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Push Talk speakers

Our Speakers really are a fantastic bunch.

Talented, engaging, funny and, critically, well-informed. All our Speakers undertake a thorough and on-going training programme, meaning they're always clued-up on the latest developments in unis, careers & employability. So sit down, kick your feet up with a nice cup of cocoa, and get to know us...

Name: Johnny Rich

As well as our regular team of speakers, Push founder & managing director Johnny Rich also runs a range of talks & sessions, and is available on request (subject to availability). Johnny is a member of the Board of Directors at the Higher Education Academy and a member of Govermnent advisory committees on higher education (BIS, HEFCE). He is a consultant to Which? University, BestCourse4me, & various universities, as well as a key consultant for U-Multirank, the multi-dimensional global unversity ranking system carried out by CHE, CHEPS & partners.  He is also a regular commentator on radio & TV on issues about student life, higher education and student finance, and a freelance journalist. You can contact Johnny by emailing to johnny@push.co.uk or follow him @johnnysrich

Moj Taylor

Moj Taylor is an integral part of our speaker team. He is a professional stand up comedian & Executive of Push Talks. He has also won a Fringe First in Edinburgh as an actor. As well as delivering a large number of our talks and workshops at schools and universities, Moj is also responsible for client relations, business development, collaborative outreach and widening particpation. You can contact Moj by emailing to moj@push.co.uk and follow him @mojtaylor. We took the time to interview him, along with the rest of our speakers, so you can find out what makes them so passionate about Push.

Which uni did you study at?
Queen Mary, University of London (BA), University of the Arts London (MA)

A bit about you
: I am extremely passionate about using comedy as a key tool to engage students on their post 18 options. Since becoming a Push speaker four years ago, I have attended schools high and wide across the UK and the phenomenal response from teachers and students drives me ever forward in delivering Push’s independent uni and careers advice to an ever increasing number of schools and colleges. Other passions? Lego, interactive theatre, short plays, new writing, drinking copious amounts and varieties of tea. And I sometimes mix my cereals together in the mornings.

How did you become a Push Speaker? I was rehearsing a play at drama school when I saw a notice on our jobs & opportunities board which stated "Looking for wise & witty speakers". I thought “I’ve got the witty, not yet sure about the wise” - but after some rigorously fun Push speaker training, I was a little older, a little wittier & thankfully a lot wiser.

What’s your favourite thing about being a Push Speaker? Being able to have a change of scenery each day, speaking to 30 or 300 students in a classroom or a huge old theatre or converted school church. It makes me appreciate how different every single school is from one another, and how many great young minds there are out there.

One thing you wish you’d known when you were choosing a uni: That every single course at every single uni is completely different, and to visit as many unis as possible in my school holidays.

Nicola Bourke

Which uni did you study at? Durham Univeristy, BA Marketing

A bit about you: A recent graduate, and now, Push Talks and Editorial Manager. Crashed into Durham after an eventful gap yah and haven't looked back since. I enjoyed every minute of my time at Durham and love the idea of helping students going through the daunting UCAS process so they might end up as happy at their university as I was. Big fan of Sherlock and crime dramas in general.

One thing you wish you’d known when you were choosing a uni: Hindsight is a beautiful thing, but, in my opinion, the one piece of advice I wish I had known before applying to university is to not rush the process. If you don't end up going to uni the same year as all of your friends, it doesn't matter. Pick the right course, the right uni. Take your time.

You can contact Nicola by emailing to nicolab@push.co.uk

Name: Jacob Alexander Guberg
Which uni did you study at?
Brunel University, BA Creative Writing (dropped out) and then Southampton Solent University BA Comedy, Writing and Performance (graduated!)
A bit about you: Having been to two universities and gaining only one degree, I have extensive experience in how NOT to choose a university course. My story has a happy ending however, as the second time around I chose a course that suited me, at a university that could stomach me. I am now sent around the country to help prospective students avoid making the same ugly mistakes.
How did you become a Push Speaker? I was head-hunted from my university course (Comedy: Writing and Performance) as stand-up and school talks are very similar disciplines. I am very happy with the switch, as the pay is better and the audiences tend to be more sober, and due to what we do: very rewarding.
What’s your favourite thing about being a Push Speaker? The masochistic pleasures of coach travel.
One thing you wish you’d known when you were choosing a uni: League tables are for your parents to bicker over at Pinter-esque dinner parties, not to guide your choice of university. There's only one league table that matters and that's your league table.

Name: Elin Carmichael

Which uni do you study at? University of Sheffield

A bit about you: I am currently studying English Literature and Philosophy, so I spend a lot of time reading and thinking, which is ideal because they both can be done from within a duvet cocoon which is where I like to spend a lot of time.

How did you become a Push Speaker? I found the advert on my University’s career website, I then completed a series of strenuous tasks equal to those of Hercules (by which I mean, waking up at 5am to get to London for training at 10am) and was rewarded with a job.

What’s your favourite thing about being a Push Speaker? Getting to know all these fantastic places that I probably wouldn’t visit otherwise, and getting to insprie 100s of students at a time.

One thing you wish you’d known when you were choosing a uni:  That the Push Uni Chooser existed! I would have saved myself from ordering 1000 prospectuses.

Simon Banks

Which uni do you go to? University of Sheffield / Chinese University of Hong Kong - LLB European and International Law

A bit about you:
I'm a graduate of the University of Sheffield law school and am now studying my Legal Practice Course. I've spent a bit of time at University in the UK, a bit of time studying abroad, and a bit of time working in the corporate world. I got into law because I like taking difficult important decisions and working through them in bite-size chunks. I'm a big fan of Push because I really believe that you can take the same approach to your post 18 options.

How did you become a Push Speaker?
I responded to an advert on my university website, and found out how to turn stories of my university successes and mistakes into words from the wise. I picked up some stand-up comedy and a mental road-map of Britain along the way.

What’s your favourite thing about being a Push Speaker? Getting all over the country, working with different people every day and getting out of school first every day.

One thing you wish you’d known when you were choosing a uni:  League tables aren't as important as actually seeing the universities and finding out first-hand which one feels most like you would want to wake up there and get stuck in to something you care about.

Name: Dan Gilbert

Which uni did you study at? Dartington College of Arts (now part of Falmouth University)

How did you become a Push Speaker?
  I started as a Researcher, visiting unis and collecting data for Push’s uni profiles and debt survey. I then became a Push Speaker for year, visiting schools up and down the country. After that, I left Push for a while and worked variously in a zoo gift shop and as Education Manager with a theatre company. A few years later and now, as well as giving talks, I manage the whole talks programme

What’s your favourite thing about being a Push Speaker? Meeting students who are really starting to get excited about the start of their uni and career journeys.

One thing you wish you’d known when you were choosing a uni:
That no two unis are the same

Fancy becoming a Push speaker? please have a look at our jobs page, or email talks@push.co.uk

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