Your Future 2024

We invite pupils in Years 11 to 13 to come along to our careers convention to be held at school on Thursday 22nd February. This is a fantastic opportunity to hear about different careers options and pathways from those already working in a those fields.  As well as speaking to professionals from a wide range of industries, there will also be presentations and motivational talks throughout the afternoon.

Book your place

*Every person attending, including parents, or others who accompany you will need to register. You will be able to do this as part of one booking.


We are very grateful to all our contributors, without whom we would not be able to host this event. You can find out more about them below. Please note we are adding to this list all the time, so do check back regularly.

Reace Wade
Early Careers and Entry Careers Manager, BT Group – Digital

Reace is responsible for Entry Talent Programmes at BT Group in the new Digital business unit. He has over 15 years’ experience in a number of roles at BT focused on the design and implementation of entry talent programmes and apprenticeships to meet the current and future Digital skill needs of industries.

Reace is co-chair of the TechSkills Apprenticeship Programme Board and has worked with industry leaders on the development of Degree apprenticeships. He leads both on programmes internally and provided externally to enable individuals to realise and reach their potential, bridging the gap between formal education and entry into employment and developing a more inclusive and diverse Digital workforce.

Georgina Findlay
Journalist & Writer, TLDR News

Georgina is a journalist at TLDR News, a YouTube channel that produces video explainers on politics and current affairs. After studying Modern Languages, she undertook a postgraduate course in multimedia journalism before starting work as a reporter at The Sun and TalkTV. She completed an internship at The Financial Times last summer and moved to her current job as a writer for TLDR News in the Autumn. Her job involves pitching and writing scripts for each of the channels (Global, EU, UK, Business) about politics, the economy and geopolitical conflicts. She also presents the videos to camera and helps to write the ‘Daily Briefing’ news bulletin.

Aneesha Harris
Senior Advisor – Student Recruitment Operations UK&I, EY

Aneesha is a Senior Advisor for Student Recruitment at EY for the UK&I. EY is an international professional services firm with the purpose of building a better working world. Through our four integrated service lines — Assurance, Consulting, Strategy and Transactions, and Tax — and our deep sector knowledge, we help our clients to capitalize on new opportunities and assess and manage risk to deliver responsible growth.

As a Senior Advisor for Student Recruitment, Aneesha’s role involves attracting and assessing top talent as well as pipeline management and student engagement for our work experience, degree and business apprenticeship and graduate schemes across the UK. We offer opportunities at 16 different locations in the UK and entry points for both school leavers and graduates who are considering careers in consulting, audit, strategy and tax.

Grace Coulson & Rosa Hall
HR, Withington Girls’ School

Human Resource Management or ‘HR’ (as it is more widely known) professionals work cross functionally within organisations to drive sustainable growth and performance and relish the challenge of working in a complex and ever-changing environment.

Rosa (MSc HRM, Associate CIPD) has worked in Human Resources across a number of different sectors including retail, engineering and education at Jon Richards, The Dean Trust and S Norton. With a particular focus on employment relations, change management and resourcing, Rosa is passionate about how organisations can achieve their business goals through harnessing the power of their people.

Grace (PGDip HRM, MCIPD) is a Chartered Member of the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) with substantial experience managing and leading HR teams in global organisations – most recently for over ten years at the leading chemical company AkzoNobel. With over 35,000 employees worldwide across multiple sectors and global brands including Dulux, Hammerite and Cuprinol, HR departments such as this have endless opportunities for those seeking a challenging and empowering business career.

Careers in HR encompass so much more than traditional recruitment and employee relations roles. HR departments are at the centre of strategic management with expertise in corporate planning, assessments and projections. HR professionals are at the forefront of organisations shaping and enhancing company culture and driving diversity and inclusion. Opportunities can include travelling the world setting up Shared Service Centres, working across regions on rewards and benefits, data analytics, and implementing lean management methodologies across multiple sites driving change and efficiencies – to name just a few!

