My B&FC: Lauren Kirkham

When Daily Express editorial assistant Lauren Kirkham was made redundant in April this year - just a few weeks into lockdown – the timing wasn’t exactly the best. 

The months of job searching that followed proved fruitless and, despite having graduated in media writing and production, Lauren wasn’t sure she wanted to carry on in journalism either. It seemed her career had reached a crossroads… 

“I spent five years at the Daily Express and although it was interesting, it was a bit full on. When you’re faced with Brexit all day long and then you go home to it as well – I felt like I couldn’t escape it!”

Lauren had already toyed with the idea of re-training so when September (a new academic year) came around, she decided it was time to take the plunge. 

Being Blackpool based, Lauren headed to B&FC’s website to see what was on offer. She was thinking about administrative skills but wasn’t entirely sure, so she emailed the Careers Team and they suggested the Level 3 Human Resources Practice.

“It sounded interesting and when I spoke to the tutor about it, I liked the sound of it even more so I enrolled straight away. I’m really enjoying it and with not working it was great to have that mental stimulation too.

“The course is online on Wednesdays from 4 till 9. I was a bit anxious about that at first, because part of the College experience is meeting new people, but we’ve got to know each other really well - we’ve even set up our own WhatsApp group.”

The group not only helped Lauren to bond with her classmates – it also proved to be the catalyst for getting a new job!

“A few of us were on there, chatting about an assignment and I happened to mention I wasn’t working at the minute. A little while later, one of them came back to me to say there was a position available on her team and that I should apply. So I did!”

The role was for a Talent Acquisition Officer at the NHS and happily, Lauren was successful in her application. The course content even helped her to prepare for the interview.

“If I hadn’t done the course, I wouldn’t have even known this job existed. I’d never considered HR as a career path, but recruitment is really interesting and I enjoy helping people - it’s uplifting being the bearer of good news.” 

“This course has really helped my confidence. The tutors have been so encouraging – especially at first when I felt a bit out of my depth – they convinced me I could do this, even though I don’t have an HR background. They gave me hope.”