Meet the team

If you are looking to book an appointment with us, you might want to get to know our team in order to choose the right advisor for you.

 

Chandni Sandhu
I have over 12 years of experience in higher education in various settings including Human Resources, Public Relations, the Career Development Service and more recently Student Participation and Engagement. My primary focus is to help students to make the most of their time at university and enjoy their experience by providing a range of exciting and rewarding one-off volunteering events and activities on campus and out in the local community. I also provide weekly application and coaching appointments and have previously led employability workshops for the Leicester Award. Outside of work, I enjoy attending Zumba and Clubbercise classes. I'm also a self-confessed chocaholic.

 


Clare Jackson
As the Student Development Manager my responsibility is to ensure we provide all of our students inclusive and accessible career development through both a curriculum and extra-curricular context, varying from delivering the Leicester Award to all first years within their department, and supporting students in 1-2-1 appointments with their individual application processes. Prior to joining the University I worked as a HR professional for a Financial Services organisation, specialising in Management Development, Employee Relations, Recruitment and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. My interest in HR was sparked after completing a Year in Industry, therefore after finishing my Management degree I also undertook a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management and achieved my CIPD status. Outside of work I like to keep active either through social Irish dancing or exercising at the gym.

 

Dan Lathbury Dan Lathbury
As Student Development Assistant I provide a wide range of specific administrative support to the Student Development team as well as the wider Career Development Service. My main responsibilities include management of purchasing, income and booking of travel and conferences, as well as supporting student-facing Application Coaching appointments and workshops. Before this role, I coached and supported teenagers through a twelve-week programme to help them into work, education or training as well as supporting the long-term unemployed transition back into work. Outside of work my favourite pastimes includes drinking pina coladas, getting caught in the rain and running up the stairs really fast.

 


Emily Walker-Lakhani Emily Walker-Lakhani
I am currently a Recruitment Administrator within Unitemps, where I carry out all right to work checks and am the first point of contact for any enquiries. I have a strong background in the retail sector, firstly from attending Birmingham City University studying Fashion Retail Management and progressing through several management positions with H&M. From this experience I have strong commercial and training skills, as well as recruitment from application stages through to assessment centres. In my spare time I enjoy reading, hiking, learning new crafts and Harry Potter.

 

 

Hazra Patel

Hazra Patel
My work focuses on managing relationships with local small to medium businesses (SME’s). This involves establishing and strengthening links with regional SMEs that provide graduate employment and opportunities to enhance students’ employability. As Project Coordinator, I am responsible for relationship management and recruitment of students and graduates. Additionally, I am involved in supporting the planning and delivery of employer events on campus, including marketing and event management. Aside from this role, I also provide support to students in 1-2-1 appointments for applications and mock interviews. My previous education and background lies within the Marketing profession, having studied for a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) qualification, and I have worked as a Senior Marketing Officer within the private sector. This role consisted of managing online and offline marketing activities, covering the planning, execution and evaluation of marketing activity.

 

Jay Hardman Jay Hardman
I manage a team that works with academic departments to improve student retention and success. We help to plan and evaluate action to enhance student integration and embed careers education into the curriculum. I have worked in a number of educational research and policy development roles, having started my career as a research assistant. I am a graduate of the University of Leicester (BSc Psychology, 1992) and the Open University (MA Education, 1998). I live in Leicester and enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

 

 

Joanna Bullough
My role here at the Career Development Service is to support students in finding part-time, temporary work through Unitemps. Working as a Recruitment Coordinator at Unitemps I manage the end-to-end recruitment process for all temporary positions including advertising, shortlisting and resourcing. We recruit a huge variety of different roles across every department within the University! Outside of work, I enjoy spending my time outdoors, especially taking my dog out on new adventures and exploring different places.

 

 

Karen SylvesterKaren Sylvester
With 13 years’ experience of working in Higher Education Careers, I’m an iLM Coach, Mental Health First Aider, University of Sanctuary Champion and support the provision of careers-related activities within the curriculum. Graduating in 1994 with a BA in Three-Dimensional Design, I have worked in theatre, retail and publishing, as well as in libraries across HE, FE and the charitable sector. I completed a Masters in Librarianship & Information Science in 2002. In my spare time I enjoy hanging out with my family in the wilds of nature or at home with our (slightly) less wild cat and two guinea pigs.

