Where Are They Now: Chris Hazlewood!

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Where Are They Now: Chris Hazlewood!

20 May 2024

A picture of Christopher Hazlewood smiling wearing a hat and glasses

Education, career paths and the future aren’t always straight forward; plans change, ambitions grow, and we end up in places that were never in our initial thoughts. Chris Hazlewood, former North East Worcestershire College (NEW College) student, experienced just this as he finished university without a clear path of where to go next; but through determination and a flare for wanting more he was able to land a job that suits him perfectly, but how?

After leaving post-16 education, Chris progressed to university and achieved a Mathematical Studies and Finance Degree. However, he left university without a clear career path that he could take. After working part time with Morrisons initially, Chris applied and took on a Finance Assistant role with Birmingham Adult Education Service as he felt he was destined to work in education.

Chris was in this role for two years but was not enjoying it and so when the Exams Officer that worked with him decided to leave, he moved a few chairs over and covered his role for several months before applying and taking it on full time. During this time, he realised if he wanted to progress in education, he needed to expand his knowledge beyond examinations and educate himself about business management roles.

And that’s when Chris discovered NEW College and their HND in Business Management studying a at Osprey House in Redditch. During his time at NEW College, he learnt about the different environments that businesses work in, how to manage resources and make financial decisions, how to analyse business strategies and implement your own and much more. This allowed him to get a feel for how all types of businesses operate and how as a manager or leader he could influence that in a positive manner.

After finishing with NEW College, Chris realised he had the ability to take on more responsibility at a managerial level which encouraged him to look for further opportunities outside the role he held. The standard of teaching, the supportive atmosphere and the vibe that Chris felt from NEW College made him actively keep in touch with what was going on at the College and so when they advertised for a new Exams Manager Chris applied without hesitation – for him it felt like an opportunity to benefit the organisation that gave him the extra skills to succeed whilst also progressing in his career.

So, where is Chris now?

Chris was successful with his application and is currently working as an Examinations and Timetabling Manager for Heart of Worcestershire College (HoW College). Within this role, Chris is required to have encyclopedic knowledge of all qualifications that the College delivers and the ability to manage many different administrative requirements of all the awarding bodies, whilst remaining  organised, calm and professional. As well as this, Chris must keep up with a seemingly never-ending change in complex exam regulations, whilst maintaining the integrity of the examination system. If a student has a positive college experience but a negative examination experience, it can undo all the work of Chris’ colleagues within the College, so he therefore strives to ensure every examination experience is neutral at the very least.

When asked whether the skills learnt at college have helped in his current role, Chris said:

“Without a doubt the skills I learnt at college have benefitted me and HoW College in my current role. The management of Examinations and Timetabling is a complex but rewarding role, which is never boring!”

Chris’ journey highlights the importance of continuing to learn, grow and expand your knowledge to land a job that you enjoy and can excel in. As we explored in the early stages of Chris’ journey, plans and destinations change throughout careers but it’s the motivation to want more that fuels success.