If you are searching for an inspirational speaker or adviser on career and higher education choices, please read on. I am an independent consultant and Registered Career Development Professional with over 40 years’ successful and varied experience as a guidance practitioner and I  offer a unique and distinctive service to schools, colleges, universities, private clients and corporate clients in the UK and worldwide.

I am located on the south coast of England in Portchester, Hampshire, but travel widely to deliver my services. Over the past eight years I am proud to have worked with a very diverse range of over 60 organisations and 80 private clients, not just in the UK but also in Paris, Dubai, southern Africa and the USA. I have also written extensively for the popular Which? University  website, especially on the topic of UCAS personal statements.


With students on their final day at Havant Sixth Form College back in 2011, following which I “retired” and set up my consultancy

My speciality is the provision of individual guidance and talks on all the options that are open to young people when they leave school or college. These options include higher education in UK or overseas, sponsored degree schemes, school-leaver programmes, apprenticeships, employment, self-employment, gap year schemes, portfolio careers or just taking your own unconventional pathway. I also speak and advise on topics surrounding university applications, UCAS personal statements and the skills that young people now need for their future careers in a radically-changing world.

On a visit to BBC South in Southampton in August 2016

On a visit to the BBC South studios in Southampton

I have had extensive experience as a careers guidance practitioner in a variety of roles in UK and overseas. I started freelancing in August 2011 after 19 years at Havant Sixth Form College, where I led a guidance team that established a wide reputation for innovation and consistently high levels of student satisfaction.

A full list of all my clients can be seen on my Clients and Associated Organisations page. Those organisations with whom I have actively worked in the past five years include the following:

The Henrietta Barnett School (London), Roedean School (Brighton), St John’s College (Portsmouth), Dr Challoner’s Grammar School (Amersham), Woking College (Surrey), Jumeirah College (Dubai), John Hanson Community School (Andover), St Clare’s (Oxford), Stamford School (Lincolnshire),  Bryanston School (Dorset), The Blandford School (Dorset), Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, Woodbridge School (Suffolk), Newman College (Hove), Christ’s Hospital School (Horsham), Prospects Group (London), University of Birmingham, University of Surrey, University of Sussex, University of South Wales, Edge Hill University, Aimhigher West Midlands, Which? University,  University of Portsmouth, National Career Guidance Shows, Southern Universities Network (SUN), Western Outreach Network (WON), Spirit in Sport Careers Café (Portsmouth), UCAS Conferences, Education Development Trust (Hampshire), Whitgift School (Croydon), Bablake School (Coventry),   Sandown Bay Academy (Isle of Wight), Concord College (Shropshire), EBP South (Hampshire), Central Careers Hub (London), Itchen College (Southampton), Heathcote School (Chingford), Higher Education for Me (County Durham), Ticehurst & Flimwell Primary School (East Sussex), Goffs School (Cheshunt), St Catherine’s School (Twickenham), Kings Monkton School (Cardiff), Innervate Career Services (Surrey), KPMG (London, Birmingham and Manchester), Senior Press (London), The Apprenticeship Guide.

For more information that illustrates the breadth of my client base, please go to:


I am also on the Advisory Board of SACU (https://sacu-student.com/) who offer an independent and impartial source of careers information to students, parents and teachers and a Careers Quiz which is very useful for generating career, university and apprenticeship ideas.

Had a very successful day at the Andover Careers Fair at John Hanson Community School in October 2018, where I co-presented five Year 11 talks with my colleague Peter Mulligan from SACU.

I am grateful to have received many compliments from satisfied clients about the high quality service or inspirational guidance they feel they have received. The following is a selection of them, interspersed with more images from some of my talks and other activities:

  • “I love it when you come to our school, you always bring so much.”
  • “You have real charisma and passion and it shines through in so many ways.”
  • “Your advice was incredibly helpful.”
  • “Of all the careers advice I have received over many years, yours has been the most effective.”
  • “Thank you for everything you have done for the school; you have been fantastic and absolutely indispensable.” 
  • “You really are the gold standard for delivery of careers information.”
  • “Staff and students sing your praises and are so grateful for the time and care you put into talking to each group and each individual.”
  • “Love your enthusiasm. It’s infectious.”
  • “You’ve been such a help and your advice has been brilliant.”

