Published on December 23, 2021

How do the extracurricular and careers development activities happen at North Hertfordshire College? The likelihood is that they were organised by Claire Cooper, the Head of NHC’s Student Services. We took some time to have a chat with Claire to find out more about her job and her journey to NHC…

What do you do at North Hertfordshire College? 

“My role is really wide. My responsibility includes student services support, counselling, finance support, libraries, academic support, work experience, industry placements, careers, The Bridge/personal development and student voice activity (including student council). 

“I am also the careers leader for the organisation and am responsible for implementing the careers programme. Careers activities help students understand their chosen industry, the labour market, the opportunities available in each industry and help them explore their available routes into industry such as university, apprenticeships and further study. 

“I also have oversight of the personal development of students and The Bridge which focusses on preparing students and apprentices for their future and aims to develop the key skills, knowledge and attitudes to be successful.”

How long have you worked here? 

“I have been at the College for 19 years. I worked as a tutor for 10 years teaching Childhood Studies before moving into the Quality Team. I stood in for the Head of Maths and English for a while and was then Head of Teaching and Learning where I also started managed work experience and careers.  In 2019, I moved completely over from teaching and learning to the support areas and also took on responsibility for student services and libraries.”

What do you like most about your current role? 

“I love managing the support areas together, as although they’re quite separate in some ways, they also connect well together. Moving into support has been a steep learning curve, but my team are great and really experienced and they have taught me so much. We have a great service, and I always love to see what we could do better. We have some exciting ideas for the future! As our students’ needs change, we have to adapt the service to meet their requirements.”

What do you enjoy most about working at NHC? 

“I laugh every day; every day is completely different. I am lucky enough to work across all the sites, I have THE BEST TEAM EVER and I love seeing how they make a difference to the students we support.” 

What would you say to someone looking to study here at North Hertfordshire College? 

“It is a completely different environment to school, and you get to study everything about the industry you choose.  One of the main differences between school and college for me is that everyone in the College has industry experience which gives a much wider learning experience to the students. You can expect trips, visits, guest speakers, industry events and much more!

What has been the highlight of working at NHC? 

“I’ve had so many! I think that we are developing as a team as well as we are developing our students. I am very fond of what I do now and am happy, even though I still have a lot to learn.”

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