Careers Champion: Working Adviser meets finalist Mary Pickin
In a series of mini-blogs to mark the 9th Careers Champion award, Working Adviser gets to know finalist Mary Pickin – Careers Adviser at Northumbria University
WA: Tell us a bit about your background and current Careers role.
MP:I trained as a Careers adviser in 1979. I’ve worked in schools, colleges and universities as well as taking a breaks to teach and to act. I was Karen’s mam in Byker Grove, I delivered Zoe’s baby in Emmerdale, opened the door to many stars including Honeysuckle Weeks, and Jerome Flynn. I managed to do this bit part acting as well as being a Careers Adviser. I’ve worked at Northumbria for 16 years as a Disability Adviser, Return to Learning Adviser and a mainstream Careers Adviser, currently working with Humanities, Film and TV and Performance Students
WA: What is the most rewarding part of working in Careers?
MP:The most rewarding part of my job is working with the students and collaborating with the Students’ Union academics and employers to create exciting events geared towards building confidence and resilience with a focus on equality and diversity , encouraging students to be themselves and to be proud of themselves.
WA: How is Careers work changing and what does the future hold?
MP:Careers work is changing all the time; new jobs are being created especially in digital technology. Students have to wrestle with multiple job titles for very similar roles. Social media also plays a big part in job search, recruitment and networking and student need to know how to use appropriate online platforms, professionally and effectively.
WA: Finally, what was your reaction when you were confirmed as a Careers Champion finalist?
MP: I was absolutely gobsmacked at being nominated by my lovely colleague, Jenny O’Neil , who is definitely a careers Champion herself.