Rosa and Grace lead the HR Department at Withington Girls’ School and welcome the opportunity to share their enthusiasm for HR and to help answer any general questions you may have about how to tackle recruitment processes and interviews.

Emaan Khan & Katy Reynolds, Psychologists
bMINDFUL Psychology

At bMindful Psychology our team aim to support, develop and enhance children’s emotional and psychological wellbeing. We do this in a number of ways and with a wide variety of individuals and organisations providing high quality therapeutic and clinical services and training for professionals, parents and young people.

Emma Nawaz
Owner, Blackstone Solicitors Ltd.

Blackstone Solicitors is a commercial law firm in South Manchester, providing legal advice to clients in the property industry, retailers such as The Fragrance Shop, banks and specialist lending companies, small and large businesses on all areas of their business including litigious matters. We also represent individuals with property related disputes.
Blackstone Solicitors advises clients on the options open to them and then, with our experience, give them our recommendation. It is still the client’s decision, but we go a step further in helping our clients.

There are so many different areas of law that there is something for everyone to be passionate about. Given that there will always be a need for good legal advice, becoming a lawyer is a sound career choice.

Dr Shokooh Khandan
AI Specialist, MMU

As an AI Specialist at MMU, Dr Khandan’s role involves supporting MSc computer science courses and leading the development of cutting-edge AI solutions aligned with organisational objectives. Her responsibilities include data analysis, model deployment, and collaboration with cross-functional academic teams.
Being a member of the Alan Turing research network, she contributes to pioneering advancements in the field. The challenge of creating intelligent and ethical solutions in this dynamic landscape is truly exciting. She is eager to leverage her expertise to inspire more girls to participate in the rapidly evolving field of AI.

Gayle Wells
Director of Operations, MIAA
Sarah Blackwell, Senior Internal Audit Manager

MIAA Mersey Internal Audit Agency (MIAA) is an NHS shared service providing a range of services, including internal audit, anti-fraud, consultancy, digital, data analytics, healthcare quality and clinical coding solutions to NHS clients. In recent years, MIAA expertise has expanded to other public and third sector organisations including Local Government, Police & Fire, charities and housing organisations. We work with over 50 organisations, across the whole of the North West of England so working in MIAA offers lots of variety! Many of our staff have professional audit and finance qualifications, and we have great training programmes which allow non-qualified staff to join us and get their qualifications whilst working and earning.

Gayle is Director of Operations at MIAA Mersey Internal Audit Agency (MIAA) and leads the management of MIAA’s Corporate Business Unit which covers a wide range of services for the business including data analytics and marketing along with internal functions such as Finance, Communications and HR.

Sarah is a Senior Internal Audit Manager and is responsible for the delivery of internal audit plans for NHS organisations. This involves managing staff, liaising with clients, undertaking a variety of internal audits and reporting to Audit Committee.

Julia Shearer
Student Recruitment Officer, MMU

As a Student Recruitment Officer at Manchester Metropolitan University, Julia is responsible for supporting students in Years 12 and 13 consider their options after sixth form/college. Julia would be more than happy to speak to you about university courses available at Manchester Met, including entry requirements. Manchester Met is also the largest provider of degree apprenticeships in the UK, so Julia can advise you on the apprenticeships available to school leavers, entry requirements and how to apply.

Simon and Sally Towers
Co-Founders, Green Earth Developments Group Ltd. (GEDG)

GEDG is a purpose driven, ethical regenerative business whose mission is to deliver solutions for the re-purposing of brownfield sites across the UK. GEDG recognises that these redundant assets can play a major role in changing the paradigm of climate threat and increasing loss of nature. GEDG utilises surplus soils from developments advocating the Circular Economy to remediate brownfield land and enable re-purposing to create renewable energy projects (solar) and natural capital projects, i.e., nature reserves.

GEDG are on a journey to become a B Corp in 2024 and have strong ethical, environmental and social values recognising that business can be used as a force for good.

Students looking for careers in this sector would be most likely to have pursued choices such as geography, biology, engineering and business sustainability.

