About Us


Meet The Team

Vicki MacDonald

Vicki is a Co-Founder of FutureSmart Careers. Previously she had worked with ISCO over 7 years ago and developed a strong portfolio of school clients with them and their newer branding Inspiring Futures. A qualified teacher with a L6 Diploma in Careers Guidance and on the CDI professional register, she believes that helping people to understand who they are, and the implications of their decisions empowers them to make better choices. It is not for us to tell a student ‘what to do’ or ‘that they cannot do something’, our job is to help them understand what’s required for a particular career and what they can do with their preferred subjects. “We don’t make the decisions, but we do help students understand what their decisions will mean”.

Her background as Head of Careers in an independent school in Bristol for 6 years and her experience working in recruitment for SME’s and sales for global and major organisations gives her a very relevant perspective about different careers and employability and reinforces that there are often many and diverse routes to employment.

Lorna Owen

Lorna entered the careers sector in 2015 after gaining the Level 7 Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance and is a professional member of the Career Development Institute.   She is passionate about helping young people understand the dynamics of a rapidly changing world of work and how to prepare for a future where uncertainty and change are the only things that are guaranteed.

Prior to co-founding FutureSmart Careers, Lorna worked with Inspiring Futures and she also has a wealth of experience from roles in the newspaper industry, television production, eCommerce, charity and finance sectors. She has hugely enjoyed the variety in her own career and is well equipped to shares insights into highly valuable transferable skills and how to find the work that you love. She is now dedicated to supporting young people make the best choices about their own options and opportunities.

Jane Johns

Jane has 35 years of experience working in the careers sector and holds a Diploma in Careers Guidance. She has built a deep knowledge base and gained wide expertise working with students to explore educational opportunities and career options. Having worked in many parts of the UK in a wide variety of roles with adults, Jane returned to working with students 10 years ago. She is passionate about being a Careers Adviser and committed to delivering work of the highest standard.  She believes that every student should have an outstanding service from their careers provider.

Emma McGuinness

Emma qualified in Careers Guidance with a Level 7 Post-Graduate Diploma from the University of West of England in 2011. She joined ISCO in 2012 and combined this with her role as a Careers Consultant at Bath Spa University. Both roles involved skilled one-to-one careers guidance. At Bath Spa University she was the lead consultant for Equality and ran the Career Head Start programme for first year students. During her time with ISCO Emma worked in a wide range of independent schools and alongside one-to-one guidance she also delivered workshops on higher education choices and provided mock Oxbridge interviews.

Emma began her career as a researcher in the House of Commons. She has worked for charities, NGOs and think tanks. She has also trained as a counsellor and worked with young people in the public sector.  Emma enjoys supporting young people to identify their values and interests, navigate options and translate these into next steps. She loves seeing young people light up with inspiration and confidence, realising what they can do and how to do it.


Allie Betts

Allie has a Masters in Career Management from Canterbury Christchurch University and the QCD Level 7 Diploma in Careers Development. She has delivered impartial guidance to both school students and adult clients.  Previously she worked in France and built a careers consultancy business supporting clients in making well-informed career decisions through 1:1 interviews and group work sessions.  Allie believes in creating a safe, non-judgmental space for individuals to explore options, identify solutions, and make future-focused plans.  Having worked in the UK, France and the Czech Republic, she has proven herself as a culturally aware individual who excels in helping others to plan and manage their career.  Allie is a professional member of the Career Development Institute.

Jacquie Ridge

Jacquie trained as a careers adviser in 1985 studying for the Post Graduate Diploma in Careers Guidance. Having started her career in London, she transferred to Berkshire to work in schools and Further Education Colleges in Reading, Newbury and Bracknell. After a career break, she returned to work for Inspiring Futures on the Helpline Team, answering queries from students, parents and teachers throughout the UK and many countries in Europe, The Middle and Far East. Jacquie believes that all students should have access to good quality independent careers advice to make informed decisions about their future. She is also a member of the Career Development Institute.