...with Andrew Cooper
How long has it been since you left Archbishop Beck?
I left Archbishop Beck’s Sixth Form in 2007 after being at the college for seven years.
What is the thing you remember about being a student at the College?
I will never forget the support for creative ideas that the College gave. I went to the Head Teacher in my final year with an idea to run a year celebrating the performing arts. He gave me a small budget and the responsibility to arrange a whole programme of events throughout the academic year which cumulated in an awards evening. Not only did I work alongside staff on this project but it also looked fantastic on my UCAS application as it showed the development and use of my “soft skills”.
You mentioned that you were part of performing arts at Archbishop Beck can you expand on this?
The music department was only small when I started in 2000 and was split between two sites. Over the years the department started to develop by staging musical productions and turning the concert band into an award winning band. The key to developing the band and other performances was by developing the individuals within the department and this was done by catering for each person’s needs. When I left the college there were more people playing instruments, achieving personal achievements with music exams and winning awards at festivals both as individuals and as a larger team. I also very much enjoyed taking part in numerous drama and musicals shows. I partially remember my role as Fagin in the production of Oliver, “yes in this life . One thing counts “
What would you say to parents considering a school for their child?
I visit a lot of schools and colleges with my job from Liverpool to London and all points in between, the best things to consider is what type of support do the students receive. Exams are very important but employers and universities are also looking for well rounded people. You need to ask the question, what can the school do to support my child achieve their dreams and goals. When I was at school the college helped me to achieve good examination results as well as developing a whole range of skills I now use in my job.
What have you been doing since leaving Archbishop Beck?
I went to Liverpool Hope University and obtained a 2:1 BA in Drama & Theatre Studies and English Literature and also met my wife. I started working for the university, helping to run its new theatre. I have since worked within the Admissions Team and Student Services. During this time I also graduated with my MA in Popular Literature. I now work as a Student Recruitment Officer for the university and travel up and down the country promoting the benefits of university.
Since leaving the school I have been fortunate to direct a professional play in one of Liverpool’s theatres, give academic papers at conferences, with one being published and have the privilege of working with young adults by helping them on their future career paths.
What advice would you give to a young person who wants to do the same kind of work you do?
It is fantastic to do a job that you enjoy. I get to speak to so many people of different ages, so communication skills are key. I also have to do a lot of presentations, so you need to have confidence in your skills in order to deliver each session. I was fortunate that both at college and at university I was treated as an individual and at every stage my skills were being developed. I owe a lot to the college and the staff, who were always thinking of how to bring out the best in me so that I had the best possible chances to succeed in life. Yes, the college motto, Only the Best, was for me simply the best!