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The Corporation

Posted: 24/11/16

Industry experts inspire ‘talents of the future’

Industry experts, entrepreneurs and academics shared their tips for career success with university-level students at West Nottinghamshire College.

  • Businessman Nick Linney with university-level students.
  • Mr Linney explained what employers – and his company in particular – are looking for in new recruits.
  • Louise Knott addresses students in the university centre's lecture theatre.
  • Errol Lawson talked about the importance of 'leading with a smile'.
  • John Morley from i-Sourcer outlined the power of social media.
  • Personal branding was explained by Ana Smith.
  • Gobinder Gill talked about emotional intelligence and research.
  • Anne Clifford gave tips on performing well in job interviews.

More than 100 higher education (HE) students gained insights into topics ranging from personal qualities that employers are looking for, how to perform well in job interviews, to ‘personal branding’ and running your own business.

It came courtesy of the college’s annual HE student conference, held earlier this month (Wednesday 16 November) at its new £6.5 million Vision University Centre which recently opened at its Derby Road campus.

Motivational speaker Errol Lawson, from training and development consultancy the Art of Brilliance, got things under way with his uplifting presentation ‘Leading with a Smile’.

Students then chose from a selection of workshops fronted by internal and external speakers.

Businessman Nick Linney, chairman of Mansfield-based Linney Group, explained the family business’s simple yet effective approach to recruitment: finding out what potential employees are most interested in and are best at doing, and giving them the platform to succeed.

“Most people are pretty good ‘material’,” said Mr Linney. “Everyone is fantastic at doing something. It’s just a case of finding out what that is, letting them do what they love, and then they will have a great life.”

John Morley, managing director of i-Sourcer, explained how using social media can improve business performance, while health and social care practitioner Helen Brady Scott discussed the importance of partnerships and team-working.

The challenges and rewards of self-employment were described by freelance photographer Tracey Whitefoot, while Elaine Annable, of the Legal Aid Agency, offered advice about career progression, and Gobinder Gill, lecturer in sport psychology and research methods at Birmingham Metropolitan College, discussed how emotional intelligence and research can aid professional development.

College speakers included Ana Smith, HE curriculum and communications officer, Anne Clifford, scholarship development manager, and Louise Knott, director of communications, marketing and learner engagement.

Praising the event, Mr Linney said: “It’s another example of the college being dynamic, thinking ‘what else can we do?’, and giving students the opportunity to experience something about the workplace.

“It’s important that people from business give up their time to do these sorts of things, because school and college students are the great talents of the future.”

Ailie Etches, 31, from Mansfield, who is studying the foundation degree in children’s and young people’s services, said: “It was a brilliant event which gave us an opportunity to focus on our career choices. The fact there were speakers from so many different backgrounds meant you could relate to somebody and make a positive decision.”

BA (Hons) in criminal justice and human rights student Shane Draper, 23, from Rainworth, said: “All the speakers were relevant in different ways and have made me think completely differently about the whole world of business.

“It’s helped me understand how employers are thinking and what they are looking for in their employees, rather than what I think they’re looking for. It was incredibly inspiring.”