You are currently not logged in. Please log in here.

Alumnus of the month - December 2009

Andy Cole
PgDip in Personnel Management, 1996

Andy Cole

Inspirational tutors at South Bank helped our Alumni of the Month onto his career path in Human Resources. As Head of Talent for Vue Entertainment, Andy Cole seeks to find and develop great people so they too have great careers. Andy has also been able to use the opportunities his career has given him to progress corporate social responsibility projects both at home and overseas.

Andy works for Vue Entertainment, a company with the vision of being people’s first choice for cinema entertainment. In such a competitive market the need for talented people to ensure their success is paramount.

As Head of Talent, Andy looks after recruitment and training for this leading cinema company. The talented individuals that he looks to develop will be part of a company that is visited by over 33 million customers every year. Vue want to ensure customers have a friendly, helpful & welcoming experience. Andy feels this translates into a clear resourcing and development strategy for the business and leads his team to engage everyone around the talent development agenda.

Following in the footsteps of many graduates, he continued in higher education for further development. He recalls his time at South Bank University in the late 1990s:

"It was great working with students from different types of industries and with different backgrounds. The tutors too were great people that helped me push my career forward – I remember the Head of the School, Bob Gamble being a key person in helping me meet people who have been instrumental in accessing opportunities I still rely upon now."

Andy gained his Postgrad Diploma in Personnel Management at South Bank University in 1996.

Reflecting on how the course helped his career and his own personal development, he states:

"The work we did on training and development gave me the confidence to pursue this as a specialized career interest and many of the issues I was introduced to across the range of modules I still refer back to now."

"My PgDip at South Bank introduced me to a career in HR that I’d never really thought about before – having been that typical person that just fell into any job and starting working after school. I met some inspirational tutors and was impressed with the fact that the lecturers didn’t just teach but “did” as well!"

During his studies he worked as a Personnel Manager for the Metropolitan Police and moved on to take further roles with Thames Valley Police and Railtrack plc respectively.

His experience at work helped him to specialize in people development and fully develop in the field of Human Resources. Andy moved into a career at a training consultancy for Interaction Learning & Development, then as Head of Learning & Development (L&D) for Dollond & Aitchison (D&A) Opticians.

Andy states about his career:

“My specialism in people development led me to become increasingly involved in the UK skills agenda - improving the chances for people in work who were disengaged by schools and further education to get qualifications through their work roles.”

During his time at D&A, Andy started working on a corporate responsibility agenda which remains a key interest today. For example, with charity partner SeeAbility’s eye2eye campaign, Andy helped create a training scheme to teach optometrists how to work with patients and customers with a learning disabilities and eyecare needs.

Andy states:

“I was proud to work with SeeAbility’s Eye2Eye campaign to improve local and national eye health for people with learning disabilities in the UK. With Vision Aid Overseas I was also involved in the start up phase to establish a national centre for optometry in Ethiopia. I wouldn’t have done these things without the opportunities my career has given me and in many ways this started on a rainy evening enrolling at SBU in the autumn of 1995!”

To read more about Vue, please visit: 
For information about Vision Aid Overseas projects visit: