I’m Alan and I’m an independent career consultant, Registered Career Development Professional and Fellow of the Career Development Institute. I’ve had 46 years’ successful and varied experience as a guidance practitioner, speaker and writer and the services I’ve been offering to schools, colleges, universities, private clients and corporate clients in the UK and worldwide are unique and distinctive. After a long career I’m scaling down my work a little now but I’m still available for consultation and I’m especially active in publishing regular and frequent blogposts.

I’m located on the south coast of England in Portchester, Hampshire, but I’ve also travelled widely to deliver my services as well as working remotely since the onset of COVID-19. Over the past twelve years I’ve worked with a diverse range of over 60 organisations and around 200 private clients in the UK and overseas. I’m also a published author, having written two editions of a best-selling book on UCAS personal statements as well as many articles on this and other topics. In addition I currently write a popular weekly blog on higher and degree apprenticeships and my updated UCAS personal statement articles (also on my blog) have had thousands of views.

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 the UK or overseas, sponsored degree schemes, apprenticeships, employment, self-employment, gap years, portfolio careers or just taking your own unconventional pathway. I also speak and advise on topics surrounding university applications, UCAS personal statements, apprenticeships and the skills that young people now need for their future careers in a radically-changing world. I especially enjoy working with young people who don’t know what they want to do – I like giving them ideas and inspiration.

On a visit to BBC South in Southampton in August 2016
On a visit to the BBC South studios in Southampton.

I’ve had extensive experience as a careers guidance practitioner in a variety of roles in the 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. Prior to that I also worked in London, Hampshire and Germany.

Organisations with whom I have actively worked in recent years, include Roedean School (Brighton), The Henrietta Barnett School (London), Woodbridge School (Suffolk), St John’s College (Portsmouth), Dr Challoner’s Grammar School (Amersham), Christ’s Hospital School (Horsham), The Ashcombe School (Dorking), Berkhamsted School (Hertfordshire), Kingston Grammar School (London), Peter Symonds College (Winchester), St John’s School (Leatherhead), Jumeirah College (Dubai), GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail (Dubai), Wrotham School (Sevenoaks), St Clare’s (Oxford), Bryanston School (Dorset), Newman College (Hove), Woking College (Surrey), Stamford School (Lincolnshire), The Blandford School (Dorset), Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, Prospects Group (London), Whitgift School (Surrey), John Hanson Community School (Andover), University of Birmingham, University of Sussex, University of Surrey, University of South Wales, Edge Hill University, Aimhigher West Midlands, University of Portsmouth, National Career Guidance Shows, Southern Universities Network (SUN), Which?, UCAS Conferences, Education Development Trust (Hampshire), Central London Careers Hub, Higher Education for Me (County Durham), Ticehurst & Flimwell Primary School (East Sussex), Bablake School (Coventry), Goffs School (Cheshunt) and KPMG (London, Birmingham and Manchester).

There’s more information on the range of clients I’ve worked with at:


