For inspirational careers and higher education guidance from an independent adviser, look no further! I’m Alan and I offer a unique and distinctive service to schools, colleges, universities, private clients and corporate clients in the UK and worldwide, based on forty years’ successful and varied experience as a guidance practitioner.

Picture by my great friend and colleague Mark Woodward on one of my annual visits to speak at Bablake School in Coventry

At Bablake School, Coventry, after speaking there in June 2016; picture by Mark Woodward who runs their innovative Careers department.

I’m located on the south coast of England in Portchester, Hampshire, but travel widely to deliver my services. I’m proud to have worked with a very diverse range of over sixty organisations and seventy private clients during the past six and a half years, 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.

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, including UK universities, overseas universities, sponsored degree schemes, school-leaver programmes, apprenticeships, employment, self-employment and gap years. 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 in August 2016.

I’ve had extensive experience as a careers guidance practitioner in a variety of roles in UK and overseas. I started freelancing in August 2011 after nineteen 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 been actively working in the past three years include the following:

The Henrietta Barnett School (London),  Roedean School (Brighton),  St Clare’s (Oxford),  St John’s College (Portsmouth),  Dr Challoner’s Grammar School (Amersham),  Sandown Bay Academy (Isle of Wight),  Christ’s Hospital School (Horsham),  Bablake School (Coventry),  Jumeirah College (Dubai),  Woodbridge School (Suffolk),  Aimhigher West Midlands,  Which? University,  University of Sussex,  University of Surrey,  University of Birmingham,  Stamford Endowed Schools (Lincolnshire),  John Hanson Community School (Andover),  Bryanston School (Dorset),  Whitgift School (Croydon),  The Blandford School (Dorset),  Edge Hill University (Lancashire),  University of South Wales,  Concord College (Shropshire),  SUN (Southern Universities Network),  Education Development Trust (Hampshire),  EBP South (Hampshire),  Itchen College (Southampton),  University of Portsmouth,  Heathcote School (Chingford),  Higher Education For Me (County Durham),  Goffs School (Cheshunt),  Newman College (Hove),  UCAS (conferences),  St Catherine’s School (Twickenham),  Central Careers Hub (London),  KPMG (London, Birmingham and Manchester),  Oaklands Catholic School (Waterlooville),  Innervate Career Services (Surrey),  Ticehurst & Flimwell C of E Primary School (East Sussex),  WON (Western Outreach Network: Bristol, Bath, UWE, Bath Spa universities & associated colleges),  Senior Press (London) and The Apprenticeship Guide).

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


Presenting “Options at 18 in a Changing World” to Year 12 students at Whitgift School, Croydon, in June 2017 – photo by Andy Bullock, of Mott MacDonald, who joined me that day.

I’m grateful to have had many compliments from satisfied clients about the high quality service or inspirational guidance they feel they’ve received in recent years. The following is a selection of them:

  • “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.”
  • “It was a delight seeing you in school recently and your advice was incredibly helpful.”
  • “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 alike 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.”
  • “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 inspiring.”
  • “Many many thanks for visiting us and delivering a simply outstanding talk.”
  • “He absolutely nailed it … he’d done his research and clearly knew the school and what the students needed to hear.”
  • “Thank you so much for coming in this week – 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.” 
  • “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!”
  • “The students hang on your every word.”

Speaking to the Lower 6th at Bablake School in June 2015 – thanks to Mark Woodward again for the pic

  • “Your advice (as always) was invaluable.” 
  • “Your talks were a huge hit with students and teachers.”
  • “I  would just like to say what an amazing presentation you did on Monday.”
  • “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.”
  • “Your talks were a rip roaring success!”
  • “I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation yesterday and as a new Head of Sixth Form I found it very informative.” 
  • “Incredibly informative workshops”

When I’m not speaking, advising, consulting or writing, I’m networking! This was in October 2017 at a Canadian universities conference in London, where I met representatives from a range of unis and other colleagues who work in guidance and consultancy around the country.

  • “Thank you for your wisdom.”
  • “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.”
  • “Thank you for the talk today, I found it very informative and extremely beneficial.”
  • “Thank you so much for your presentation in Birmingham today which I found extremely useful.  Just the sort of inspiring opportunity-based LMI we should all be researching for our individual areas – but you did it for us!”
  • “The feedback from the girls was resoundingly positive.”
  • “You’re always amazing.”
  • “Thank you for your excellent work with us this half term. We are delighted to be partnering with you”.
  • “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 Y12 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 working as a Doctor in Australia) 
  • “I’m really glad you’re still helping to inspire young people – you rock!”  (Cambridge Law graduate)
  • “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!”
  • “You’re the best careers adviser in the world!”

There’s an even wider selection of comments 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 in July 2015 where my colleague Sue Barr and I presented workshops 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.

I’m 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’ve actually been doing, please go to my Presentations, Workshops, Events & Publications page:



Enjoyed presenting a keynote to an audience of 300+ at the UCAS annual conference at Telford International Centre in February 2015 – it got some great evaluations.

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 have also recently been working with some very engaging and engaged pupils in a primary school.

As a published author I currently work closely with the team at Which? University and have contributed around sixty 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 – three of them came 4th, 2nd and 1st in Which? University‘s 2015 “most popular guide” countdown. I have also written articles for Career Matters, the Career Development Institute’s quarterly journal. 

In my transport after speaking at a counsellors’ meeting at Jumeirah College in Dubai in April 2015 (picture by Amanda Jewell, who runs their superb Careers department).

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’ve got lots of real world experience that I draw on too.


With Mike Nicholson, formerly Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Oxford University, on an informal visit there in August 2014. Here we were in the grounds of Balliol College (pic by Carolyn Bullock). After 8 years at Oxford, Mike moved to University of Bath in 2015 and 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:



Presenting to Year 11s from John Hanson and Rookwood Schools in October 2015 at John Hanson’s superb annual Careers Fair, where I speak every year.

Lunchtime at our most recent Careers Writers Association meeting at the London Canal Museum in May 2017.

At Bryanston School, Dorset in May 2017 after speaking on “What Else Is Out There?”


With Natalie Taylor, founder of Innervate Career Services and my co-speaker at the annual Surrey Skills Fair in December 2015 – thanks to another good friend and colleague Anna Murray for the pic.

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

After my visit to SACU’s offices at Cheltenham Town Football Club prior to their home match with Eastleigh in October 2015. Pic by Steve Harrop who co-founded SACU with Peter Mulligan – I’m a big fan of their free Spartan Test at http://www.sacu-student.com 

Just before speaking at Christ’s Hospital School near Horsham in February 2018


After our unique Year 5 & 6 “My Future Needs Me” careers morning at Ticehurst & Flimwell Primary School in March 2016 – “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 in September 2016.

With my Wiltshire-based freelance colleague Polly Wiggins at the March 2016 Study Abroad Fair at The Emirates in London

With my Wiltshire-based freelance colleague Polly Wiggins at the March 2016 Study Abroad Fair at The Emirates in London – I attend these fairs every year and my network of university contacts extends worldwide.

This ‘action shot’ was taken by John Hanson Community School during one of the five talks I gave to Year 11 students from several local schools at their latest annual careers fair in October 2017, to which they very kindly added the caption: “your passion to help the students is wonderful”.


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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s