn and upskill from them too. I’ve made lifelong friends and colleagues as an AGCAS trainer, and would absolutely recommend the experience to anyone.

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Matthew Howard, Undergraduate Careers Manager, Lancaster University Management School (LUMS)

I manage the services’ careers education, information, advice and guidance provision at undergraduate level at LUMS. Additionally, as the School's lead for relations with graduate employers and recruiters, I coordinate an annual schedule of employability events and activities.

I am also a member of the AGCAS Employer Engagement Task Group, committed to enhancing professional practice in the area of employer engagement.

I grew up in East Lancashire and am a graduate of Lancaster University, with an MA Politics. Prior to my current role, I trained as an early talent recruiter and enjoyed the challenge of coordinating an on-campus recruitment service (and full HR and payroll) for students to access part-time, internship and graduate roles in the North West.

Encouraging peer-to-peer learning and facilitating networking across the sector are two great passions of mine. I feel incredibly energised by the opportunity training presents to enthuse members, share good practice and support members’ development of their skills and confidence. Being an AGCAS Trainer is also a great way to keep learning and developing my own skills, alongside being a perfect way to collaborate with the most amazing colleagues from across the sector!

Matthew will be joining the Challenges of Careers Work in HE training team.

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Steve Bone, Freelance Careers Coach and Trainer

My experience working as a trainer has provided wonderful insights, not least in the way participants have worked on theoretical models and practical skills to produce new approaches to their client work.

I feel privileged to have delivered careers guidance since the 1980s, using a flexible reflective approach whilst working in the higher, further, and secondary education sectors. Working for the University of Leeds and the University of Law, I designed and delivered regional and national AGCAS training courses.

Continuing to enjoy successful and friendly Trainer team working, I have also developed an individual approach to developing materials and ideas (including online training during the Covid19 pandemic). On-going one to one career guidance and coaching delivery has informed my approach, now as a freelance Trainer.

My intention is to support practitioners with the challenge of providing sound advice and guidance. Participating with supportive colleagues in learning that is fun is invaluable, and this has been my experience of AGCAS training.

Steve is a trainer on the Introduction to Advice and Career Coaching (IAG) courses.

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Tom Davie, Freelance AGCAS Trainer and Careers Consultant (part-time), Newcastle University 

I have over thirty eight years of experience in the CEIAG profession. Twenty six years of these have been spent in HE, as a Careers Adviser at the University of Sunderland, latterly as Head of Sunderland Futures and the Careers and Employability Service and previously as Deputy Head of the Careers Employability and Enterprise Centre at Durham University. I have also worked in local authority careers roles as a careers practitioner and manager.

I have delivered training and presented at careers conferences in the UK, Ireland, Cyprus, South Africa and Pakistan; been Lead Adviser and authored on line interactive careers material for Epigeum/Oxford University Press; and also been Director of Professional Development on the AGCAS Board for six years.

For over twenty one years I have been an AGCAS/Warwick University Trainer (CEIGHE qualification) and currently deliver a variety of courses relating to Advice and Guidance, Career Coaching and Career Development Learning.

I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and understanding of ‘careers’ with participants on courses, enjoy giving an insight into the application of theory to professional practice, facilitating discussions, and seeing the development and confidence grow in individuals on whatever length of courses I deliver on.

I have had a fantastic career and my legacy as a trainer is to see others progress in their professional development and achieve their full potential for the benefit of themselves, their institutions and the students and graduates they support.    

Tom is a trainer on the Introduction to Guidance Interviewing, Guidance Refresher and Career Coaching (IAG) courses.

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Alexandra Hemingway, Careers Adviser, University of Portsmouth

Based on the south coast in the University with the most sunshine hours in the UK (the best league table to top!) in Portsmouth, I've been a careers professional for over 20 years and worked in five HEIs as well as schools and colleges. I'm currently a trainer on Work-Related Learning in Higher Education. Given that even in my own institution approaches are hugely varied, let alone compared with the other places I've worked, it's no surprise that our focus is on helping participants find what works and what's important for their own context. Still, though, the sharing of different experiences and perspectives between participants as well as from the trainers is what makes the course so special. It's also the reason we love it, as we all always learn something new!

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Andy Port, Lead Career Practitioner, University of Southampton

Hello, my name is Andy Port and I am currently Lead Career Practitioner at the University of Southampton, where I have been working in the Careers and Employability Service since 2011. Prior to this I worked within the University of Reading Careers Service for two years, following a career change from working in the NHS.

I am currently one of the trainers on the Group Work course and really enjoy delivering training on this topic, as it is so integral to the daily work that we all do as higher education careers professionals.  I love interacting with course participants, discussing and sharing ideas as well as learning myself from the experiences and insights of the course’s participants! Even though I am a trainer on this course, I firmly believe that we are all always learning and having this opportunity to work with and alongside fellow AGCAS colleagues is a real pleasure.

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Lynne Johnson, Learning and Professional Development Manager, The Open University

I have worked in the world of adult careers guidance since 2000, working within Adult Community Learning, Thames Valley Probation, TES and the Training and Development Agency for Schools (now the Teaching Agency).

I currently work at The Open University in the Careers and Employability Services and have been with them since 2013. I started work for the OU as a Careers Consultant linked to the Faculty of Business and Law.  All the work we do with students at the OU is at a distance and my passion soon became understanding what best practice looks like in this digital space. 

In 2017 I took on a new role in the service as Learning and Professional Development Manager.  I am responsible for the development of staff within our service which in the main is around transferring skills into the digital space and confidence in using new technology.  We are a very innovative service and there is always something new we are trialling and then exploring in terms of our understanding of what quality looks like.

During my time with the OU I have chance to author a Badged Open Course (BOC) Working in Diverse Teams which is hosted on the Open Learn site. I am also part of a small research team funded by HECSU exploring the impact of e-guidance as compared to telephone guidance from a student perspective.

I train on the Technology Enhanced Career and Employability Learning course.

   

Peter Shelston, Career Consultant, University of Chester

I am a Career Consultant at the University of Chester and I work with humanities, education and law students. For too many years, I worked in Further Education where I delivered access courses to adult returners and developed an interest in educational transition. It was pursuing this interest that led, in a roundabout way, to my becoming a career practitioner. I completed the CEIGHE PG Diploma in 2018 and so I guess I can no longer claim that this is a new career for me but I still feel the excitement of building a ‘second career’ in later life. The story I tell about myself and to myself is that I am interested in learning and so I was delighted to be asked to be a trainer on the Employability and Career Development Learning Course. I find the course enriching, if not a little scary, because my learning is enhanced by supporting the learning of others and from the interactions that take place. I am particularly interested in closing the gap between theory and practice and this still very much a work in progress for me.