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Nick Allcock (BSc Soil Science 1977)

Biography

After graduation, I followed a career in retailing starting with M&S as a graduate trainee, then to ASDA and latterly on to Sainsbury's where I spent 26 years with 20 of them as a Store Manager. I decided to change my lifestyle entirely in 2006 and took early retirement from Sainsbury's whereupon I began a second career in the secondary education sector within the school administration team.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

It was the best course available in my chosen subject area - best reputation, best facilities, best future opportunities.

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

I liked the campus arrangements and the town itself.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

Be wise about money and learn to be self sufficient.

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

I am an Examinations Officer in a secondary school. I applied for an Assistant Exam Officer position and was promoted to the full officer role within 18 months. My retailing experience was invaluable as I am an administrator, planner and organiser - exactly what this job needs.

What would be your top tips for students interested in working in this sector?

Get plenty of information - be prepared to work hard for a relatively low wage.

How has the University of Reading and the Careers Centre helped in your chosen career path?

I have never used the facility but I was always aware that it was there if needed.

What are your top tips for students graduating this year? What should they be doing to secure the job they want?

Be positive - be confident - be knowledgeable of the company in which you are interested - sell yourself to all prospective employers. NEVER GIVE UP!

Why did you decide to give to the University of Reading?

I wanted to give something back to the institution that gave me an opportunity to be who and what I am and, in turn, give someone else the chance to shine and be successful.

What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?

I have great affection for the University. It was a fundamental part of an extremely formative and crucial phase of my life. I had some wonderful times at Reading and, in some respects, want to retain a link for as long as possible. I am extremely proud to be a graduate of Reading University. I have so many great memories of people and events - far too many to mention here - but, quite simply, the experience of a lifetime.

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