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With the majority of our students learning from home we want to ensure they can access quality careers information and support online. To help our students explore their next steps after Blue Coat we are launching a series of films called ‘5 minutes with…’

This new series will feature Old Blues working across the UK and around the world in a variety sectors. Sharing what they’ve been up to since leaving Blue Coat, our Old Blues will be lifting the lid on their careers, sharing career highlights, discussing hurdles they have overcome, describing a typical day in their job and providing our students with helpful advice. We will also be including films of some of our younger Old Blues, some of whom are undergraduate students and some who are in the early stages of their chosen career.

We hope this new series will inspire our students to consider University courses or careers they may not have thought of before, help solidify their plans, or inspire them to develop new skills or gain work experience.

Chris Dottie, Class of 1991

Chris Dottie MBE is from the Class of 1991. After leaving Blue Coat he studied International Business and Modern Languages at Aston University, enjoying a placement year at ESSCA Ecole de Management in France. After graduation Chris began a career in recruitment working for Hays, securing his first international job thanks to a GCSE in Portugese from Blue Coat! Today Chris is the Managing Director of Hays in Spain and for the past four years has been the President of the Chamber of Commerce in Spain. Chris was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2020.

Kamal Bal, Class of 1997

Kamal is from the Class of 1997 and after Blue Coat he went on to study Japanese and Management Studies at the University of Leeds. Kamal has had a successful career in customer experience and digital technology, working for Accenture, Marks and Spencer and is now the Executive Director of Global Digital Customer Experience for Avon, based in London.

Simon Hands, Class of 1980

Simon left Liverpool in 1980 to study physics, specialising in theoretical physics, first at Cambridge then Edinburgh. At Edinburgh Simon was supervised by Peter Higgs, who was awarded the Physics Nobel Prize in 2013. After achieving a doctorate Simon seized the opportunity to travel, holding research posts at the universities of Oxford, Illinois and Glasgow, then the Theory Division at CERN (the particle physics laboratory near Geneva), before taking a lecturing position at Swansea University in 1993. Simon has been based at Swansea ever since, becoming Professor in 2003, and was elected a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales in 2013.
Simon’s research uses lattice gauge theory to study microscopic properties of matter; in particular the quark-gluon plasma thought to exist for temperatures in excess of a trillion degrees and the ultra-dense quark matter possibly to be found in the cores of neutron stars.
Simon is a Fellow of the Learned Society in Wales, a member of the a capella vocal group ‘The Accidentals’, and is an avid fan of Aston Villa Football Club.

If you are an Old Blue or know any Old Blues that you think would like to take part please do put them in touch with the Development Team at

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