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FutureSmart Careers was founded in 2019 by Vicki MacDonald and Lorna Owen. We are careers guidance specialists and passionate about providing students with the support they need to move on to the next stages in life.
We now work with over 40 schools across the South and South West and FutureSmart Careers continues to grow. Our philosophy is to collaborate with each individual school to provide the level of support that meets their exact needs and budget.
We employ a growing team of careers advisers, who are all qualified to Level 6 or 7, who uphold the CDI’s professional code of ethics, undertake regular safeguarding and CPD training and who have enhanced DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) status.
Director and Co-Founder
I am a Co-Founder of FutureSmart Careers and it has been an exciting three years, I have really enjoyed continuing to work with my school clients and it has been over 9 years with many of them. Increasing our school clients and growing a team of expert colleagues has been very rewarding, some of whom I have worked alongside for many years and some who have joined us more recently and come from a range of careers backgrounds.
I believe that being flexible in the way in which we work with our clients and employing amazing staff to deliver excellent service is key to our success.
My background working for an independent careers company for 6 years and as Head of Careers in an independent school in Bristol for 6 years, combined with experience working in recruitment for SME’s and sales for global and major organisations gives me a very relevant perspective about different careers and employability and reinforces that there are often many and diverse routes to employment.
I love my job, being able to spend time with teenagers, talking to them about what they want to do in their careers and helping them to start the process of planning and achieving their goals is a great privilege.
When I am not working, I will be riding my horse, Harry and clinging on tight, as I have been known to have the occasional fall!
Director and Co-Founder
I am a Co-Founder of FutureSmart Careers. I entered the careers sector in 2015 after gaining the Level 7 Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance and am a professional member of the Career Development Institute. I am 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, I worked with Inspiring Futures and I also have a wealth of experience from roles in the newspaper industry, television production, eCommerce, charity and finance sectors. I have hugely enjoyed the variety in my career and am well equipped to shares insights into highly valuable transferable skills and help pupils to find the work that they will love. I am now dedicated to supporting young people to make the best choices about their own options and opportunities.
Hi, I'm Jacquie. I trained as a careers adviser in 1985 studying for the Post Graduate Diploma in Careers Guidance. Having started my career in London, I transferred to Berkshire to work in schools and Further Education Colleges in Reading, Newbury and Bracknell.
After a career break, I 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 the Far East. I believe that all students should have access to good quality independent careers advice to make informed decisions about their future. I am also a member of the Career Development Institute.
Marketing and Admin Executive
Hi, I’m Lydia McNeill. I have been working in Marketing for 3 years, and before that, I was working in customer services for around 10 years.
I have a degree in Business and Marketing, and I am interested in using marketing to build our brand promise and give a fantastic customer experience. I have a holistic approach to marketing and have a keen interest in strategy, as I’m a big picture thinker. In my spare time, I love to travel, learn about psychology and practise yoga.
Hi, my name is Rachael Cobbledick, I work in schools in Devon and Cornwall and sometimes further afield. Previously I was the Head of Careers in a secondary school since 2016, adding to my role as a Computing Teacher. Prior to that I taught Computing and worked in advice and guidance at a local FE College.
I have achieved a Level 6 Certificate in Careers Leadership and a Secondary PGCE in ICT. I aim to raise awareness and confidence, increase motivation, and broaden horizons, working with the concept that we are there to help someone make their choices, by supporting and empowering them. In my spare time, I love walking, especially around the Devon and Cornwall coastal paths.
Hi, I'm Jane Johns, I have 35 years of experience working in the careers sector and hold a Diploma in Careers Guidance. I have 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, I returned to working with students 10 years ago. I am passionate about being a Careers Adviser and committed to delivering work of the highest standard. I believe that every student should have outstanding service from their careers provider.
Hi, I’m Martin Allerston, I’ve been a qualified careers advisor for 20 years and before that, I was an education/training project manager and musician.
