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Brighton and Hove Albion CEO, Paul Barber, inspires students at The Burgess Hill Academy

Brighton and Hove Albion CEO, Paul Barber, inspires students at The Burgess Hill Academy

The Burgess Hill Academy welcomed a special guest on Monday 29 January, as Paul Barber, the CEO of Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club, spent time engaging with Year 10 students. The visit provided an insightful look into Barber's inspiring career journey and the valuable lessons he learned along the way.

During his talk, Paul shared his personal experiences of facing setbacks in his youth, including being dropped from the youth academy. He emphasised the importance of resilience and highlighted alternative paths to success, encouraging students to persevere in the face of challenges.

Paul further stressed the significance of academic excellence, advising students to invest their efforts in securing good grades at GCSEs. He underlined that strong educational foundations could pave the way for a successful future, minimising the need for resitting exams later on.

The interactive session continued with an open floor for questions from the students. Enthusiastic and curious, the students posed a variety of questions, ranging from how to stay motivated after experiencing failure to the day-to-day challenges of Paul’s role as the CEO of BHAFC.

One standout question earned a special reward, as the student received a signed, boxed, and certificated Brighton and Hove Albion shirt from Paul himself.

The students' questions covered a wide spectrum, delving into aspects of Paul’s personal and professional life. Questions included topics such as his daily routine, the most challenging aspects of his job, and even his choice of car. Notably, students also asked about Brighton and Hove Albion's commitment to environmental sustainability and Barber's influence on player recruitment.

In response to the question about environmental sustainability, Barber highlighted the steps taken by Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club to ensure a greener future. Additionally, he shed light on his role in influencing the club's overall approach to sustainability, both environmentally and socially.

The event concluded on a high note, leaving students inspired and motivated by the insights shared by Paul.

Linda Dorgan, Careers Leader at The Burgess Hill Academy said, “It is so important for our students to hear from a wide range of business volunteers. We are so grateful to Paul for sparing the time to give our Year 10 students an insight into the working world. Resilience is such an important skill to develop and it's important for students to understand that failure is just a step in their learning journey. Understanding that there are many routes into certain career sectors is also so crucial.”

The Burgess Hill Academy expresses their gratitude to Paul for his valuable time and contribution to the students' educational and personal development.