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The future is bright

23 Jun 2014

Suggestions welcome for our Ambitious Futures interns

Alex Barker and Jacinta Blythe

This year the University is taking part in the innovative graduate trainee programme Ambitious Futures for the first time, having taken on two interns, Alex Barker and Jacinta Blythe.

Ambitious Futures is a national programme which gives talented graduates training opportunities in the higher education sector - effectively nurturing future senior leaders.

Alex and Jacinta are currently working at other partner universities as part of the schedule and will return to Manchester in October to start their final six-month programme placement. The University is looking for suitable roles for their final placements and would welcome any suggestions.

Alex, whose first task was working on MyFutureFest for the the Careers and Employability Division, also worked on a campaign to promote a series of ‘boot-camps’ for the Class of 2014, helping them to hone their skills and increase their confidence in preparation for when they graduate.

She said: “It was quite a challenge to engage such a large and diverse student community. It’s been an exciting but daunting period, but the team have been very welcoming and supportive.”

Alex is currently at Lancaster University working on knowledge exchange partnerships with China.

Jacinta, who was shadowing the management team and working within the newly-established projects office in the Library, said: “The scheme appealed to me because I’d previously worked in the University’s Accommodation Office and it gave me a taste for working in higher education.

“And it works two ways, it’s a great opportunity for the University to utilise the talent they’ve nurtured within a structured, supportive programme.”

Jacinta has been working at Liverpool University’s student recruitment division.

Will Spinks, Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer, who led the steering group to bring the initiative to Manchester, said: “The Ambitious Futures scheme is a bold innovation for the higher education sector.  It aims to grow into one of the largest graduate recruitment schemes in the country.  We are very pleased that Manchester is involved in its early development."

  • If you think you have a suitable final placement role for Alex or Jacinta within your department, please contact Helen Barton, Planning Support Office, at