Portfolio – Personal



Over the past 5 years I have branched out of my profession to find new opportunities to which I can develop other skillsets that I have recognised require more work. So through linkedIn I was able to get in touch with several bodies who help education institutes develop their programs, it was as simple as clicking a button saying “I’m up for volunteering” they soon found me.

Here’s what I’ve been up to…

School Governor - Red Barn Primary Dec'19 - Present

I decided to take on a role that was completely outside my current area of expertise and more to do with actually running a business which required strategic skills.

As part of the governing body we hold the senior leadership to account, by questioning their decisions, assessing the impact of school spending and collecting data to form reports for the local authority.

I’m also part of the resources committee who recommend and check the annual budget upto six times a year to ensure any variation is accounted for.

For this role I started with what I knew from industry, however via the governor hub (paid for services from the school) I have taken several courses in Strategic Finances/Holding leaders to account and Finance in schools. My goal is to keep developing and offering my time to help the school grow, currently Red Barn is rated Outstanding by Ofsted so I intend to help them keep it.

Industry Specialist - Working Knowledge Nov'15

Through my contacts on LinkedIn, I was introduced to Working Knowledge who invited me to attend an event they were holding at South Downs College, which involve students from all the disciplines that they taught.

I was one of 15 experts invited to come along and mentor groups of up to 6 students in how to come up with a business idea, how to market and manufacture it.

We spent about 15 mins with each group to introduce ourselves and give a rough highlight of our career paths, then later I was assigned with another expert to answer questions (and pose them) on manufacturing.

The groups then move around each pair of experts who would give advice on an aspect of running a business based on the teams idea for a product. After this we moved into a dragon’s den final where I sat on the board on investors listening to each teams pitch & strategy, during which I would question aspects of their plans to see how far they thought ahead & how well they considered my advice.

At the end we scored each team & a winner was announced.

I enjoyed this experience very much, not only for myself where I could network and gain contacts that I wouldn’t normally come across, but also the amount of wealth in knowledge and experience in the people who came to support the event and offer this to the students. I hope they absorbed as much as they could from this along with the career paths that was explained to them.

Since then, I have offered and am very much open to repeating the experience.

Mentor - IMechE May'18 - Present

In 2018 my partner suggested to me to go find a mentor for myself to help guide me professionally. At the time I was wondering as to my next path in my career (going into leadership/management), fortunately I discovered that the IMechE was running a scheme to pair mentors to engineers with them helping in the pairing matches, this didn’t take long and I was matched to a CEng Director.

After that partnership ended (only a few months) I decided that I could also mentor a young engineer and help them, while also developing my mentoring skills. So I applied to the same IMechE scheme and was matched with a graduate MEng engineer.

So far this has been a remote partnership, but we have made significant progress and keep in touch whenever they have questions or require a in depth meeting to discuss aspects on career/professional or IMechE membership development.

Sadly the IMechE support ended a year ago (2020), however we decided to continue without that support.

STEM Ambassador - Winchester Science Centre May'18 - Present

After attending the IMechE ceremony at Winchester Science Centre, I contacted the centre to enquire about the role of STEM Ambassador, after meeting an ambassador while volunteering at Fareham College.

My hope was to get involved working alongside and at the science centre, however the training that was spoken about never happened (partly because this was a new course they were putting together at the time).

To date I haven’t been activate in this role, since the EA / Mentoring and Governing have been more engaging. However I’m leaving this door open so that in the future I can visit schools / colleges and offer my assistance to the teachers and students with their STEM projects.

Enterprise Advisor - Solent LEP May'17 - Present

After my experience with Working knowledge I was contacted by them and asked if I would be interested in working with schools as a Enterprise Advisor. The role itself all for a industry expert to work with a schools senior leadership team to ensure students gain the best from career events / lessons and employer encounters that have a practical input from those currently working in the field.

after the initial training with Solent Careers and Enterprise EP I asked to be paired with my old secondary school. Since then over the last3 years we have been working to improve career fairs & events by getting feedback from the students and employers that attend. I have also had the opportunity to teach a class of Year 10’s to use the Ishikawa method.

Unfortunately, since the global situation, schools have stopped EA’s from coming in. However working with them I was able to offer support to their careers advisor remotely via Zoom, I’m the critical friend if they wish to bounce ideas off me.

As mentioned the goal is for the students to gain better careers input / more employers connections & encounters and to meet the Gatsby benchmark which is set by the government, while also helping improve lessons from the employer’s point of view.

So far this has been an interesting and very rewarding / challenging role with excellent support from Solent via their training / monthly meetings & having an assigned Enterprise Co-ordinator.