Where Are They Now: Harry Friel!
08 February 2024
Harry Friel joined North East Worcestershire College (NEW College) in 2011 with one goal – to take on a new challenge. With a challenge driven readiness Harry excelled in his time at NEW College and is now supporting the next generation through their own challenges, all because he decided to take that one important leap and complete a college course. But how did his journey get him to this point?
Harry was a student at NEW College from 2011 – 2013 studying Level 3 Uniformed Public Services and during this time was able to gain a range of crucial transferable skills that helped through his higher education studies as well as his career. The Uniformed Public Services course had a heavy emphasis on teamwork, communication, and the importance of being able to work collaboratively, these skills have been vital through his journey after college and are things he has taken through each stage of his working life.
After finishing college, Harry studied a Physical Education degree at the University of Wolverhampton and it was the skills he gained at college that were imperative to his achievements here, mainly due to the cooperative nature of the course. Throughout his time at university, he was able to hone these skills and has taken them through to his current job role where he works in a busy team of over 10 people.
So, where is Harry now?
Harry has worked in a range of job roles including a barman in a social club, a retail employee at Sports Direct, an Employment Advisor working alongside the Job Centre and a Student Engagement Officer at Heart of Worcestershire College. He now works as a Schools Liaison Officer at University College Birmingham.
Within this role, Harry works in a big team, so it is important they are able to work effectively and efficiently to ensure targets are met and achievements are reached. Teamwork and communication are key factors in the achievements of a team and are skills that Harry and his team pride themselves on. Harry feels that these skills were all able to develop in his first weeks of NEW College through the support of his personal tutors and the teaching staff.
Discussing the reasons for choosing college, Harry said:
“I chose to study at college because I was excited to have a new challenge in my life and meet new people from different backgrounds. I really valued the College's ethos of championing vocational studies and understanding that students learn in a range of different ways. I felt that by going to college I was being treated more like an adult by the staff, while also keeping that nurturing and encouraging nature that is needed for 16–18-year-olds. My experience at college really inspired me and showed me how important it is to help guide young adults through challenging times in their life and that is the reason I wanted to pursue a career in Further and Higher Education.”
Harry’s journey is another great example that highlights just how valuable transferable skills are and how college can open up a variety of opportunities that kickstart your future. Harry has been able to put his life experiences, transferable skills, knowledge and enthusiasm into a job role that supports young people in all aspects of their lives and allows them to grow and succeed.