Successful alumni shine at Connected Futures careers event

“Thanks to Staffordshire University, I have found another avenue for my career to take, and I am very keen to see that others are aware of and get the same opportunities I’ve had.”

Adam Yates, Synectics Solutions

Successful Staffordshire University alumni are to get top billing at a fortnight of activity designed to get students fired up about their future careers.

Connected Futures takes place from 12th – 23rd November and will see the Stoke-on-Trent campus come alive with employers, alumni and industry experts for inspirational talks, practical workshops and careers fairs. Coinciding with the University’s Autumn graduation ceremonies, week 1 promises to be a celebration of graduates old and new.  Inspirational alumni speakers include Signal 1 presenter Emma Jones, retired Port Vale player Adam Yates who now works with Synectics Solutions and Entrepreneurs Andy Cooke and Ben Dyer whose talks will all be streamed live on the Staffordshire University Alumni Facebook page.

Emma Jones is the breakfast show presenter for Staffordshire and South Cheshire radio station Signal 1 and the Leeds United TV presenter. She started working in TV and radio immediately after graduating from Staffordshire University with a Masters degree in Broadcast Journalism.
“I genuinely feel like the luckiest person in the world, doing my dream job,” she said. “I have Staffordshire University to thank for that. When I left the University I was fully equipped to work in broadcast journalism and have worked hard to get where I am today. I want to give back to a University that gave me so much.”

Former Port Vale FC defender Adam Yates is now using the skills and experience gained from a degree at Staffordshire University to work as a Community Business Partner with Synectics Solutions and Liaison Officer for Port Vale Foundation Trust.
He said: “Thanks to Staffordshire University, I have found another avenue for my career to take, and I am very keen to see that others are aware of and get the same opportunities I’ve had.”

Entrepreneur Andy Cooke is a graphic design graduate from Staffordshire University. He is the Integrated Art Director at the Swiss-based global leader in international education, EF, and founder of three businesses in Stoke-on-Trent, namely street culture business Entrepreneurs, restaurant Klay Pizzeria & Bar and graphic design studio Weather.

Andy said:“The confidence to be able to do this effectively all stemmed from my time on the Graphic Design award at Staffordshire University. I’ve ended up living inside a picture-perfect postcard region of the world, working with people from around the globe, while being involved in other businesses 800 miles away with some of the best friends ever. The past few years have taught me to take every day and every opportunity as it comes.”

Thousands of school children a year are being inspired by Ben Dyer’s enterprise activities. In 2013, together with cousin Michael, he launched The National Enterprise Challenge. Co-founders of The Inspirational Learning Group, the pair scooped the award for Young Business Person of the Year at the 2018 Sentinel Business Awards.

“When we were doing our top-up Business Management degrees at Staffordshire University we had an idea for a business,” Ben recalls. “Our idea was to motivate young people to get the most out of their years at school.”

Staffordshire University Head of Student and Graduate Employability, Martin Perfect said: “We encourage students to be career minded throughout their time with us and Connected Futures offers plenty of opportunity for students to explore and get excited about where their degrees can take them. Students are able to book on to the events using our new online portal which is available throughout the year as a tool where they can book careers appointments and search job opportunities and upcoming events and workshops.”

Finest, the professional services arm of Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce will be hosting their Future Pro event in the University’s Henrion Gallery on Tuesday 13th November to promote networking. Art, design and creative technologies students are being invited to a creative networking lunch on the Friday 16th November where they can meet and chat with an exciting array of contacts from the creative industries.

There will be four careers fairs throughout the second week including specialist law and health fairs. Martin added: “We strongly encourage our students to engage with a wide range of employers across the two weeks and snap up the excellent work experience, placements and graduate roles on offer.”


Maria Scrivens
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Public Relations
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t: +44 (0)1782 294375
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