New Year, new challenges

27 January 2012

A social media guru and a secret millionaire were just two of the industry experts who came to Southampton Solent University to help make students ready for the workplace by giving them key tips for the future.

The New Year, New Challenges event was open to all undergraduates in the School of Communication and Writing and also featured talks from experts from Sky News, the Daily Telegraph, renowned CV expert Mildred Talabi and the Pathfinders Recruitment Agency.

Entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan also delivered a keynote address on her career as a chief executive and author.

Antony Mayfield, author of Me and my Web Shadow, gave a talk to advertising and PR students on the importance of social networking, social media and how they can manage their reputation online.

Solent’s Caroline Barfoot, Programme Group Leader, Advertising and Communication, said: “We arranged for employers and alumni to give students an industry perspective on building a career in the creative industries and we have had really positive feedback from the students who attended.”

The concept was to deliver a programme of events to give the students added expertise and experience. A series of masterclasses with industry experts included one from Sky Sports cameraman Matt Cahill, a workshop with Alex Shakespeare of Harper’s Bazaar, a radio session with Martin Starke from Spire FM and a presentation from the Daily Telegraph’s award-winning multimedia team.

Other talks came from Stephen Brown, Enterprise Manager at Solent, who gave entrepreneurial students tips on starting their own business and Lucy Daniel Raby, screenwriter and popular children’s author, who ran workshops on generating story ideas and how to pitch them.

Andy Ford, Course Leader of the journalism degree at Solent, said: “At a time when employment in industry is hard to come by, anything that can give you the edge over another job applicant is what you need. That’s exactly the help we are providing here.’’ 


Southampton Solent University offers more than 19,000 students over 200 qualifications ranging from HND to PhD, in subjects such as maritime education and training, fashion and design, media and television, music, sport and leisure, business, IT and technology.

Solent has set its fees for 2012 at £7,800, rather than at the maximum level, because it is determined to achieve a fair balance between the commitment to offering places based on student potential - irrespective of family income - and the need to continue to improve the experience of the students attending the University.

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