Vicky Royle
Volunteer and School Engagement Coordinator at Project Trust

Vicky is one of the Volunteer and School Engagement Coordinators at Project Trust, a charity specialising in sending young people aged 17-25 on long term volunteering gap years. Vicky’s role involves speaking to school and college students about gap year opportunities, processing volunteer applications and training volunteers before they head out on their international placements.

Project Trust offer young people the opportunity to explore their potential through a teaching or youth development placement. Volunteers spend 8 or 12 months living and volunteering in either Africa, Asia or Central America. Through these experiences, young people are empowered to develop their confidence, resilience, awareness and leadership skills.

Kate Russell
Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Tellus Natural Capital Ltd

Kate advises farmers, landowners and land managers on ways to meet Net Zero and Nature Positive targets. This includes exploring new markets for improving biodiversity, capturing carbon and reducing flood risk by changing the way land is used. She works with groups of farmers, private sector landowners, Government agencies such as the Environment Agency and county councils right across England, from Cumbria to Suffolk. Kate is qualified as an Agricultural Valuer, a Chartered Surveyor and a Chartered Environmentalist. The best part of the job is trying to make a real difference to help farming and food production to become more sustainable and better for the planet, all while working in some really beautiful parts of the country!

Tom Whittaker
Educational Consultant, The University Guys

The University Guys are here to support students in exploring, preparing for and applying to universities all over the world.
As independent university specialists, some people think of us as a ‘top up’ service that goes beyond what your current school might offer and enables you to access world class universities in other countries. Our team provides one-to-one tutoring and guidance to students and their families, helping them to get a place at the top university of their choice, and making the process of applications clear, manageable and successful.

Clare Sibley, CENG FCMI

Clare studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and has an MSc in Management and Leadership from Cranfield University. She has had a career so far spanning Engineering and Operations within Formula 1, having most recently been part of Williams Racing as Head of Quality & Manufacturing Engineering. Her roles have involved working on failure analysis and Research & Development projects to bring increased performance to the Formula 1 cars, through to people leadership, running manufacturing teams and investigating problems when quality failures occur. Clare’s experience shows just a small subset of how varied a career within engineering and manufacturing can be. She is also a DE&I (Diversity, Equality and Inclusion) advocate.

Jane Adiller, Head of Sales
Sally Bonser, Head of Marketing
Comfy Group

Comfy Group is one of the UK & Europe’s leading sleep product suppliers. Based in Manchester, we design, manufacture, import and sell a wide range of products including pillows, duvets, bed linen, pet beds, electric blankets and more. We are proud licensed partners of best-selling brands such as Silentnight and Sealy, as well as our own brands such as eco-friendly Snug. Our products are not only sold in places your parents might shop like Tesco and Argos, but we have a significant and fast-growing online business. Find out how we ensure our business is a success through marketing and a strong sales team, as well as having the chance to win a prize!

Sitara Bartle Davies
Marketing, Communications & PR Manager, The Manchester Grammar School

Following her undergraduate degree in Classics at Newnham College, Cambridge, Sitara studied Broadcast Journalism, completing the industry-standard NCTJ course at Salford University. During her time at university, Sitara immersed herself in radio presenting and production, eventually hosting her own show on Cheshire’s Mix 56. She has also worked with BBC Radio Manchester and with BBC Radio Merseyside.

Sitara is the Marketing, Communications & PR Manager at The Manchester Grammar School where she oversees all external communications, including print publications, digital adverts, social media channels, and website news pieces. She is also working on a new online platform designed to provide educational resources that extend beyond traditional classroom and national curriculum boundaries.

Sitara is also a freelance photographer, produces regular podcast snippets and engages in social media collaborations. She has a passion for watersports and is a dedicated brand affiliate for Rooster Sailing.

Dr Cathy Holt
Honorary Senior Lecturer within the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Manchester

Cathy is a medical scientist working in academia. In her talk she will explore the role of a medical scientist/ university lecturer, starting with the qualifications required and a typical day in the life of an academic which embraces research, management, teaching and student support.

