This interview was first published on the Adviza blog on the 8th December. In it I talk about my new role as Chair of the Adviza board.
Tristram is Chief Research Officer at the Institute of Student Employers, Professor of Career Education at the University of Derby and Professor at the Inland Norway University for Applied Science. He is also Director of the National Institute of Career Education and Counselling.
He will undertake a handover with Terry Stock the current Chair and a full induction programme before taking up the post on 1st January 2021.
Described by others as “the career development guru” and “a leader in the international community of career development professionals,” Tristram is an internationally renowned expert in career education and guidance and has consulted, lectured and conducted research on four continents. He is passionate about career development, education and guidance as well as social science research and learning technology. He’s also an expert for our times, being active on social media and his own blog, Adventures in Career Development.
We took the opportunity to have a chat with Tristram for this blog, and are pleased to share our conversation with him.
Tristram, how do you feel about joining the Adviza Board?
I’m delighted. The whole process has been very exciting for me—and not only because my interview with Adviza was my one day out in the last six months!
I’m thrilled to have the chance to help shape an organisation that’s recognised as one of the best career companies in the UK, taking the research and policy work I’m involved in and connecting that to the reality of delivery on the ground. I expect to learn a huge amount from Katharine Horler and the passionate and experienced people on the Adviza team. I hope I can bring a useful perspective and that my independence means I can help alert the team to opportunities, information and policy-making that will add value.
You clearly share our passion for careers. Can you tell us briefly how you got to be so interested in the subject?
I feel that I stumbled around a little bit after graduating with my first degree, but I found my way into career development while supporting research students after getting my PhD at the University of Leicester. I was working with researchers who were very intelligent and competent but who, in some cases, were hitting a block in their careers and having to rethink the path that they were going to take forwards. Often people don’t recognise what is possible with their skills and abilities, but when we help them to think about their career, they can find a fresh direction and new purpose in their lives.
Helping people to shape their careers really fascinated me, so I did some research on career development and that introduced me to a different path. For the next ten years or so I built a life in career development, spending all my time thinking about it, which hopefully qualifies me for the Adviza role!
What attracted you to Adviza?
I’m interested in all aspects of careers work and I’m keen to look at things from different angles. I’ve been on various boards with relevant organisations, so when I saw the Adviza role was available I jumped at the chance and was delighted to get it; Adviza is one of the best and most professional career development organisations in the UK so I’m not taking my responsibility lightly.
And when you look at the team, it’s just so impressive. Katharine Horler OBE (CEO) is an important national figure in the careers industry with an excellent and far-reaching reputation. I have met her through policy and campaigning work and am excited to work with her.
That quality runs through the whole team—I’m so impressed by how committed Adviza is to delivering a high quality, professional service. The staff are passionate, experienced and highly qualified, but most importantly they are making a difference to people’s lives every day. It’s inspiring.
What do you see as the key contribution you can make to Adviza?
I can bring pretty diverse Board and senior management experience from relevant organisations, but hopefully my biggest contribution will come from a strong understanding of what Adviza does, what it means to be a careers organisation and why the team makes the decisions it does.
I see my role as being about governance and acting as a constructively-critical friend. I’ll be very aware of the quality of expertise and experience around me, especially with Katharine whose experience of running organisations is first class.
I hope that I will be able to contribute to the organisation’s vision. I’m involved in lobbying and scrutinising government on careers and so I’ll be drawing attention to issues and policies that may be significant for Adviza. I’m also involved in career guidance in other countries and so hopefully I’ll be able to bring back some good ideas from elsewhere in the world.
Finally, I will be trying to stand back and look at how things work from the outside. The trustees are there to check that there are no issues and to help to identify and resolve any that arise.
Thanks, Tristram, we look forward to working with you!