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Alternative Careers Café by Grahame Turnbull

Marketing & HR intern Grahame Turnbull shares his experience of recent Alternative Careers Café.

A leading social care charity participated in an event at the University of Essex on the 24th February 2015 providing the students an opening to discuss their career prospects once they leave full time education.

Ilford based charity, Vibrance, continues to build a strong connection with the employability team at the University of Essex and is dedicated to support students with their future career prospects. The charity has already forged a strong relationship with the local university, offering students a variety of internships and currently being involved with their mentoring scheme.

The Alternative Careers Café event raised awareness about the different business sectors and options young adults may pursue in the future. The event was attended by in excess of thirty students, all of whom were at different stages in their varied degree subjects. Several members of management from Vibrance were present at the occasion and raised awareness to the students about the health and social care sector as well as elevating the profile of the award winning charity and the variety of services they offer.

Vibrance supports 850 adults throughout London and Essex with learning disabilities and mental health issues, offering a range of community day services, low-support housing, nursing and care homes, short breaks, supported employment and self-directed services.

The event, located in the informal atmosphere of the Zest café on campus, began with representatives from each organisation talking about their own career journey and varied sectors. They included a photographer, ethical insurance executive, an art curator, entrepreneur and a journalist. From Vibrance, as the current University of Essex alumni marketing intern I spoke about his role and the opportunities he has been given with the charity and the process of applying for his Vibrance graduate internship. Following this, new business and tenders manager Shani Reid discussed the health and social care sector as well as her own career journey with Vibrance and progression through the company.

Once all of the organisation representatives had delivered their brief speeches there was a chance for the students to have some one on one support from the representatives. The students were organised into small groups which presented an opportunity to ask questions and find out more about Vibrance and how it operates as a registered charity. The director of human resources Nita Desir-Adeshiyan, quality support manager and ‘icare ambassador’ Catherine Apps and new business and tenders manager Shani Reid were also in attendance, all of whom answered questions, as well as telling the young adults more about their own careers and progression through Vibrance.

Vibrance is dedicated to supporting its local community and by working with the University of Essex it will continue to support students with their career prospects.

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Registered Charity Number 1152186. A Company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, number 8466095.
Registered Office: Unit 2, Caxton Place, Roden Street, Ilford, Essex, IG1 2AH