Alumni Success Stories

At Sussex Downs, we are keen to keep in touch with our ex-students and to find out what they have gone on to do after completing their studies at college.

Keep in touch!

If you’re an ex-student and have any news or stories that you would like to share with us about what you’ve been doing since leaving college, please email or fill in our online form

We look forward to hearing from you!

Notable Alumni

Many of our former students have gone on to success in their respective fields:

Katie Jones: Knitwear Designer, Selfridges ‘Bright New Thing 2016’

Alex Maskill: Writer, Terry Pratchett Award for Literature

James Thompson: Architect, RIBA cert. of Excellence

Nicole Marshall: Singer Songwriter, Ivor novella & Grammies

Troy Hyde: Graphic Designer, Head Designer at Ted Baker

Paul Nulty: International Lighting Consultant, offices in London & Dubai

Steve Haslip: Creative Director, Carbone Smolan Agency, New York

Joy Horsecroft: Paper Tecnician, Co-Director of The Makerie, London & New York

New Alumni logoBen Kelly

2003 BTEC Media Studies, AS level Photography, Film Studies and French

Ben, a former ECAT student, is currently the Managing Director of his own company Alpha Wave Media, an internet marketing business which builds and markets websites.

After finishing college, Ben moved into broadcast and television work, where he was employed variously as a camera operator, a post-production supervisor, and an aerial camera technician. As well as running his own company, Ben still does some aerial camera work – he has recently filmed in Montana for the tourist board there – and Ben points out that the photography skills he learnt at college have been put to good use in this respect.

Ben has kept in touch with the college since he left, and has recently offered a work experience placement to a current student at Sussex Downs. He is also still in touch with some of his own fellow students and friends from college. He says:

“I made good, strong friendships there – friends for life”

New Alumni logoJosh Babarinde

2011 A level Politics, Law, Sociology and AS level Economics

Josh, a former Cavendish School student, is now studying for a BSc in Government at the London School of Economics.

While he was at college, Josh was the Park College Student President, and since he left he has taken part in an MP Shadowing Scheme that gave him the opportunity to work with an MP, visit 10 Downing Street and even get invited to a reception at the US Embassy!

Josh believes that the skills he learnt at college have been priceless in what he has gone on to do since:

“College has equipped me with skills of research and critical analysis which have been invaluable on my politics degree.”

He also remembers the day he received the offer of a place at the LSE and recalls how proud his tutors were:

“It really showed me that teachers at Park are always behind you and ultimately want to see you achieve your aspirations.”

New Alumni logoGregg Williams

2009 Plumbing Apprenticeship Level 3

Gregg is a former plumbing apprentice at Sussex Downs College, who previously attended Beacon Community College in Crowborough. He is now a partner in his own plumbing business – and even employs his own apprentice through Sussex Downs!

Gregg’s Plumbing and Heating is entering its second year of trading and attracts business from all over East Sussex, as well as having customers in Kent, West Sussex and Surrey, and Gregg is in no doubt that his time at college helped him on his way.

“I completed a full four years at the Eastbourne campus of Sussex Downs. My apprenticeship helped me in many ways; one being that I have learnt valuable skills in a trade, another being that you learn valuable life skills, such as mixing with different groups and learning to help one another.”

New Alumni logoGemma Wink

2008 BTEC National Diploma Travel and Tourism and GCSE English

From Willingdon Community School, Gemma came to study at the Eastbourne campus of Sussex Downs before going on to the University of Brighton to do a degree in Travel and Tourism Marketing.

Gemma didn’t know what she wanted to do as a career when she left school, so she opted to take a course that she enjoyed, and it was while studying Travel and Tourism at Sussex Downs that she had a class about marketing – and from then on she knew what she wanted to do.

Gemma now works for a local web, app and digital marketing company called Switchplane, and, as she says:

“I’m so happy marketing was part of my course as I now love every part of the marketing industry.”

Of her time at college, Gemma says:

“I had a great support network within the campus. My lecturers were always guiding me to succeed. I very much enjoyed all of my time at college.”

New Alumni logoLauren Simpson

2012 A level English Literature and Photography

Having attended Bishop Bell School before coming to college, Lauren has since gone on to become a Trainee Photographer at Eastbourne Herald.

Lauren always enjoyed photography as a hobby, so, when she was studying for her A levels in English and Photography at Sussex Downs Lewes College, she jumped at the chance to undertake work experience at the local newspaper.

On the work placement, Lauren took photos of Diamond Jubilee events and even had the opportunity to photograph the Olympic Torch on the press bus.

Lauren says: “Studying the Photography course at A level helped me to develop techniques – and the work experience provided through the college gave me the confidence to use the skills I had learnt and to show I was capable of doing the job.”

And that’s just what she did. When the work placement ended, the Herald photographer that she had shadowed put Lauren’s name forward for an interview for a job at the newspaper, and Lauren then started as Trainee Photographer in October 2012.

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