 

 

Kirsty Piotrowski

Kirsty Piotrowski
I have an extensive background in external commercial and in-house recruitment, and currently work as the Senior Recruiter for Unitemps at the University of Leicester. As a team leader, I support the cultivation of opportunities for students to apply for part-time work whilst studying at the University to enable them to enhance their personal and professional development. I am an alumnus of Lancaster University where I studied English Literature, and I have travelled and worked overseas in Canada. Both my travels and work experiences have led to a continuing interest in employability, employment legislation and compliance within a workplace setting. When not at work I enjoy Zumba (despite not being very good at it!) and travelling to new places.


Lara Burton

Lara Burton
In my current role as Project Manager, I am responsible for ensuring that the University of Leicester offers the very best suite of opportunities to finalists and graduates to help them secure a career or further study. I work through an annual campaign that guarantees we are catering to the needs of all of our students and that we are working with students and graduates who need an extra bit of support. Before joining the Career Development Service, I worked in student recruitment and alumni relations, giving me a unique insight as to where graduates go after they finish university. When I’m not at work, I enjoy a good Netflix binge and spending time outdoors with my family. I love supporting charities that are close to my heart and I am currently training for my first half marathon.

 

Maxine

Maxine Bodicoat
As someone with a range of experience in education I am passionate about supporting student development. At present my work focuses on the design and delivery of careers education (including the Leicester Award Programme) and career coaching, but my previous experience includes working with young people with special educational needs, and data analysis/research in the field of graduate outcomes. I studied Psychology at the University of Warwick, graduating in 2010, and since then have undertaken an ILM Level 5 in Coaching, and Postgraduate Certificate in Academic and Professional Practice. When not at work I enjoy binge-listening to podcasts, watching documentaries and the occasional bit of yoga.

 

Mel Simpson

Mel Simpson
I am a Project Administrator in the Unitemps team and my main duties include ambassador check-ins, updating addresses, inputting new starters, P45 requests, processing returned payslips, dealing with telephone queries, processing monthly Tier 4 reports and sending out reminders for outstanding timesheets. I studied Physics at Portsmouth University and obtained a Masters from Northumbria University. I have worked in the IT and data analysis field in other organisations previous to working at the University. I am a writer in my spare time and am working on a second novel. I enjoy reading and playing console games and watching sci-fi and fantasy movies and TV shows. On the social side, I like going to the pub with friends and seeing my family.

 

 

Mike OwenMike Owen
My current role specialises in projects to improve our use of data and the compliance associated with that use around the Career Development Service. As part of this, I have responsibility for the TargetConnect system and GDPR compliance, being the departmental lead for both. My previous roles have usually been in a people and operations management capacity where I picked up valuable commercial skills working in the financial and marketing industry, but also a passion for helping people through working for non-profit organisations. Outside of work I enjoy playing a range of instruments (some better than others!) and am also involved in an independent film company where I design lighting for motion pictures, with a little acting on the side! I am also currently studying for my BA in History and Social Sciences and this gives me an insight into the difficulties and challenges associated with studying, especially part-time around other life commitments.

 

Molly JuckesMolly Juckes
Currently, my work focuses on managing the delivery of the Professional Mentoring Programme. This is a programme exclusive to students who have completed the Leicester Award Gold and puts students in contact with a network of industry-leading professional mentors. As the Project Coordinator, I am responsible for the design, delivery and organisation of the programme. Aside from this role, I also provide support to students in 1-1 appointments for applications and mock interviews. I studied History here at the University of Leicester, graduating in 2016 and since then embarked on a PGCE, worked with young children and gained experience of working within both the Charity and Higher Education sectors. At the University of Leicester, I secured numerous roles via Unitemps, working in the Biomedical Sciences Division, Future Students Office and International Recruitment. When I am not at work, I enjoy the occasional binge on Netflix, swimming and cross country running.

 

Nicola Mirams

Nicola Mirams

I promote events and information through online and printed materials to students. I also provide advice to staff about how to communicate effectively. I graduated from Durham University in 2010 where I studied history. I intended to go into arts administration and completed work experience including at the BBC and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. After deciding I didn't want to live in London (where the majority of arts administration roles were) I returned to Leicestershire, where I came from, and worked in communications at Leicester City Council and the NHS. I've been at the University for three years and enjoy connecting with students through careers appointments. I have played the flute for 20 years and have recently taken up the cello, which is about as big as me! I also volunteered at the London 2012 Paralympics.

 

Paul Fitzgerald

Paul Fitzgerald
Following a highly valuable summer in Philadelphia with Camp America I spent some years in music retail management before trading customer service and sales targets for career development. My current role is specifically focused on supporting the College of Life Sciences but I am particularly interested in how I can support students best when so much information is so readily accessible. I enjoy coaching and motivating in order to help students to follow realistic and manageable steps towards discovering career development/life goals and pursuing them. I think its really important to practice a healthy work/life balance and believe that life and circumstances need to be considered when reflecting and planning ahead! I love most music (especially when it's live) and am still attempting to play guitar to a reasonable standard!

