Alumni profile: Angela Wilmington, Careers hub enterprise coordinator
We are fortunate to receive exceptional careers support from the NYBEP/York and North Yorkshire Careers Hub and it is wonderful that Angela, one of the Enterprise Coordinators is a former student – a perfect opportunity to find out about Angela’s career and the path she has taken since leaving Richmond School and Sixth Form College! We were pleased to catch up with Angela during National Careers Week and find out more about her career choices as well as the wide range of support that is available to students through the Careers Hub.
After completing my GCSEs and A-levels, I left Richmond School in 2000. Admittedly, as I was unsure what I really wanted to do. I had worked part time since I was 14 and knew going to university was an option but hadn’t thought much further so university became my goal. I took a gap year after A-levels and worked part time in an accountancy firm and waitressing before heading off to university.
I started at Manchester Met University on a Social Sciences Degree course but after two months I knew this wasn’t for me, I was missing the weekly pay from my jobs, fearful of student debt and although enjoying the student lifestyle I just knew I wanted to come home and reconsider.
Luckily, with supportive family this was an option I could choose and was supported in, and I picked up my previous part-time work and set about a rethink.
Whilst looking at local university courses, I also decided to look for full-time jobs – I spotted an Audiology Assistant job for Co Durham and Darlington NHS Trust. I knew little but did my research and decided this sounded interesting – I applied, interviewed, and was offered the job! I spent six years working in the hustle and bustle of Audiology, assisting in a clinical and administrative role, supporting a team of Audiologists.
An opportunity arose to become a Trainee Audiologist for South Tees NHS Trust. After interviewing, I started a four-year, part-time degree at Sunderland University alongside clinical placement in James Cook University Hospital. This method of learning suited me well – a wage to pay my bills and the chance to qualify with a degree. It was hard work, and I sat my final exams on my 30th Birthday but it felt like a huge achievement.
After graduating I became an Audiologist for South Tees NHS Trust working with both the adults and Paediatrics’ teams – it is a job where you daily see a difference being made. Hearing loss is often a hidden disability – there are an estimated 11 million people in the UK with a loss and approximately 2 million are hearing aid users – keeping the nations audiologists busy and the scientists forever working on new technology to aid those in need. I enjoyed the testing process, rehabilitation, and the teamwork. Audiology is a vast career dealing with hearing loss, hearing aids, Tinnitus, Vestibular testing, and rehabilitation.
After 16 years in the NHS, a change was needed. In 2019 I took the decision to start a new job search. I needed a rethink – important fact – careers can change at any point in your working life! I still hold audiology close to my heart but as a now mum of two, my priorities in life have changed and so has my job.
So, in October 2019, in the world just before Covid, I applied and was successful in becoming an Enterprise Coordinator for the York and North Yorkshire Careers Hub. I cover the wonderful areas of Richmondshire and Hambleton. And full circle now, I attend meetings with my old School and your Careers Leader and Careers Advisor Ms Mannion and Ms Hamer.
This new role has given me the chance to retrain and take my own new pathway. It sees me working with careers leaders in the area, supporting business engagement and supporting and encouraging the careers programmes in schools to be the best they can.
The local Careers Hub is run by a national body – The Careers & Enterprise Company in partnership with the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and delivered by Enterprise Coordinators from NYBEP. You’ll come across NYBEP as they deliver many different careers related sessions – STEM, Work Experience, Mock interviews, to name a few.
Operating since 2018, the Careers Hub will now support a total of 72 secondary schools and colleges in the region. The Hub brings together schools’ careers leaders and provides them with additional support, resources, and training for their schools to deliver inclusive careers programmes for all students. In turn, helping every young person find their best next step.
Embarking on a new career has definitely been an interesting start in a pandemic, but I’ve learnt new skills, hosted online meetings, attended virtual training courses and enjoyed the journey so far.
Here is some advice for current students. I encourage you to speak to your parents/guardians/teachers and careers team in school. Careers guidance online and in school is there to be discovered. Whether it’s the next steps of study or the bigger career picture, it is never too early to start thinking what you might want to do with your future.
To anyone interested in engaging with the Careers Hub we have a network of Enterprise Advisor volunteers from the business/employer world who are recruited from local businesses by our team of Enterprise Coordinators. They work closely with local schools and colleges to use their business experiences and networks to help them develop a strong careers programme that support all students.
What the EA volunteers do:
- Supporting the school or college’s senior leadership team strategically to develop and evaluate their careers plan.
- Providing a valuable employer’s perspective on how a school or college can embed labour market information and opportunities into the careers programme.
- Engaging with local businesses and employers in your network to put a wide variety of careers opportunities at the heart of young people’s education.
Benefits for local employers/businesses:
- Easier access to engage with schools and colleges
- Opportunities to use your experience and network to inspire young people
- Develop your interpersonal and strategy skills and gain new experiences as a role model to young people in your area
- Deepen your connection to the local community
- Build your company’s reputation
- CPD opportunities for your own staff
To find out more or express interest please email Angela at email@example.com
The friends I made at Richmond School and Sixth Form College are some of my closest friends now, we are spread out but many of us are living back in the North East, Yorkshire, and Cumbria regions, and many like myself not far from Richmond!