I’m 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 great 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’m grateful to have received many compliments from satisfied clients about the high quality service or inspirational guidance they feel they’ve 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.”
  • “I really can’t thank you enough as I would never have been able to do all this on my own.”
  • “Thank you for listening and for all your sage advice.”
  • “I am extremely grateful for your fantastic advice and expertise.”
  • “Thank you so much for all your invaluable guidance these past 4 years. We really couldn’t have done it without you.” (Rebecca from Paris on behalf of her two daughters)
  • “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.” 
  • “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.”
  • “You’ve been such a help and your advice has been brilliant.”
  • “Your weekly updates on degree apprenticeships are amazing.”
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.”
  • “Your talk was the best overview of careers I have heard. It was absolutely brilliant.” (Headteacher)
  • “My daughter found her conversation with you very inspiring.”
  • “Your talk has had a wonderful response from parents and students.”
  • “Thank you for your wonderful talks today, they were inspirational.”
  • “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.”
  • “Alan is seriously the ‘go to’ on all things apprenticeships.”
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.”
  • “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.”
  • “Love your enthusiasm. It’s infectious.”
  • “Thank you so much Alan, your constant support and expertise really helped in making this decision.” (now a degree apprentice with a prestigious hotel)
  • “My daughter’s feedback is fantastic and for that I can’t thank you enough.”
  • “My son is much more open and enthused since he spoke to you. I think you’re motivating him to work hard and aim for his aspirational grades.”
The annual Canadian universities conference at the High Commission in London is always excellent value and good for networking too. In particular it was great to meet Chelsea Ljutic, who is now their Education Trade Commissioner, at the reception afterwards. 
  • “I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation yesterday and as a new Head of Sixth Form I found it very informative.” 
  • “Incredibly informative workshops”
  • “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
  • “Thank you for your time, energy and enthusiasm. You are irreplaceable and your expertise is invaluable.” 
  • “Thank you for the talk today, I found it very informative and extremely beneficial.”
  • “Thank you for all your help with the UCAS process. We would have been completely lost without you.”
  • “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.”
  • “Many thanks for another hugely informative, insightful and inspirational talk.” 
  • “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.” 
  • “Thank you so much for your help last year, I think I would have really struggled going through the application process as an international student with so little help from my school if I hadn’t had your help.
This was after my 2019 talk in Dubai; a Year 10 student 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.”
  • “I have found your blog fascinating.”
  • “Our meetings have benefitted me greatly. I hope you continue helping many people figure out their future.”
  • “Anything written by @alancareersguru is definitely worth reading.”
  • “I value your presence in my life.”

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 London offices.

I’m a Registered Career Development Professional, a Fellow of the Career Development Institute (http://www.thecdi.net/) and a member of the Careers Writers Association (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’ve actually been doing, check out 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.

As a published author I wrote a popular booklet entitled Creating Your UCAS Personal Statement that was published by Trotman in 2008 and revised in 2011, reaching the top 2,000 books on Amazon. I also had more than 60 articles published on the Which? University website, which sadly closed down in 2020. Several of my articles on the subject of UCAS personal statements reached a huge worldwide audience and a small sample of my work can still be found on the UCAS website. I have also written articles for Career Matters, the Career Development Institute’s quarterly journal, and for a book entitled Career Journeys for Young People  published by the Careers Writers Association in 2019. I now write a popular blog which you will find here on my website.

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 my friend and colleague Mike Nicholson, Director of Recruitment, Admissions & Participation at Cambridge University. At the time of the photo Mike was Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Oxford and we were on an informal tour of Oxford colleges. 

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:



Back on the road for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, at Christ’s Hospital School near Horsham in Sussex in June 2021.
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.
Presenting to Year 11s from John Hanson and Rookwood Schools in Andover back in 2015.
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 our unique Year 5 & 6 “My Future Needs Me” careers morning at Ticehurst & Flimwell Primary School in East Sussex, 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 unique joint venture “Resilience: The Musical” at St John’s College, Southsea.
SACU founders Steve Harrop and Peter Mulligan, pictured when we had a spot of supper in Cheltenham after a meeting in October 2019.
And this was at SACU’s office, in the main stand at Cheltenham Town Football Club, after our meeting and prior to watching their League Two clash with Macclesfield Town.
This was at the Rubens Hotel in London in November 2022 when Carolyn and I (far right) joined some very distinguished colleagues at a lunch for past presidents and fellows of the Career Development Institute to mark the profession’s centenary.

6 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

  3. Hello
    My son graduated from Southampton University 3 years ago . He had plans to go and teach in China , did a TEFL but then – covid . He has since been working in a busy bar in Bristol .
    Are you able to offer 1:1 advice ? He has a 2.1 in History but no real interest in pursuing the subject any further .
    I would be grateful to have an indication of what you would charge for advice
    Many thanks

    • Hi Lindsay, I don’t usually work with graduates and I think you will find other practitioners who are in a better position to help than I can. I could recommend a couple if that would be helpful and would be happy to discuss this further by email (alancareers@gmail.com) or phone. Best wishes, Alan

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