Typically she is involved in conducting research, fundraising, collaborating with pharmaceutical companies, grant writing, publishing research articles, journal editor duties, conference presentations and organisation, writing and delivering lectures, tutorials and seminars, PhD supervision, external examining for other universities, public understanding of science, student support plus much more!

The skill set required for a fulfilling and exciting career in academia is far reaching and Cathy will explore this in her presentation. She will also explain what it is like to work within a not-for-profit organisation, The British Cardiovascular Society, promoting Women in Cardiology, where they are currently massively underrepresented in the profession.

Elizabeth Hicks & Marbelle Afuh

Deloitte UK is a leading professional services firm committed to making an impact for our clients, our people and for society. We have over 20,000 people across the UK, providing Audit, Risk Advisory, Tax, Consulting and Financial Advisory services to public and private clients across multiple industries.
By joining us, you’ll be connected to inspiring colleagues across the globe. We offer a range of career opportunities, where you can choose your impact and build a future that suits you.

Dr Mowafak Abdelghani
Founder & Lead Physician, Piccadilly Medical

He is the Quality & Safety Lead for Chronic Pain Services at the Manchester University Hospitals and a Consultant in Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia at the same trust.

He is also a Consultant in Pain Medicine at Nurify Medical, London TMS centre, where he provides Trans-cranial magnetic stimulation to manage certain long term pain conditions.

Mark Chatterton, Operations Manager
Susan Clarke, Operations Manager
Daisy Geary, Graduate – Materials Science
Jacobs Solutions Inc.

At Jacobs, they’re challenging today to reinvent tomorrow by solving the world’s most critical problems for thriving cities, resilient environments, mission-critical outcomes, operational advancement, scientific discovery and cutting-edge manufacturing, turning abstract ideas into realities that transform the world for good. With $15 billion in revenue and a talent force of more than 60,000, Jacobs provides a full spectrum of professional services including consulting, technical, scientific and project delivery for the government and private sector.

The School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology (SAMCAT), University of Salford

The School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology (SAMCAT) is a cutting-edge, student-centred, industry-aligned school within the ambitious University of Salford. There are countless reasons why students choose to study with us from the award-winning academics, bespoke pastoral care, warm and welcoming campus, state-of-the-art facilities, or fantastic location.

SAMCAT is one of the leading centres for practice-based education in the creative disciplines within the North West.
Last year we won every category in the Royal Television Student Awards in the region. We have excellent graduate outcomes across Broadcast Media, Journalism, Film and Creative Technology, with high profile recent graduates producing, presenting, enabling and investigating global stories, viewing and audio output.

The creative technology, media, and design programmes benefit from excellent industry links, including a campus in the heart of MediaCityUK.

Specialists attending:
Ric Michael, Senior Lecturer, Academic Lead for Creative Technology
Laurence Murphy, Programme Leader for Media Technology
Jane Sayer, Lecturer in Film Production
Sara Hadwin, Senior Lecturer, Academic Lead for Journalism
Louise Ready-Syrat, Programme Leader for TV & Radio Production
Manuel Hernandez, Programme Leader for Digital Media & Xtended Reality
Annabeth Robinson, Programme Leader for MA Animation

Programmes represented:
Television and Radio Production
Postproduction & VFX
Media Technology
Games Design
Film Production
Digital Media & Xtended Reality
Creative Computing

Alison Gallagher, Early Careers Manager
Catherine Causer, Graduate Environmental Consultant
RSK Group

RSK Group is a sustainability driven company who deliver a full range of environmental and engineering solutions throughout the world. The Group acquires new businesses that align with the company ethos and values, we now have over 200 businesses part of the group and employ over 14,000 people globally.

Alison is the RSK Early Careers Manager and manages the group rotational graduate scheme. Graduates spend time in two different businesses during the scheme to get a broad range of knowledge and skills so they can decide on their future career path. Catherine is one of the graduates who is one the scheme and works for an RSK company called Nature Positive. The placement is varied and is focused around sustainability strategy and nature services for clients.