 

Ranjit NainuRanjit Nainu
I have been working for the University, supporting students with their career development, for around 10 years now. I manage the Leicester Award programme, and offer career coaching appointments. I have previously supported societies such as ENACTUS and delivered a range of career support sessions to students. I have studied Psychology and Sociology combined, and since I have completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic and Professional Practice. I love travelling and enjoy working on new projects within textiles and interior design.

 

 

Richard Wilcock
My role is focused on working with the team to make sure we provide effective careers education and guidance to University of Leicester students. It’s a very rewarding role and I love seeing our students succeed in developing rewarding and fulfilling careers. I joined the University in 2010 from a similar role with the University of Warwick, and before that worked in recruitment for a number of organisations including Barclays and Toyota. I studied Communication and Media at the University of Loughborough, and am a qualified careers adviser and coach as well as Mental Health First Aider. Outside of university life I enjoy playing and watching all sports, film and TV, and trying to keep up with my young son!


Rob FryerRob Fryer
My role manages all the student-facing services that fall outside academic or commercial entities – so careers, sport and active life, student experience and our support services for students with disabilities, counselling and welfare. After leaving university I spent 13 years as a graduate recruiter across a range of industries including banking, engineering and professional service, recruiting circa 10,000 graduates during my recruitment days! I am a member of the University's Gender Equality Action Group, recently qualified as a coach and enjoy working with several student mentees. I enjoy spending my time free time with friends and family. Weekends normally involve a whole host of activities with my three kids and the occasional Spurs match!

 

 

Robyn

Robyn Brown
The focus of my career so far has been Recruitment and Employer Engagement. Following four years as a Recruitment Consultant, specialising in junior Finance recruitment in both Leicestershire and Northampton, I am now a Project Officer. My main focus is  building relationships with employers to support both Graduate recruitment and potential partnership opportunities. Throughout my career I have worked with a variety of companies covering all sectors, I have conducted assessment centre’s, interviews and given lots of CV guidance. As a careers service we try and ensure we are collaborating with the employers our students want us to, guaranteeing our students the best possible experience and opportunities.

 

 

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Rosie Whittingham
My current role focuses on building relationships with local small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) to provide graduate and student internship, placement and work experience opportunities in the sectors that are  of key importance to our students to enhance their employability. As a project coordinator I am responsible for managing relationships with employers, and in turn the vacancy management of roles available to students, including marketing of these roles and the management of any employer related events that work alongside our offering to employers. I have six years’ experience in the financial services sector, working within the marketing team and specialising in managing their events calendar of over 50 events annually, providing me with a solid background in managing multiple projects at any one. Outside of work I love travelling in our campervan and hiking to explore new places out in nature.

 

Sally Hall
Sally Hall
I facilitate students’ personal and professional development by helping departments to provide relevant learning opportunities within and outside of modules. These include specific career development activities and also a focus on wider academic or wellbeing concerns. My career has involved many roles where I have supported individuals and teams to achieve their potential. As a qualified coach I have supported managers transitioning to the next level and individuals seeking to change direction. Additionally I have worked in assessment and selection, management, policy, training and organisational development with public, private and voluntary sector organisations. Prior to joining the University of Leicester I led a programme of adult community learning designed to reduce social isolation amongst older people, drawing on my values around: seeing the whole person (not a label), working with strengths and positive assumptions; and a commitment to social purpose.

 

Sam Dziemianko
Sam Dziemianko
I graduated from the University of Leicester in 2016 after studying BA Geography with a year abroad at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. After completing my degree I commissioned into the British Army reserve as an Officer where I am now a troop commander at 37 Signal Regiment alongside my full time job. Following my degree, with the army I went on to lead and instruct on expeditions and activities in the UK and abroad in canoeing, kayaking, and mountaineering as part of a programme of transferable skill development. I then went on to join the consultancy Mott Macdonald as a Graduate transport planner before returning to the University in 2018 as part of the Career Development Service. My main area of focus now is on transferable skill development and supporting students in articulating those skills through the Leicester Award Programme.