Presenting “Options at 18 in a Changing World” to an audience of around 400 students, parents and teachers at Jumeirah College Dubai in April 2019

  • “You have inspired me and motivated me.”
  • “My daughter found her conversation with you very inspiring.”
  • “Thank you for your wonderful talks today, they were inspirational.”
  • “Many many thanks for visiting us and delivering a simply outstanding talk.”
  • “You made such a difference to the mood, confidence and aspirations of the girls and it was lovely to see them so engaged and excited both that evening and since.” 
  • The students hang on your every word.”
  • “Bubbly and full of information.”
  • “Thank you for all of your help throughout the UCAS process. I don’t think I would’ve been able to do it without your advising!”

Speaking to Year 12 at Bablake School, Coventry in their superb theatre

  • “Your talks were a huge hit with students and teachers.”
  • “Your talk was inspirational and showed students, and parents, how to think outside the box.”
  • “I’m feeling so much more confident about my personal statement now, you’ve really helped.”
  • “I will never forget your kindness.”
  • “As ever, it was fantastic to have you here as part of our Careers Week.” 
  • “Thank you Alan Bullock for the brilliant talk about options at 18.
  • “I just wanted to say a massive thank you for helping me with my personal statement – there’s no doubt that your advice helped me to get these amazing offers.”
  • “I want to thank you for your guidance and support and for helping me find what path I wanted to follow. I can honestly say I have found my dream job at 18, and I wanted to show my gratitude to you!”

This was at the end of a university conference at the Canadian High Commission in Trafalgar Square, where I had the pleasure of meeting Chelsea who is now their Education Trade Commissioner. 

  • “I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation yesterday and as a new Head of Sixth Form I found it very informative.” 
  • “Incredibly informative workshops”
  • “I want to thank you for being such a great person. So many people could have turned me away at such a vulnerable time, but I asked you for advice and it got me here.” 
  • “You’re brilliant at what you do and I thoroughly enjoyed your session. You made learning such an enjoyable experience for us all.”
  • “Young people really need you, not only because of the crucial information you share but because of your energy, authenticity and how you connect with your audience.”
  • “You were a breath of fresh air.”
  • His passion and knowledge were immense and inspiring.”
  • “Alan was a fantastic speaker and has inspired me, let alone the pupils.” 

    With my Wiltshire-based freelance colleague Polly Wiggins at a Study Abroad Fair at The Emirates in London; Polly and I are currently looking at ways we can partner each other to support schools.

  • “Thank you for the talk today, I found it very informative and extremely beneficial.”
  • “As ever lots of positive feedback from parents and pupils.”
  • “We went from feeling very anxious and fractious to feeling calm, informed and empowered under Alan’s excellent and tactful guidance.”
  • “Your enthusiasm filled the students with confidence and those you saw one-to-one really appreciated your expertise and that you treat each student as an individual with equal dedication.”
  • “Many thanks for another hugely informative, insightful and inspirational talk which has really got our Post-18 Options programme off with a bang.” 
  • “When students were asked if we should invite Alan to speak again next year, 100% said yes.”
  • “Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”  (now a Doctor in Australia)
  • “I came home feeling REALLY inspired.” 

    This was after my 2019 talk in Dubai; a Year 10 student kindly Whatsapped me afterwards to say he thought it was “brilliant and extremely informative”.

  • “Just to let you know I got into Bristol to do economics, I am very happy and thankful for all your help!” 
  • “I wish more people had your passion and energy for making the world a better place and teaching young people to make good decisions.”
  •  “Many thanks for continuing to inspire and inform our students.”
  •  “Your help and support for students and staff is hugely valued and appreciated – you are making a real difference to their confidence and thinking.”
  • “Our meetings have benefitted me greatly. I hope you continue helping many people figure out their future.”
  • “You’re a Careers rock star!”

There are more of these on my Testimonials page:


At KPMG's Birmingham offices in July 2015 where my colleague Sue Barr and I presented workshops for teachers at the company's Flagship event in conjunction with Teach First. In the same month we also presented at similar events at their Manchester and Birmingham offices.

