Chris Heathcote 1996 – 2003
I spent seven happy years at Alsager School through my GCSEs in 2001 and A-levels in 2003.
My brilliant teachers, Mrs Bristow and Mr Wishart, really brought on my love of English and History. I especially enjoyed acting in the school plays – Oklahoma, Blitz and Midsummer Night’s Dream, thanks to Mrs Betts-Nicholson, the Head of Drama – and being involved in the school council, as well as the Air Cadets Squadron in Alsager, outside of school.
All got me thinking about what really motivated and interested me. Alsager School gave me good support to write my UCAS application and to go on open days and I secured a place at the London School of Economics (LSE), graduating in 2007 with a BSc in Government & History. I played an active part in campus life becoming News Editor of the student newspaper and was elected to serve one year sabbatical as Communications Officer for the LSE Students’ Union. In my final year I interned in the Houses of Parliament drafting correspondence and briefings for MPs and from that I was offered a full-time role after graduation.
I then spent three years as Senior Policy Advisor at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) working on public services reform policy, before moving to a management scheme in the defence business of Serco, a then FTSE 100 outsourcing company. After four years of volunteering as a Special Constable, in 2012 I joined the Metropolitan Police Service as a Police Constable and spent two years on the beat and attending emergency 999 calls in east London.
In 2014 I successfully applied to the national High Potential Development Scheme (HPDS) and was promoted, first as Detective Sergeant in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and then on a gangs unit in south London, before being promoted again to Detective Inspector leading teams of 40 officers managing sexual and violent offenders and investigating exploitation offences and missing persons. I am also a qualified Public Order Commander, trained to lead police officers in riot and disorder situations. Through this time I completed a Masters in Police Leadership & Management from the University of Warwick Business School.
Graham Evans – (1996-2003)
I completed GCSEs at Alsager School in 2001 and stayed on for two years in Sixth Form where I completed A levels in Mathematics, Physics and Physical Education as well as AS levels in Geography, Information Computer Technology and Further Mathematics. This secured me a place at Loughborough University studying for a Masters’ degree in Automotive Engineering. During my studies I undertook a year in industry, returning to the local area to work for Bentley Motors in Crewe as an Industrial Placement Trainee in the Engineering function, specifically the Acoustics and Aerodynamics team. This gave me invaluable, relevant real world experience to relate to my studies and a huge advantage when looking for graduate opportunities.
I completed my studies in 2008 and was successful in securing a graduate position with Ricardo UK Limited as an Engine Design Engineer. After a summer of travel, I began working for Ricardo but suffered a huge setback as the financial crisis set in and I was made redundant from my position in March 2009. Fortunately, owing to good contacts built up during my time at Bentley Motors, I was back in engineering employment in the June, working in the Acoustics team again. I spent the next six years with Bentley, working on projects such as the Mulsanne, V8-engined Continental models and the Bentayga, traveling regularly to countries such as Germany, Spain and Finland to perform testing at VW Group facilities and getting the opportunity to drive and work on some incredible cars!
In 2015, despite being extremely happy at Bentley, I made the decision to take up an opportunity with Jaguar Land Rover. There I worked in a Senior Engineer role, again on the Acoustics team, getting the chance to work on the Jaguar F-Pace and Range Rover Velar projects. For personal reasons, I was being increasingly drawn to London and only fifteen months later I made the move further south and out of Engineering to pursue an opportunity with IHS Markit, where I remain today. At heart an information company, IHS Markit provides insight and expertise across the largest industries and I am employed in the Automotive team. Over three and a half years I have risen to the position of Associate Director and lead a global team of thirteen Analysts researching auto industry technology and supply chains. Within this role I have had the opportunity to interview the likes of Carlos Ghosn, attend industry conferences as far afield as San Diego and Tokyo, and whilst increasingly providing authoritative views the industry’s transition to electrification. Next month I will attend CERAWeek in Houston, a leading Energy Industry event run by IHS Markit where I will be chairing a panel of CEOs and industry leaders discussing the importance of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to the uptake of EVs.
Elliot Isherwood (2008- 2013)
I am currently finishing my last year at Aston University studying Psychology after spending a full year at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
After my A-Levels, I took a year out and worked in the SEN department at Alsager High school. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and it has inspired me for my future career.
Now looking back at Alsager School, I can truly appreciate the guiding hand that was over us. We were given enough room to grow without it taking away from out studies, through: Mentor Schemes, School Clubs or Spare Study Time at Sixth Form. Having these options available has allowed me to try new things and realise my passion.
At Sixth Form I studied Spanish, Psychology and English. Learning Spanish has been exceptionally helpful in not only understanding the language, but people. Studying Psychology has added to this fascination with people and culture. I am confident that both of these subjects will be a part of my future, which would have only been possible If I enjoyed the classes at Sixth Form. Finally, I also studied English Language covering topics like language and power, which have continued to have an impact on me to this day.
The freedom of Sixth Form also nurtures time management and the regular classes stop you from falling behind on your studies. The work ethic and high professional standards you get from Alsager Sixth Form tutors have prepared me well for work and university life – I remember my time there fondly.
Jess Cooper (2007-2014)
I’m currently working at the University of Bristol and my role is within the international office. I am an international student recruiter so my job involves attending events and open days in countries to promote diversity in the student body and raise the profile of the university.
My target markets are the Middle East and Central Asian countries. We’re quite a large team (around 20, working all over the world) it involves a lot of travel and liaising with a network of agencies overseas to encourage students to register at the university. When I’m overseas I work a lot answering enquiries, meeting prospective students. Since it’s more difficult for them to attend an open day at Bristol we try to bring it to them. It’s sometimes glamorous (staying in the Ritz in Moscow for example) and sometimes tiring and lonely but at other times very sociable and I love the way it allows me to meet local people and visit local high schools all over the place.
Before starting my current role in August, I worked in another team in the international office which was more events focussed, organising welcome events for international students in September, and throughout the year. The concept was called the global lounge and it aimed to integrate home and international students by sharing cultures through language exchange and cultural events.