A call to give Sunderland students a bright future

Joanna Makepeace Sunderland University
Joanna Makepeace Sunderland University
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A Sunderland Echo-backed campaign is stepping up its call for businesses to give their support to talented students.

Our Futures Starts Here drive is off to a great start and support is increasing all the time. The latest backer is Joanna Makepeace-Woods, who has a wealth of experience in television production.

Joanna Makepeace Sunderland University

Joanna Makepeace Sunderland University

Joanna is now the employability manager in the arts, design and media faculty at the University of Sunderland.

But before that, she worked in television production on shows such as Byker Grove, Wire In The Blood and the Grumpy Guides.

Today, she backed the campaign, which is a link-up between the Sunderland Echo and University of Sunderland.

Our hope is to get more businesses and community groups involved in the university’s Sunderland Futures programme which aims to find paid placements, internships and mentoring for students. In return, companies could be helping to develop the skills of a future employee.

Students and graduates are fantastically creative people and for local businesses to tap into that has got to be really beneficial to both parties

Joanna Makepeace-Woods

Joanna said the Echo’s backing was “a great idea and it is a good opportunity. It is really important for students to engage with industry and for them to know what to expect.

“Students and graduates are fantastically creative people and for local businesses to tap into that has got to be really beneficial to both parties.”

Joanna ensures students utuilise the opportunities available within the Futures project. “It is also about helping them think outside the box,” she said.

That includes helping home students, who would not necessarily get involved in the Futures scheme, to look at ways of applying it to them.

Joanna uses techniques such as “elevator pitching” to ensure students give the best account of themselves. It’s where people imagine they are stuck in an elevator and have two minutes to sell themselves to a potential employer.

Joanna urged companies to back The Futures Starts Here. She called on them to “come and meet us. Meet our students because they are brilliant”.

Let’s make Wearside tops for student-business link-ups. For details, email ces.enquiries@sunderland.ac.uk