Hannah Hill, Production Designer

Hannah Hill is a Production Designer working in the North West on Television Dramas. Production design is the art of creating a TV show or film’s aesthetic through its set. The Designer runs the art department, who work collaboratively to transform the words of a script into visual form. They work alongside many other departments to ensure a unified look – each day is a creative challenge that makes for a fun and entertaining career.

Emily Bourne Investment Executive
Puma Private Equity

Emily is primarily responsible for sourcing start-ups in need of equity investment and supporting transaction processes. The role involves managing relationships with key external stakeholders including other VC and PE investors, Corporate Finance advisors, and businesses’ Management teams, as well as conducting commercial and financial due diligence on start-ups, and legal negotiations during transactions. Emily also sits as a Board Observer on one of Puma’s portfolio businesses, supporting this business with the commercial and financial challenges faced by many Venture-backed businesses. The role is varied, and requires high levels of empathy and emotional intelligence, as well as analytical capability.

Dr Paul Wallis, Director of Psychological Services
NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health service (CAMHS)

Dr Paul Wallis is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and will be talking about careers in Psychology within the NHS and the broader public sector. As a member of the British Psychological Society Paul is keen to encourage more people into working as applied psychologists and his talk will cover various routes to building careers in different sectors. Dr Wallis has worked as a Clinical Psychologist in NHS settings for over 25 years alongside fantastic, committed colleagues every day from lots of different backgrounds, to support the emotional well-being of children, young people and families. Dr Wallis says it is an extremely rewarding and stimulating role in which you can make a real difference for people on a daily basis.

Dr Yontem Sonmez, Lecturer in Economics
University of Liverpool

The University of Liverpool is a public research university in Liverpool, England. Founded as a college in 1881, it gained its Royal Charter in 1903 with the ability to award degrees, and is also known to be one of the six ‘red brick’ civic universities, the first to be referred to as The Original Red Brick. BSc Economics and BA Business Economics are two programmes which are highly popular among students with job destinations in government bodies such as Government Economic Service, banks and other financial institutions, academia, accountancy, sales, business and economics consultancy – policy modelling.

Elizabeth Taylor, Procurement Officer, 
Major Daniella Aspin
Ssgt Scott Rainsley

Did you know that only 25% of the Army is front line? We offer graduate and non-graduate Army Officer career paths in Intelligence, Cyber, Medicine, Engineering and much more. Lower Sixth/Year 12 pupils have an opportunity to apply and be accepted early for a training place at the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst and a job as a British Army Officer upon completion of sixth form or university education. Successful applicants will receive £3,000 in Year 13 and between £6,000 – £75,000 towards University funding if attending University.

Ant Dean, Production Manager
Oliver Pearson, Manager – Body Problem Solving
Liv Molden, Body Problem Solving Engineer
Launch Quality Centre at Bentley Motors

Located in Cheshire, the 160 strong team in the Launch Quality Centre is responsible for developing and launching all new Bentleys from concept to reality. As part of the VW Group, (including Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi and many more) we have access to a broad global network that offers not only industry leading expertise in automotive, but limitless opportunity for career development.

Jose Puello, Senior Student Recruitment and Development Officer (UK/EU)
Humerah Sajjad, Student Recruitment and Marketing Intern
University of Manchester

At Manchester, we’ve always been about pushing forward. Since 1824, great minds have come here to challenge assumptions, create the exceptional and change the world. Offering over 400 undergraduate courses in a range of topics, Manchester University is number one in Europe and second in the world for social and environmental impact (Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023) and as a student here, you’ll find opportunities to tackle the biggest challenges facing our planet and create a better future.

Zara Banday, Partner and Head of the Residential Property Department
Slater Heelis

Zara has a wealth of experience in dealing with complex and high-value property transactions, including sale and purchase transactions, as well as boundary disputes and landlord and tenant issues. Zara acts for numerous high-net-worth clients, including various sports personalities.

