Business Students given career advice by former student

Founder of Dark Green PR, Ed Hopkins, spoke to our Business Extended Diploma Level 3 students about his career journey and his advice for preparing for their futures.

Business man Ed Hopkins standing at the front of a lecture room talking to a group of Business Extended Diploma students

The talk coincided with the students' Year 1 unit on Recruitment and Selection and enhanced some of the subject areas that they've discussed in class. 

Ed came to The Henley College from Gillotts in 2007, to study A levels in Government & Politics, Physical Education and Law, before going on to the University of Reading to study Politics and International Relations, Political Science and Government. He then went onto embark on a successful career in Public Relations, working for large scale PR firms in London. 
After being made redundant in April 2020 due to the Covid 19 pandemic, Ed was given the push he needed to start his own company, Dark Green PR, which "helps brands striving for a more sustainable future get the publicity and support they deserve."
Ed spoke to the students about how his organisation's core values dictate both the kind of people he hires, as well as the clients that he will work with. Ed is passionate about climate change and working with companies who genuinely want to reduce the impact humans are having on our planet. 
Business man Ed Hopkins presenting a talk to a group of Business Extended Diploma students
A common interview question is why do you want to work here? and Ed stressed the importance of passion and purpose and making sure that where possible, you have a really good reason for wanting to work for a company so you can answer this question honestly. 
He highlighted the importance of networking, and how even just introducing yourself to the person you're sitting next to can have a positive impact on your career. He also spoke about the importance of diversity of thought, and how it is vital for businesses to include a wide range of perspectives from different religions, ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds.
Linkedin and Instagram were Ed's top social media tools for gaining new business clients and opportunities, and he talked about how businesses are spending millions on creating content and advertising on Instagram, rather than Facebook and Twitter. He noted that the students were already at an advantage as their generation have grown up with social media, and have the knowledge, skills and adaptability to make it work for them. 
The students asked some great questions, including how do you answer the why do I want to work here question if you are being interviewed for a retail job? with Ed advising them to say that retail experience is great for life skills and that you want to work hard and not let them down. 
Extracurricular activities were also discussed and the importance of using your time at College to take part in the Enrichment Programme alongside your studies, to help you develop skills which will be vital for your future career.
Thank you to Ed for taking the time to talk to the students.

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