Challenging University Podcast
Beth Britton - Award-winning Content Creator; Consultant, Campaigner & Speaker
How do you create an entirely unique career based on your life's experiences? And how do you end up advising government bodies, global leaders and policy-makers when you haven't got a degree?
Beth Britton is an award-winning content creator, consultant, trainer, campaigner and speaker who specialises in the field of elderly care with a specific focus on dementia.
In this episode, Beth speaks movingly about:
* Bullying and being home-schooled
* Her father's dementia and the path to diagnosis
* Combining work and study with helping to care for her dad
* Campaigning for better understanding and outcomes
* Being filmed for the G8 Summit and becoming a renowned expert
Alongside her own incredible story, Beth provides a mini masterclass in how to be successful as a freelancer!
To learn more about Beth's work - and to see her G8 film - head to the following links:
G8 Film: https://youtu.be/8QAKEgQMOcU
D4Dementia blog: http://d4dementia.com
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Sol N'Jie - President; Wasps Rugby Club, Rock Photographer and Charity Director01:06:25How does it feel to be the first black rugby player in the UK? And the first black ski instructor for artificial slopes in the UK? And the first person to co-ordinate a major public event finishing in The Mall? How about having 600 of your rock photographs licensed to Getty Images? And how do you do all these things when you began life as a Ward of Court? Solomon (Sol) N'Jie has had an incredible career spanning multiple industries which includes a number of firsts. In this episode Sol generously shares his memories and insights in the following areas: His early life in a children's home Challenging negative narratives and beliefs held by people in powerJoining the RAFEntering the world of Wasps rugbyTeaching Paratroopers to skiHow he came to photograph some of the biggest names in rockHis experiences in Crowd Safety Management and involvement in The London Marathon, the Olympic Games and Live Aid!The power of asking for what you wantTo connect with Sol, you can find him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/solomon-n... You can also view his iconic rock photos here: https://iconicrockphotos.net/ To hear Sol talk in detail about his Live Aid experience, head to: • Spandex, Synths and Stadium Rock: The... And finally!.... To learn about the Wasps Legends Charitable Foundation, visit: https://waspslegends.co.uk/
Nana Agyemang - Proposition Delivery Manager, Barclays47:35How does it feel to grow up in a family and a culture where university is an expectation, not a choice?To answer this question, I’m joined by Nana Agyemang, Proposition Delivery Manager at Barclays. Born in Ghana, Nana moved to the UK to begin his secondary education and always knew that he was expected to go to university – whether he wanted to or not! In this episode we explore Nana’s experiences of: The differences between the Ghanaian and UK education systemEducational expectations – and the reasons behind themDiscovering the value of apprenticeshipsFinding out his degree would unexpectedly save him thousands of pounds when applying for naturalisationWhat his parents said when he told them some of his friends weren’t going to uni! To connect with Nana and learn more about his work in promoting social inclusion, follow him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nana-agyemang-91950223a/
Kirstin Coughtrie - Founder and Innovation Architect, Gaia Learning58:25How do you cope with school when you're neurodivergent?And what do you do when your child is neurodivergent but you can no longer afford to send them to a school that gives them the support that they need?Kirstin Coughtrie is the Founder and Innovation Architect of Gaia Learning - an award-winning online school for neurodivergent thinkers. Gaia was born out of Kirstin's own experiences of the education system as a pupil, teacher and parent of a child with additional needs. In our conversation, we discuss how Kirstin:* Moved to a whole new system of schooling in the UK aged 11* Taught herself to learn in a way that allowed her to make friends and please teachers (something she now understands were signs of her own ADHD)* Discovered why many parents of children with ADHD and autism choose private schooling* Found herself in the position of creating an online school that was one of the first to be registered as a Cambridge International School and is recognised as Alternative Provision* Believes we can re-imagine schooling inline with Gaia principles To find out more, visit: https://www.gaialearning.co.uk/You can also connect with Kirstin via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kirstin/
