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Graduate becomes mentor for innovative collaboration

A Teesside University graduate who excelled during an innovative partnership is now helping a fellow graduate follow in her footsteps.

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Andrew Hughes and Deborah Matthews.

Andrew Hughes and Deborah Matthews.


Deborah Matthews, 26, was the original Graduate Associate in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between Teesside University and Coast & Country Housing after graduating from the University in 2008 with a BSc (Hons) Computer Studies. She was taken on permanently only nine months into the project after applying for a permanent role during the KTP.

In her new role as Business System Development Manager at Coast & Country, Deborah is now supervising graduate Andrew Hughes in a new Knowledge Transfer Partnership between the two organisations after a goal was set to implement a new IT service desk within the company.

A KTP is a business-university partnership, aimed at improving productivity and performance through a strategic project. The company gets access to academic skills and expertise, along with a graduate recruited specially to work on the project.

Deborah, originally from Fife, said: ‘I’m really enjoying my time here and the fact that I was hired within the first year of the KTP proves what a great initiative it is. It gives graduates the platform to get ahead in their careers and a chance to impress and show what they can do in the real world.’

Andrew Hughes, the new KTP Associate who graduated with an MSc Computer Science in 2011, is part of the new IT development team at Coast & Country. His role is to develop IT solutions, instead of the company outsourcing as they used to, saving them both time and money.

Andrew, 34 from Sunderland, said: ‘The KTP is providing me with invaluable hands-on experience of the industry, and it’s very satisfying to successfully solve problems that come my way. I hope I can follow in Deborah’s footsteps and secure a permanent position here, I’ve already learned so much since I began here.’

Coast & Country had first approached Dave Eagle and Alison Brown from the University for a half day consultancy for some tips on improving their internal IT services.

Alison Brown, Principal Lecturer (Recruitment & Marketing) in the School of Computing, said: ‘We set to work on developing an Information Management Strategy which would focus on our business information requirements and ensuring business alignment of our ICT services.

‘I worked with Coast & Country to develop and implement a new IT service desk within the company as part of the first level of the project. Dave then went on to help develop information management policies and set up the infrastructure needed to maintain the service desk and ensure it was a long-lasting success.’

21 December 2012

In the News

Teesside University staff share knowledge
Gazette Live (Web), 15/01/2013; Evening Gazette, 15/01/2013, p.4
Deborah Matthews, 26, was the original Graduate Associate in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Teesside University and Coast & Country Housing after graduating from the university in 2008 with a BSc (Hons) Computer Studies. She was taken on permanently only nine months into the project after applying for a permanent role during the KTP.


Graduate Becomes Mentor for Innovative Collaboration
North East Chamber of Commerce (Web), 08/01/2013
A Teesside University graduate who excelled during an innovative partnership is now helping a fellow graduate follow in her footsteps. Deborah Matthews, 26, was the original Graduate Associate in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between Teesside University and Coast & Country Housing after graduating from the University in 2008 with a BSc (Hons) Computer Studies. She was taken on permanently only nine months into the project after applying for a permanent role during the KTP.


Graduate's helping hand
Business Quarter Magazine (Web), 24/12/2012; Northern Echo, 28/12/2012, p.22
A Teesside University graduate who excelled during a partnership with business is now helping a fellow graduate follow in her footsteps. Deborah Matthews, 26, was the original graduate associate in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, KTP, between Teesside University and Redcar-based Coast & Country Housing after graduating from the University in 2008 with a BSc in Computer Studies.