At KPMG’s Birmingham offices where my colleague Sue Barr and I presented workshops at the company’s Flagship event in conjunction with Teach First. We also presented at similar events at their Manchester and Birmingham offices.

I am a Registered Career Development Professional of the Career Development Institute  (http://www.thecdi.net/) and a member of the Careers Writers Association (find us at http://www.parentalguidance.org.uk/) and my aim is to provide high quality advice, guidance, presentations, consultancy or text on career and higher education choices and applications. I always seek to tailor my services to individual needs and to be as accessible and affordable to as many people as possible. To see the kind of work I have actually been doing, please go to my Presentations, Workshops, Events & Publications page:



I enjoyed presenting a keynote to an audience of 300+ at a UCAS national conference at Telford International Centre and was pleased with the very positive evaluations it received, some of which are on my Testimonials page.

Most of my past experience has involved working with young people aged from 9 to 19 as well as with teachers and fellow advisers. I especially enjoy advising students who are studying or aiming to study A Levels or equivalent qualifications, helping them to consider and apply for the wide range of options that are subsequently open. I also recently worked with some very engaging and engaged pupils in a primary school.

As a published author I have worked closely with the team at Which? University and have contributed around 60 articles to their website. Many of these are on the subject of UCAS personal statements and they can all be found at http://university.which.co.uk. I have also written articles for Career Matters, the Career Development Institute’s quarterly journal. 

In my transport after speaking at a counsellors’ meeting in Dubai on a previous visit in 2015

Prior to joining Havant Sixth Form College in 1992, I worked as a careers adviser in various schools and colleges in Hampshire and spent six amazing years as adviser and team leader with the Service Children’s Schools careers service in Germany, where I worked with schools and training schemes across a very wide area from the Dutch border to Berlin. This was after initially learning my trade in schools in Brixton and Streatham in South London and gaining the Diploma in Careers Guidance from Kent College for the Careers Service. Before that I enjoyed an eventful business career, when I worked in overseas banking, food retailing and marketing in London, Brighton and Shropshire. So I have lots of real world experience that I draw on too.


With Mike Nicholson, formerly Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Oxford University, during an informal visit. Here we were in the grounds of Balliol College. After 8 years at Oxford, Mike moved on to the University of Bath where he is now their Director of Admissions and a (the!) leading national authority in the university admissions field. 

Details of my fees can be found under Services and Prices and if you have any questions or would like to discuss your individual requirements, please go to my Contact page and get in touch. Here are the links:



Giving a keynote presentation on “Practical Approaches to Inspiring Students” at a Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership conference at Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy in June 2018

At Christ’s Hospital School, Horsham, January 2018

Presenting to Year 11s from John Hanson and Rookwood Schools in Andover back in 2015

Lunchtime at a Careers Writers Association meeting at the London Canal Museum

At Bryanston School, Dorset after speaking on “What Else Is Out There?”


With Natalie Taylor, founder of Innervate Career Services and my co-speaker at a Surrey Skills Fair at University of Surrey

After my visit to SACU at Cheltenham Town's home match with Eastleigh in October 2015

After a visit to SACU’s offices at Cheltenham Town Football Club prior to a home fixture.  a


After our unique Year 5 & 6 “My Future Needs Me” careers morning at Ticehurst & Flimwell Primary School , which my wife Carolyn co-led with me. “It is never too early for them to have aims in life” (Fiona Sayers, Headteacher). 

With Dr Stella Adagiri, Director of Portsbridge Educational Services, after the premiere of our joint venture “Resilience: The Musical” at St John’s College, Southsea in September 2016

With Dr Stella Adagiri, Director of Portsbridge Educational Services, after the premiere of our joint venture “Resilience: The Musical” at St John’s College, Southsea

4 thoughts on “About

  1. This gives a complex and interesting account of the wide range of your experience and what you provide. Very accessible to all types and needs. Always good to see lots of smiles. Judith

  2. Updated website demonstrates how inspirational, leading-edge and well-respected you are. Regular news from Facebook on your recent trip to Dubai shows that your enthusiasm is increasing (if that were possible) and not waning. Congratulations.
    Judith Capel MA, Judith Capel Associates

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