As a careers advisor, my aim is to be approachable and accessible. I believe good careers guidance really can raise aspirations, broaden horizons, and challenge stereotypes. I have an undergraduate degree in Geography and Economics, and in my spare time, I like playing 5 aside football.
Hi, I’m Debbie Longland, I qualified as a careers adviser in 2019 and have over 15 years experience of teaching science in secondary schools.
I have also worked at The University of Bath helping to develop the Careerpilot website & resources. I have a degree in Biochemistry, PGCE secondary science and a Level 6 Diploma in Careers Guidance. I am particularly interested in trends within careers and the types of careers that young people are interested in. I think that all young people should have access to high-quality careers guidance & be empowered to take control of their own career choices.
Fun facts about me are that I have completed 2 marathons, climbed Mont Blanc & appeared on The Weakest Link.
Hi, I'm Emma McGuiness, I qualified in Careers Guidance with a Level 7 Post-Graduate Diploma in 2011. I have worked in the university sector and in secondary education, including a wide range of independent schools and alongside one-to-one guidance, I also deliver workshops on higher education choices and provide mock Oxbridge interviews.
I began my career as a researcher in the House of Commons. I have worked for charities, NGOs and think tanks. I have also trained as a counsellor and worked with young people in the public sector. I enjoy supporting young people to identify their values and interests, navigate options and translate these into their next steps. I love seeing young people light up with inspiration and confidence, realising what they can do and how to do it.
Hi, I’m Rosie Andrew, I have been a careers advisor for approximately 40 years and before that I was studying for my degree in Social Policy and Diploma in Careers Guidance. My special interest within the field is meeting Gatsby benchmarks and using diagnostic tools.
My philosophy on careers guidance is that it’s all about opening doors, accessing information, and helping people to navigate choices. It’s been a great 40 years so far in the careers sector, accessing information, motivating students, and opening doors for their futures.
My name is Sue White, I am a qualified careers adviser and have worked in the education sector for 28 years. Before that, I worked in graduate recruitment at IBM and student services within several universities.
I am also a qualified lecturer, with a Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership and Management. More recently, I became a qualified Mindfulness teacher and use some of the tools and techniques in my teaching.
I enjoy using acceptance, commitment therapy, psychometric assessments and design-thinking within my careers practice with clients. I have travelled extensively, going to school in South Africa and Japan. I am also an amateur artist and play tennis to keep fit.
Hi, I’m Liz Manning. I’ve been a careers adviser for nearly 25 years now, most recently working as Head of Careers at a university, and as a careers adviser at a secondary school. I have achieved a Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance and a BA (Hons) in Information and Library Studies.
I am passionate about helping motivate young people to pursue careers and courses that match their skills and desires, understanding that this is sometimes a difficult task for a young person who may feel anxious about their next steps.
Hello, I’m Julie Tiley, I worked many years as a Careers Adviser for Connexions. During this time, I completed a Post Graduate Qualification in Careers Guidance (known as the QCG).
The focus of my work was on working with young people in schools, colleges, and universities. I then went on to deliver careers guidance to adults and the most vulnerable, hardest to reach adults. I have recently returned to the rewarding work of providing careers guidance to young people.
Hello, I’m Caroline Robinson, I’ve been with FutureSmart Careers for over 2 years now. Before this, I worked as a careers adviser for 8 years and had experience in education as a teacher and researcher. I have a BA degree in History of Art and a PGDip with QCG in Career Guidance.
My philosophy to careers guidance is that everyone has potential to be unlocked and each stage in your career will lead you to where you want to go. A fun fact about me is that I am planning to become an artist when I retire!
Hi, I’m Heather Samuel. I’ve been a qualified careers advisor for approximately 30 years, and before that, I was working as a Support Officer for the Education Welfare Service.
I have a particular interest in healthcare professions, specifically careers in medicine. I also enjoy using psychometric assessments with clients to explore personality and career development. My philosophy on careers advice is a simple and straightforward approach: client-centred at every level and solution-focused.