At Chichester College, our core focus is our students’ successes and how they develop in their studies.

Whether it is a BTEC, A-level, higher education course or even an apprenticeship, we strive on students’ achievements.

Our alumni stories and interviews are dedicated to showcasing triumphs and awards that have been achieved recently from our ever-growing pool of talented alumni.

Cedar Andrews: Owner, Cedar's Luxuries

Former Chichester College student, Cedar Andrews, shares how she transformed her business plan into a reality. 

Having started her studies at Chichester College back in 2020, Cedar has gone from strength to strength and used her studies in her business A-level to launch her very own luxury beauty product business, Cedars Luxuries. 

Offering a variety of products from luxury bath bombs, lip scrubs, wax melts and much more, Cedar shares with us just how her journey went from the beginning.  

Cedar Andrews

Why did you choose to study at Chichester and which course did you study?  

Joining Chichester College back in 2020, I decided to study A-levels in business and law as I had always had a keen interest in business since taking it on as a GCSE in my secondary school. 

I decided to study at Chichester College as I had heard only great things and felt it was the perfect place to take me a step closer to my next stage which is now studying international business management and Spanish at the University of Bath. 


What are you doing now?  

Whilst I was studying at Chichester College, I worked in Mistral in Chichester town to give the retail experience that I needed to launch my business plan. 

I am now continuing my studies at the University of Bath and running my business, Cedar’s Luxuries. 


How has your experience at Chichester College helped you to get to where you are now?  

Chichester College not only gave me the academic knowledge that I needed but also huge amounts of confidence through roles such as taking on being the vice president of Chichester College, being a part of the student voice and the student union. 


What skills did you learn from studying here?  

I learnt so many business skills and a main one is how important it was to reinvest every penny I earnt back into my business and it has taken a long time and hard efforts to become the profitable business that I have created now. 


Overall, what did you enjoy the most about your time here as a student at the college? Any favourite memories?  

I share so many fond memories with my time at Chichester College, from being the vice president to promoting my business at the farmers market twice a month. 

The college have given me the opportunity to showcase my products and a platform to do this. I had no idea how to launch this business and I could not afford to launch my business. 

I would not have been able to do this without the support of the staff and fellow students at Chichester College. 

Benjamin Marshall: From student apprentice to planning officer  

Hard work and dedication paid off for former student Benjamin Marshall, who has seen his career develop dramatically from his time at Chichester College, which started almost seven years ago. 
After studying A-levels, he turned to a new Town Planning Apprenticeship to kick-start his career – and with the support of the staff on a well-developed apprenticeship programme, he was given the tools he needed to get to where he is today. 

Now Benjamin stands proud as a planning officer for Guildford Borough Council, but it was not until he reflected on his studies that he realised just how far he has come. 

Benjamin Marshall

Tell us about your career!

I’ve worked as a planning officer within the development management team at Guildford Borough Council since May 2021. I’m responsible for recommending decisions on applications and providing advice to prospective applicants. The area we cover includes a variety of land classifications, including Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Importance – this diversity means I’m in the ideal place to grow my knowledge.  
What role to Chichester College play in your journey to where you are today? 

The college kicked off my direct work experience at Worthing Council, which showed me a real insight into a behind the scenes at local councils. 

I enjoyed such a wide variety of lessons throughout my apprenticeship and way my apprenticeship worked allowed me to experience so many different fields within the course and opened up so many routes. 
I started at Chichester College as an A-level students, but soon realised my original dream of becoming a pilot would be out of reach due to the financial cost. So, I needed to consider other routes once I finished my A-levels and my passion for geography is what attracted me to the town planning and building side of local councils. 

From this discovery, I then took on my Level 3 Town Planning Technical Support apprenticeship. 
What did you enjoy the most about your time here as a student at the college? Any favourite memory?  

A positive memory for me is reflecting upon all the hard work I put into the apprenticeship and putting the knowledge into my job today. 

Another proud reflection moment is when I return to Durrington High School, where I studied so many years ago to give talks on my career path and how I got to this point today.  

What do you think of the facilities/staff? 

For me my amazing mentor - Kim Hunt really stood out. She was one of those strict yet kind people who made you feel rewarded for keeping on track constantly.  

What achievements since leaving college are you most proud of? 

My proudest achievement since leaving the college would probably be when I was nominated and became a finalist for apprentice of the year at the Sussex Business Awards in 2019. 


Barbara Cairns: from apprentice to head receptionist 

Years of hard work, relationship-building and extra studies enabled head receptionist, Barbara Cairns to not only develop her career, but welcome a new lease of confidence to her day-to-day life. 
More than five years ago, Barbara took on a level 2 Team Leading apprenticeship at Chichester College as she knew this is how she could work her way up the college career ladder. 
And her decision has paid off – helping her to progress into the role of head receptionist. 
Barbara said: “At the time, I knew my supervisor on reception was due to leave and I was determined to fill this role so I decided to do anything that I could to upskill and further my knowledge to get the opportunity.”  

Barbara Cairns

We asked Barbara how her experience at Chichester helped her to get to where she is now... 

“My experience at Chichester College was very positive and I was actually offered the chance to complete my level 3 but, because I had not done any learning since my school days, I decided that a level 2 was where I was at. 

“After all, throwing yourself back into education after so many years can be daunting and, at that point, I had no confidence with my memories of school coming back but I was lucky enough that my apprenticeship ended up giving me the confidence to believe in myself a lot more.” 

Was there a particular member of staff or experience that stood out for you? 

“For me, it was my supervisor Jane who really supported me and allowed me the time, experience and development time to get me to the next stage. 

“During my studies, Jane had to take some time away from the workplace and this was a particular experience that stood out to me as this was when I had to step up and put my work to practice. 

“Another staff member who has remained a great support is Lisa Humphries because she is a great and fair leader. 

“Lisa encourages and is quick to offer praise, but if there’s a mistake will be honest and transparent with you too.” 

What did you enjoy the most about your time here as a student at the college?  

“My time with my assessor was so useful as they were so encouraging and open with me. Something that stands out is when my assessor wanted to use my work as my example for future students which was a real confidence boost and reassurance that I was doing a great job.” 

What skills did you learn from studying here? 

“Not only did I gain the obvious with my Level 2 in team leading but on a personal note I gained confidence, knowledge of confrontation, law studies and how to look into matters from a different angle.” 

What do you think of the facilities/staff? 

“From my very first day at Chichester College I have had nothing, but positive communications After all this is a real community. I have a good relationship with everyone.” 

What achievements (either at college or since leaving college) are you most proud of? 

“Becoming senior receptionist 3 years ago as even Lisa said herself that if I had not been doing this apprenticeship and stepping into the role- she would never have known that I was able to do this and would have recruited externally.” 

Would you recommend an apprenticeship? 

“If you are considering an apprenticeship, I would say do it because it builds confidence, knowledge and greater understanding which you can use in later life.  

“Even now at 57 I am proof that you must go for it, you have nothing to lose, and it is never too late to learn.”