A trio of Media Practice students from Sunderland College showcased their skills and talent at the Further Education sector’s flagship event.

Madison Henderson, Lydia Judge and Chloe Meadows travelled to Birmingham for the Association of College’s (AoC) Annual Conference and Exhibition to work alongside media and events professionals after being selected for the organisation’s Student Skills Showcase.

The students are keen to pursue a career in media marketing, journalism, and event management, and being part of such a prestigious event gave them the opportunity to gain invaluable experience with esteemed professionals.

During the two-day conference, one of the biggest of its kind, Madison and Lydia were part of the AoC’s press and communication’s team where they gained experience of what happens in the conference media room and getting the chance to speak with journalists.

Lydia said: “I really enjoyed seeing all the people that help develop opportunities for college students, as well as seeing what goes on behind the scenes.”

Madison added: “I really liked working with the team to have experience on what’s it’s like behind the scenes of the marketing and journalism of social media, learning more about colleges in the seminars was very interesting and we then got experience on what it was like in interviews and making notes and quotes for the social media.”

Chloe assisted in the delivery of over 40 breakout sessions, keynotes, and receptions, as well as getting to work front of house with the Events Management team.

She commented: “I enjoyed getting to not only see but be a part of what goes into running an event as big as the conference as well as the opportunity speak with people from around the country.”

Hear their thoughts below:

For students that were interested in taking part in the Student Skills Showcase, applications were submitted by their Programme Lead, listing the skills that highlighted their ability to provide a real contribution to the selected work experience category, along with a supporting statement.

Sally Taylor, Creative Media Programme Lead, said: “We are so proud of Lydia, Madison and Chloe. All have a strong passion and have showcased their creativity and technical abilities throughout their course.

“They are dedicated, enthusiastic and adaptable individuals who made a successful contribution to the AoC Annual Conference and Exhibition and I loved seeing them thrive at the event.”

The AoC Annual Conference and Exhibition saw leaders, innovators, and trailblazers from the Further Education sector come together at the Birmingham NEC to discuss, debate, and shape the response to some of the country’s biggest issues.

The conference is also a chance for educators to learn from and be challenged by inspiring speeches and sessions from leading figures from government, business, education and beyond.

For more information on what the two-day event entailed, visit:


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