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Next up in our "Meet the Team" series, it's Freddie from York College!

Hey there! Please tell us your name, where you are based, and your job title.

Freddie Hopkins, NCOP Outreach Assistant, based at York College

Tell us about your background...

Graduated from University College London in Philosophy & History of Art. I have worked in management roles in hospitality, retail, banking and financial services before joining York College in the Finance department and moving into my current role.

What does an average day look like in your role?

A typical day will include meetings, planning or delivering activities, working with the careers service and working with teams across the college to implement the college plan for widening access to further and higher education. I also have to work with a number of external people and organisations, who can provide further support and opportunities.

What has been one of your favourite moments on the project so far?

Working with individual students who have been struggling with traditional school environments and have ended up in the wrong place in terms of courses and career directions. By working through detailed conversations focussed on the student, we have arrived at light-bulb moments where the way forward or a range of good options have become clearer. We successfully mapped a pathway to achieving long-term study and career aspirations.

Why do you think going to college and/or university is important?

Apart from obvious things like getting qualifications, improving job and earning prospects and opening more career opportunity, college or university is a great way to move into an independent life, develop new interests and be peer grouped with like-minded and able people with a wide range of interests and views. You don't just learn about study, you learn how to be self-managing, make contacts, develop work skills and network with people who can help you. You can access a vast range of options, including work placements, practical experience and studying abroad. Then there is the social life....Do your research!

What is your top tip for someone applying to university?

Do your research, think holistically and get a wide range of views and opinions. If you are not sure, get some sound careers guidance and advice.

Finally... what is your favourite inspirational quote?

I have several but this one is particularly pertinent: "Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life" - Confucius.

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"NCOP have been amazing to work with and we can't thank them enough for offering this additional support for young people. This has and will most certainly support them in their ideas and choices to access further education. The support, communication and dedication from the NCOP team has been second to none and we are so grateful of what they can offer/support young people with in terms of further education."

"the NCOP programme (and especially the team I have had the privilege of working with) has been a huge advantage to our school. I am very happy with their aims and ethos and they are consistent, organised and enthusiastic in their delivery."

"I experienced first hand at least one student overcome their insecurity and was able to fully engage in an activity led by a NCOP Outreach Assistant"

"Many students who came here (a University campus) today did not see university as an option but now feel confident that this is possible."