Careers Network

About Us

Careers Network Management Team

Helen Smith BA (Hons) Social Studies, Fellow of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals, Member of ICG, Member of ISE, Member of AGCAS

Photo of  Helen Smith

Head of Careers, Employability and Employer Engagement, Careers Network


As Head of Careers, Employability and Employer Engagement, Careers Network, Loughborough University, Helen’s role includes providing institutional leadership on areas such as student skills development, career guidance, placements and work-based learning, labour market intelligence and business engagement.

With a background in business, project and partnership management, leading recruitment and business development functions, Helen has multiple connections with businesses, local government and the skills sector in the UK and internationally.

Goals include optimising opportunities for Loughborough University students and alumni to gain experiences and skills that will contribute to their academic and career success; and extending the services we offer to the many businesses and organisations who benefit from close working relationships with the University and its students.

Susan Taylor BA (Hons) Politics, PG Diploma in Careers Guidance, Member of AGCAS

Photo of  Susan Taylor

Careers Guidance and Employability Manager


Susan manages the Careers Network team. Susan has had many years careers work experience, starting in 1983, and joined Loughborough University in 1996. Her previous experience has included careers work in schools and colleges, adult guidance, careers related research and charity management.

Chris Cole

Photo of  Chris Cole

Placements Governance Manager


Enhancing placement processes, working closely with staff in academic Schools and ensuring effective governance and compliance to protect students. Manager for ‘The Place’ – an exciting and vibrant new placements and skills hub located on the ground floor in Stewart Mason (0.06).

Chris is responsible for co-ordinating the development of placement provision, placement IT systems, and best practice activity related to placements and other professional work experience activities. In addition, he acts as Secretary to the Placement Advisers Group forum and is a member of the AGCAS Placements and Work Based Learning Task Group.

Chris oversees support for placements and other work-based experiences for students from AED, SSEHS and DS, plus a range of student skills development activity and employer events which all students can access. As well as providing services for students, ‘The Place’ is a useful outpost for staff from Careers Network, linked Schools and other student services to enhance students’ engagement, skills and outcomes.

Chris joined the Careers Network team in August 2016 on secondment from his role as the Information Team Co-ordinator within Student Services.  Prior to this he worked in Registry and IT Services at Nottingham Trent University.



Birgit Lewis BA (Hons) Product Design, MA Design, Strategy and Innovation, Member of AGCAS

Photo of  Birgit Lewis

Skills and Employability Development Manager


Birgit is responsible for developing students' skills and employability through a range of university wide initiatives, optimising opportunities for Loughborough University students to gain experiences and skills and abilities to articulate these. Initiatives include mentoring, networking, work shadowing and employability programmes.

Birgit has a background in design, innovation and management and worked in Branding Consultancies as well as setting up and running her own ceramics business. She has worked in higher education for the last 15 years developing students' employability skills. 

Gill Clarke BA (Hons) Psychology with Drama and Theatre Studies, PG Diploma in Careers Guidance, BPS Psychometric Testing Level A, ILM Level 5 Coaching and Mentoring, Member of AGCAS

Photo of  Gill Clarke

Careers Consultant and Marketing Manager




  • Biochemistry
  • Biological Sciences
  • Human Biology
  • Business Psychology
  • Psychology
  • Psychology with Criminology
  • Social Psychology
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • Sport and Exercise Science
  • Sport Management
  • Sport Science with Management

Plus all Postgraduate Taught courses in SSEHS


  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

Gill is the lead careers consultant for SSEHS and has shared responsibility (with Sally Western) for supporting students studying in the Schools of Science and Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences.

She joined the Careers Network team in 2002 with extensive experience of careers work with university students and graduates, young people in schools and adult career changers. Her work as a careers adviser since 1994 has involved posts at three different universities and a contribution to the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS), which has developed her expertise in administration, information, training and writing. She currently oversees visual identity and editorial for student publications and the Careers Network website and joined the Management Team in 2015.