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Date: 6 Mar

As part of #NCW2020 we have been exploring the pathways of our own team here at The Careers Hub CIoS!

Name: David Sellars

Job title: Enterprise Coordinator

School attended: Backwell Comprehensive School, near Bristol

Previous Jobs: Tent erector in France (great fun!), Barman, Teacher of Economics and Business Studies, Head of Business and Vocational Education, Head of Sixth, Deputy Headteacher

Career Pathway:

I enjoyed school, socially as much as academically, especially getting the chance to play lots of team games. Economics was my favourite A-level subject, but I wish Business Studies had been introduced by the late seventies. If I was choosing A-levels now, I would definitely take Psychology, as I think it is really interesting and relevant to a wide range of jobs.

While in the Sixth Form, I decided to study Business Studies at Leicester Polytechnic (now De Montfort University) as I thought I wanted to develop a business career. Living in Leicester in the early eighties was quite a contrast to a small village outside Bristol. I enjoyed attending a city based university, but decided city life was not for me in the future. Leicester in the early eighties was quite a lively place, the ‘National Front’ was very active, but luckily so was the ‘Rock against Racism’ campaign. Interesting times!

I opted to specialise in Personnel Management (now rebranded ‘Human Resource Management’) and found the course very interesting. I also loved the social side of university, especially having the opportunity to see lots of bands: U2, the Jam, Dr Feelgood…

The recession of the early eighties led me to reconsider my career plans. I wanted to become a Personnel Manager, but my chances of getting a job looked slim. My change to wanting to become a teacher was influenced by an experience during my placement year at a large clothing manufacturer. I was sent to act as a business advisor at a conference organised by the Industrial Society at a local sixth form college and I found I really enjoyed working with young people. I think my year in industry was valuable and would recommend courses that include a work placement or placements.

I started as a teacher of Business Studies and Economics in 1984. The early years were definitely a steep learning curve and at times challenging. However, I have never regretted my decision to become a teacher. I went on to become a senior leader, but I have always most enjoyed my time in the classroom. Out of my leadership roles in schools, being Head of Sixth at a school in the Cotswolds was the most enjoyable, as I like working with older students, in particular, helping them develop their career plans.

I was deputy headteacher at Budehaven Community School for fifteen years.  Over that period, I had a range of responsibilities including behaviour, attendance, the curriculum and safeguarding.  I enjoyed the variety of roles and loved being part of a team, but often felt restricted by national government policy. As part of extensive changes to Budehaven’s staffing structure, in order to reduce costs, the decision was made to reduce from two deputy headteachers to one and I was offered voluntary redundancy, which I accepted.

In April 2017, I saw a Cornwall Council job advert for ‘Enterprise Coordinators’.  I decided to apply due my experience of and interest in careers and enterprise education and my belief in its ability to inspire young people and to increase social mobility. I was delighted when I was appointed as the Enterprise Coordinator for East Cornwall. Although, initially it took me a while to adapt, as the working day of an Enterprise Coordinator is so different to that of a deputy head, I quickly grew to really enjoy the job.

What I love about my job:

I have loved a completely different way of working. I am no longer based in one school working to a timetable. Every day is different and I can plan out my own calendar. I really enjoy working in small teams with Careers Leaders and Enterprise Advisers to bring in new careers experiences for students, such as ‘I Love My Job’ events, Speed Networking, International Women’s Day events…

I feel this is a very positive and worthwhile role that can (hopefully) make a real difference to some young people’s lives. 

Number 1 careers tip:

You can never complete too much careers research, whether this is on-line (much easier than in the seventies), through careers events or work experience/shadowing.  Take every opportunity to find out about as many different job roles as possible, as you are likely to have many more jobs than I have experienced.

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