 

 

Sam Parr
Sam Parr
At the University I design and deliver careers education, helping students understand how the great stuff they learn here connects to their future. I love talking to students about their development, and get a real buzz supporting them to really show how impressive they are in application processes. I graduated with a degree of English Literature/Creative Writing/Year in Computer Science in 2015, and since then worked on various projects at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and De Montfort University Careers Service, where I found an increasing passion for youth employment and higher education. When not at work I enjoy creative writing, cooking, reading boring books, and not working out.

 

 

Sheila Cunningham
Sheila Cunningham
I look after marking and assessments for the Leicester Award and Leicester Award Gold.  I make sure you can submit your work and get some really useful feedback from tutors, also delivering workshops and adding materials to Blackboard. I previously worked at the University of Nottingham helping students use digital tools to record their learning and achievements. Prior to that I have a whole range of experience focused on helping students progress in their education and careers. Outside of work I love painting, making things, growing stuff in my garden and doing a bit of Pilates to relax and stay fit.

 

 

Sophie Illston
Sophie Illston
I am one of the Recruitment Coordinators at Unitemps, and my role involves managing the recruitment of temporary roles at the University. A big focus of my role is to help students’ secure different roles to help increase their experience and employability, as well as supporting with wider careers initiatives. I previously studied the University of Leicester, where I studied for an LLB in Law, graduating in 2015. I am absolutely dog crazy, and love spending my spare time taking my dog, Betsy, out for walks, and generally treating her like the princess she is!

 

 

 

Stefan Weger
Stefan Weger
The main focus of my work at the University is supporting students to achieve their goals by providing support in 1-2-1 appointments for applications, mock interviews, as well as through a range of workshops including the mock assessment centre which I designed using knowledge gained from my masters in Occupational Psychology. Having completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience in 2015, I studied for my masters via distance learning whilst working and gaining experience in the NHS in both recruitment, as well as in a research role with the patient safety team. In my spare time I enjoy training in Kung Fu for which I am a second degree black belt, as well as playing badminton.

 

 

Susie Brown
Susie Brown
As Placements Advisor within CDS, I support undergraduate and MSc students from the College of Science and Engineering and College of Life Sciences to secure Year in Industry placements. I work with local and national organisations to increase the number of placements available to University of Leicester students. In addition, I manage these employer relationships and ensure we are offering the very best service to both students and employers. Having graduated with a BA in Ancient History and Archaeology from the University of Leicester in 2011, I ventured into the marketing and graduate recruitment sectors. Returning to the University as a staff member in 2016, I joined the Unitemps team, where prior to my current role I worked as a Senior Recruitment Consultant. Being a UoL alumni gives me a unique view of life at Leicester as both a student/graduate and member of staff. When I am not at work I enjoy travelling and being outdoors with my family taking my miniature labradoodle Winnie out for long walks.

 

Tamara Hissett
Tamara Hissett
My current role is Project Manager of the Leicester Award Gold, and alongside this I also support students with 1:1 application coaching and mock interview appointments. I was the first in my family to attend University in 2006, and as a result have lots of advice and top tips for students who might also be in the same situation.  I studied Law at the University of Bristol, but chose to pursue a career outside of the Law, which has led me to have a background in HR and Business Management. This, as well as my experience within the Employer Engagement Team at the University, has led me to become very familiar with a variety of different application, assessment and interview processes. Outside of work my passions lie in sport and fine dining; I am currently training for my first triathlon with a treat planned to Core by Clare Smyth in London upon completion.

 

Tom Ledgard
Tom Ledgard
In my role I enable university students to secure highly skilled employment by supporting students to gain work related skills and experience during their degree and identify opportunities for them after graduation. This involves working with a range of stakeholders to develop and progress work experience activities on campus and placements off campus, and also graduate employers. Previously I have worked in student recruitment and as an Associate Tutor in a Business School. Before working in higher education, I played professional sport and combined my playing career studying a masters degree in Sport Business Management. Outside of work I keep myself active, participating in a range of activities and events as an individual and team.

 

 

Vanessa Harris

Vanessa Harris
I am the Volunteering Project Manager in the Student Participation and Engagement Team where my role is to manage volunteering opportunities and events for students to develop their skills and experience. I am currently undertaking an ILM Coaching & Mentoring qualification so I am keen to develop my coaching practice. Up until recently I was based in the Career Development Service, managing the student volunteering service and supporting students in their personal and professional development. I have worked in Higher Education for over 15 years in student-facing roles supporting students to develop their skills and experience. Prior to this I worked in the voluntary sector, running personal development programmes for vulnerable young people and recruiting and training volunteers. I am passionate about holistic therapies and am a qualified massage therapist. I love walking (anywhere!), yoga, meditation and sunshine.

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