Julie Simpson - Founder & CEO, ResourceiT50:13When you have to start work at 16 years old to contribute to the household budget, how do you avoid becoming trapped in low-income employment?And how do you meaningfully re-enter the workplace as a young single mum? In this episode of the Challenging University Podcast, IT channel legend Julie Simpson shares:* The impact of her dad's death on her education and family circumstances* How she carved out a rewarding career of her own choosing* Why she and her husband sold their house to fund the creation of the business at a time when they had four children under the age of 12 between them* The difference between being academic and being smart - and how she tests for this in interviews* Tips for business founders on how to hand over the reinsJulie's story is one of resilience, confidence and being alert to opportunities.To find out more about her organisation, visit www.resourceit.net
Tayo Adesina - Founder & CEO, Trash Gxng30:32When you've got a flourishing career with a leading consulting firm, why would you leave to start a Community Interest Company?Tayo Adesina is the Founder and CEO of Trash Gxng, an organisation that addresses the issues of social isolation via creative programmes that build community and give a voice to youth who may otherwise be excluded from social and workplace opportunities.In our conversation, Tayo talks about:* How the loss of his friend David to suicide brought his purpose into sharp focus* Why young people are not currently served by existing structures* The power of combining soft skills training with tangible outcomes* How you can get involvedThis is a truly inspiring episode. To find out more about Tayo's work (and how to get your hands on some incredible merch designed by the young people who participate in the programme) head to: www.trashgxng.co.ukTo connect with Tayo on LinkedIn, follow this link: https://www.linkedin.com/in/olutayoadesina/
Sam Darling - Cyber Security Specialist51:41If you leave university two years into your degree, does it mean it's all been a waste? Not for Sam Darling!After a frank conversation with his tutor revealed he had earned enough credits to secure a HND, Sam left university and continued a career story that had started at the age of 16.Having already gained vast amounts of work experience (and co-authored a popular book), Sam knew that industry was moving faster than the speed of his degree course - and that opportunities to grow were there for the taking.In our wide-ranging conversation we discuss:* Growing up in an RAF family and feeling out of place at boarding school* The value of an early dyslexia diagnosis and support* Why professional qualifications should be a priority* Switching seamlessly between the worlds of cycling and cyber security* Why top Government and security organisations are actively seeking neuro-diverse people (and how to spot their ads)This episode is a fantastic example of how leaving a degree course needn't mean time wasted, and the vast opportunity that exists in a rapidly growing sector.
Jo Hughes - Founder, Joanna Hughes Solicitor Apprenticeships43:09How does it feel when you've won a place at uni, but you are intimidated by the social and cultural capital that surrounds you for the first time? And what does it take to help co-ordinate a new collaboration around solicitor apprenticeships in the City of London led by the Chair of the CLLS Training Committee? Jo Hughes is the founder of Joanna Hughes Solicitor Apprenticeships, an organisation that helps law firms and in-house legal counsel to set up solicitor apprenticeship programmes that attract and retain aspiring young legal professionals from outside of the traditional university graduate route. In our conversation we discuss:* How it feels when your background does not match that of most of your university peers* Why solicitor apprenticeships are vital in expanding access to top legal careers * How solicitor apprenticeships benefit individuals and law firms alike* What results are already being seen To find out more about Jo's organisation, head to: https://joannahughes.co.uk/.To keep up-to-date with the '#CityCentury' law firm collaboration around solicitor apprenticeships at: CLLS Training Committee: Overview | LinkedIn For aspiring solicitor apprentices, the young legal professionals that Jo recommends following can be found on Instagram at:Maia - My Legal Career: https://www.instagram.com/mylegalcareer/?hl=enHolly - That Law Blog: https://www.instagram.com/thatlawblog/?hl=en
Charlotte Gray - Veterinary Nurse Apprentice20:32If you've got university offers on the table for a degree in the career of your childhood dreams and you decide that uni is no longer for you - does it mean the dream is over? Not for Charlotte Gray!Work experience in a veterinary practice post A-levels proved to her that she wanted to immerse herself in the day-to-day life of caring for animals rather than spending three years at university. In this episode, Charlotte illustrates a route into veterinary nursing that isn't often talked about at school, demonstrates the value of getting that first foot in the door and proves the power of an apprenticeship.