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College students gain career shaping tips from BBC presenter and broadcaster


Hugh Baird College students recently enjoyed hearing about the career journey of BBC presenter, documentary maker and broadcaster Alex Riley.

With over 20 years of experience in presenting and production, Alex has made more than 150 films for BBC1’s One Show, has delivered a series of acclaimed one hour documentaries for BBC3 and is also credited with the creation of a number of highly successful programmes for CBBC. In addition, his impressive career also covers radio where for eight years he wrote and presented The Comedy Club on BBC Radio.

Alex’s talk formed part of the College’s series of Spotlight on Employment events which are organised and co-ordinated by the College’s University Centre. The schedule of events links students with a variety of leading figures and leaders from across a range of sectors. Speakers work with students to get them work ready and aware of the traits and attitudes employers look for when recruiting. Many speakers also draw on the trials and tribulations of their personal career paths to demonstrate that the road to success is rarely a smooth and that learners need to show resilience and learn and grow from their failures.

Speaking following the Spotlight on Employment event Alex Riley said:

I was delighted to be asked to be part of Hugh Baird College’s ‘Spotlight on Employment’ programme of events. I tried to give the students an insight into what a career in television is really like…..without putting too many of them off!

In sharing some of the more amusing stories and ups and downs of the last twenty years, I tried to convey to the learners just how important persistence, determination and a sense of humour will be to them as they go on to forge their own careers.

Colette Mawdsley, Dean of Higher Education at the Hugh Baird University Centre, said:

Students often aren’t aware of their own skills and experience or how to take that huge first step from full time education to career. They need more meaningful careers advice. This is where we feel our Spotlight on Employment events along with our well established Careers Advice and Guidance service can really help, not only our undergraduates, but also our college students to become career ready.

Over the course of this series of events, students from all areas of the college will rub shoulders with some major figures from industry and the Liverpool City Region’s business community and they will receive actionable advice from people who make hiring decisions on a daily basis.

I would personally like to thank Alex for giving up his time free of charge to help prepare and develop our undergraduates here at Hugh Baird University Centre.

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