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Liam and Robert are doing the business!

Robert Fox and Liam Short at Hartlepool College of Further Education.
Robert Fox and Liam Short at Hartlepool College of Further Education. 

Hartlepool College business student Liam Short will take the next step towards his dream career in the police force in September, having spent the last two years becoming an important voice here at College.

The 18-year-old has just completed a two-year Level 3 Business Diploma that has earned him a conditional offer from the University of Central Lancashire to study policing and criminal investigation. But as well as impressing in the classroom, he has also acted as a Student Ambassador and been a Student Governor for the College too.

To add to those Liam has volunteered for the police service to gain valuable experience ahead of the next chapter of his life in Preston where he will work towards securing a degree. Liam, a former High Tunstall College of Science student, said: “I have been involved with the Youth Commission for police, talking to youth clubs and what needs to change and I have talked to the chief of police at Cleveland Police about how things can change from a youth perspective while I have been at College. We have found a way, we are the voice. At College I have enjoyed being a governor and student ambassador, which has meant helping out with charity events, representing the College at Workers’ Memorial Day, and obviously going to governors’ meetings. There has been more to it too. It was all because I wanted to get to know more people. My confidence might not have been that strong before but over the years that confidence has grown and grown, through what I have done on my business course and volunteering.”

As well as handing out the Celebration of Achievements to other students, Liam led a virtual presentation for peers on how the police can engage with others. College principal, Darren Hankey commented, “Liam has been a model student and a wonderful ambassador for the college.  He has played a full role as a governor and has represented the college with great poise and dignity. The University of Central Lancashire is lucky to have him as a student and I’m sure he will continue to excel.”

Donna Callaghan, a lecturer in business at Hartlepool College, said: “Liam has embraced every opportunity that has come his way in order to enrich his time at College and has got his rewards. He is an all-round good person, a leader and I am sure he will take leadership opportunities going forward.”

Liam is not the only Hartlepool College business student heading to university with a story behind him either. Robert Fox only joined in September having previously finished his A-levels without the grades he required to secure a place at university.

But in just a year of hard work on the Level 3 Business Diploma he has increased his UCAS points to be accepted into Northumbria University to study accountancy. The 19-year-old said: “It highlights that A-levels aren’t the be-all and end-all, there are other opportunities out there. I wasn’t sure what to do when I didn’t get those grades I wanted in physics, maths, and politicsI wasn’t sure what route I was going to take. I just knew I wanted to go to university. Now I am looking at accommodation in Newcastle, it is equally as scary as it is exciting. I am looking forward to heading into a new environment and having new interactions.”

The former High Tunstall student was focused on studying accountancy at degree level so to have secured that place has put a massive smile on his face. He said: “I obviously had to start off a year later than the rest but I was able to catch up with assignments. I have really enjoyed life at Hartlepool College and it has given me insight into researching on a topic, and being able to make digestible reports. The course has given me a good understanding of how to take business ideas and to consider the different avenues and present that to others.”

Jackie Paylor, a lecturer in business at Hartlepool College, said: “Robert is quietly confident in his own ability. He produces excellent work. He has developed practical skills that would have remained hidden with his previous academic courses. Those skills he will undoubtedly take forward because they have increased his confidence and it’s fantastic that he has secured a long-held ambition to study accountancy at university. We are so pleased for him.”


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