Slater Heelis is a full-service law firm rooted in the North West with national reach and offering the highest quality service to both businesses and private clients. With a rich history that extends over 250 years, Slater Heelis offers a comprehensive range of legal services, including Corporate & Commercial Law, Employment Law, Family Law, Criminal Law, Residential Property Law and much more. The firm has been commended with high rankings in the Legal 500 and Chambers, making it a place where clients can be confident they are receiving the best service.

Elahe Youshani, Barrister
18 St John Street Chambers

Elahe Youshani is a barrister at 18 St John Street Chambers.  She is the Head of the Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence, Costs and Employment Law Department.  Her practice involves representing clients in court on a variety of application hearings and trials, together with advising and drafting on matters involving serious injury and clinical negligence.   She has been recognised and listed in the legal directories – Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 – as a leading junior barrister practitioner on the Northern Circuit.

She also sits on the panel for the Bar Tribunal Adjudication Service (BTAS), where the panel considers all types of disciplinary charges brought against barristers by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).

Elahe is on the chambers EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) Committee and is also an Anti-Harassment & Discrimination Officer.

18 St John Street Chambers is a Manchester barrister set of chambers, providing expert & specialist legal advice. The range of work covered by chambers encompasses (but is not limited to): business and property, clinical negligence, costs, civil and personal injury, criminal law and family law.

Hayley Goldsmith
Tooling Transformation Lead at Barclays for Finance Workforce Projects

Hayley works between the finance and technology departments to implement improvements to technology and processes supporting the Workforce processes in the bank.

Eliott Peterken, Graphic Designer

Eliott has worked as a Designer and Art Director in the Advertising and Design Industry for over 25 years. Working mainly in print for many national and international clients, he also has experience of Television, Radio and Web design. Since 2010, he has been Creative Director of his own design studio ‘ie-creative’.

Lee Davidson-Day, Business Analyst

Naimuri works in partnership with government and law enforcement organisations on some of the most challenging data and technology problems and our vision is to help them revolutionise what they are doing through the power of technology.

Naimuri is a tech business with a real purpose and a whole sense of pride in what we can and have achieved through the innovative use of data and technology.

Lee is a Business Analyst and is joined by Louisa another analyst with software development experience and Ian, who is Head of Recruitment.

Alex Santu, Project Landscape Architect

Planit is a design practice with a passion for outside spaces and the role they play as building blocks for our communities. We design for the living world – For today, tomorrow and the next 200 years.

As Landscape Architects, Urban Designers, 3D Artists, Animators, Graphic Designers and Engagement Specialists, we are ideally placed to address the biggest challenges faced by our planet and its people – societal inequality, loss of biodiversity and climate change.

As a B Corp, our purpose is to harness the power of business as a force for good, pursuing new corporate standards for social, environmental, and ethical performance. Each of our team members take responsibility for realisation of these intents, as co-owners within a majority employee-owned business.

Dylan Hanson, NCS Leader 

Dylan is a leader for the National Citizen Service promoting the experience that they offer. NCS helps young people grow their strengths. Over 750,000 young people have already done taken part in NCS. It offers a range of different types of experiences which are designed to help young people grow their strengths, boost their confidence, learn new skills, build their resilience and make new friends. In 2023, they also offered a range of residential experiences.

Jessica Thomas
Portfolio Manager at Rathbones incorporating Investec Wealth and Investment UK
Vice President of Manchester’s Chartered Institute of Securities

Jessica is the Vice President of Manchester’s CISI committee – the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment. Having completed all her professional qualifications with the CISI, Jessica is a Portfolio Manager at Rathbones incorporating Investec Wealth and Investment UK. The role involves managing discretionary assets for a range of private clients, charities and businesses, constructing and implementing investment strategies based upon their unique circumstances. The CISI is the largest and most widely respected professional body for the securities and investment profession in the UK and in a growing number of financial centres globally. They promote the highest standards of professionalism amongst their members and the wider financial services profession and believe professionalism is a blend of three elements – Knowledge, Skills and Behaviour.

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