New Student Learning Centre Opened in Stockton

New Student Learning Centre Open

When hearing the phrase ‘Centre of Excellence’ several concepts come to mind. The phrase has always evoked hazy, yet unmistakably great memories, of a smug looking Sir Alex Ferguson watching like a proud farmer over his early 1990s crop from the academy… Beckham et al. The other reference is probably not worth publishing and is a somewhat twisted ode from my borderline sex pest housemate regarding the intake of female freshers to Hild Bede every year.

However what did not immediately come to mind was the fact that over the summer, June to be precise, the ‘Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre’ – shortened to the trendier ‘CEEC’ was constructed on Queen’s Campus, Stockton. I must admit greatly excited was I on learning at the topic of this article was that I would have to visit the mysterious Stockton campus, a place shrouded in mystery and the rumored destination of at least one of the Horcruxes. However on arrival I was largely disappointed to find it rather much like Durham only on a smaller scale (if that’s possible).

On arrival at the ‘CEEC’ I was impressed with the facilities available to students. Durham prides itself on being a place with one of the highest rates of graduate employability – thought to be within the top 15 universities globally. Combining important advisory information and guidance so that we all are readily prepared to spend our Sunday nights cramming for that law case instead of for Klute (Not sure which is entirely worse!). An up-to-date IT suite, interview rooms as well as a postgraduate study area ensures that all needs are catered for whether you be looking to pursue a career in Astronomy or Zoology.

One such third year, Alistair Timms, 21, studying business at Queen’s Campus, Stockton, and looking for a job in the exotic destination of Middlesbrough, remarked that: "It is vital that you get work experience during your time at university and I have been actively encouraged by the careers service here at Queen's Campus to use all the services. They helped me put my CV together and are actively helping me with my job search and offering other support like interview technique. As a result despite only just starting my third year I've had great experience within the transport industry which has resulted in me securing an interview for a job here in the North East."

Thus this author can conclude that such a development can only be good news for us as students especially given today’s ever competitive workplace. Employers such as PricewaterhouseCoopers as well as local businesses such as Nissan have been vital in working with the university in order to provide quality advice and work experience. Even KMPG which must surely have pulled more students than Ronnie Wood have been lending a helping hand in order to develop student’s skills and enhance their learning by providing placements and further education advice.

One only has to look at the success story of John Cordrey, 21, who having completed his three year business management degree at Queen’s Campus was offered following correspondence with PwC, a coveted graduate role. He remarked that, ‘As a student you are looking to your university to provide a contact network within the working world and to develop your interpersonal and entrepreneurial skills through work placement, internships, mentoring and interview practice opportunities. The creation of the CEEC has provided me with numerous opportunities and it is great that all these services have now been brought together.’

If like me graduation seems a mere speck on a horizon of regretful Studio Tuesdays away then perhaps it is time greater consideration should be given to the facilities available to us at our wonderful University; the CEEC surely being the latest fantastic development made available to us. Whatever the degree, wherever you’re based, it is always worth seeking advice for the future and who knows even if your trip to Stockton is an academically unfulfilling one (unlikely) you may be lucky enough to stumble across Salazar Slytherin’s Locket on your travels.