Gurveer Birdi

Group Tax Manager for International Personal Finance plc and Photography Business Owner.

Class of: 2004

Gurveer studied A Levels in Maths with Mechanics, Physics and Economics from 2002 – 2004.

After Greenhead College, Gurveer initially began studying at Loughborough University, but realised that University wasn’t right for him. He secured a non-graduate role at Ernst & Young LLP based in Leeds where he achieved his first set of Tax Advisory qualifications.

Since then Gurveer has worked for various organisations including the Virgin Group in London, KPMG in Leeds (with a brief stint in Vietnam), and now for International Personal Finance plc in Leeds. He also continued with his qualifications and is now a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

His current role of Group Tax Manager involves looking after the group’s UK tax compliance and financial reporting, being responsible for a range of tax governance matters, and working on a number of projects with various departments within the group. 

Other Endeavours

Gurveer also runs his own photography business, specialising in all types of people photography and is also a Governor at Greenhead College serving on the Audit & Risk Committee.

Commenting on his time at Greenhead College, Gurveer said:

“I really struggled in my first year at Greenhead and didn’t achieve the grades I wanted. The staff at Greenhead pulled me back on course and gave me the support and framework I needed to turn my grades around. I’ll always remember and be grateful for the help & guidance the Greenhead staff gave me.”

Jemima Mitchell

Musical Theatre Student/currently playing Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Class of: 2015

Jemima studied A Levels in English Literature, English Language, Medieval History and Drama & Theatre Studies. 

On finishing her studies at Greenhead College, Jemima attended University to study a subject that she soon realised was not for her. She made the decision to leave University and moved to America for four months to teach Drama. 

When she returned, Jemima decided to pursue her dream and reapplied to University to study Musical Theatre. She is now studying in Liverpool whilst also training in circus. She has also since been back to America to teach circus for another four months. 

Jemima was recently cast the role of Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s outdoor theatre festival ‘The Dell’ with Chalice Productions. She is currently in rehearsals for the show which will be performed in Stratford-upon-Avon in June 2019. 

Commenting on her time at Greenhead College, Jemima said:

While at Greenhead I studied English Literature under Nassim. In second year we covered A Midsummer Night’s Dream, going on a trip to The Globe in London to undertake workshops about the play. I’d never particularly liked English Literature – poetry was incomprehensible to me! I loved acting though and studying Shakespeare finally made me fall completely in love with literature. A Midsummer Night’s Dream has ever since remained my favourite Shakespeare and a play I have always wanted to be able to perform. I’m now currently in rehearsals to play Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Stratford-upon-Avon in June, opening the Royal Shakespeare Company’s outdoor theatre festival at the Dell, with Chalice Productions! It’s an opportunity I could not ever have dreamed of and one I feel in many ways I owe to Greenhead and Nassim, for finally helping me to see the joy in English Literature. So thank you!

Daniel Krigers

Equity Partner at Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors and Manager of Employment Law Team. 

Class of: 2005

Daniel studied A Levels in Law, Sociology and Business Studies from 2003 to 2005, achieving A grades in each subject.

On finishing his studies at Greenhead College, Daniel took a quite unconventional route into the legal profession. Initially intending to take a year out to gain work experience, the position he took was of an office junior at Huddersfield firm of solicitors Chadwick Lawrence.

Daniel has remained there ever since. Within 6 months of joining the firm, he was invited to undertake a part-time law degree at the University of Huddersfield, achieving a first-class honours degree before passing the post-graduate Legal Practice Course with a distinction.

In December 2017, Daniel became an equity partner of the firm and currently manages the employment law team and wider commercial services arm of the business. Daniel is a regular contributor in the business section of Kirklees Business News, and often delivers topical seminars to the general business community.

Commenting on his time at Greenhead College, Daniel said:

“My time at the College helped me to better understand the career direction I wished to take. Having never studied Law previously, it became clear that this was a subject I wanted to know more about and, ultimately, seek a career in. The grounding in this subject allowed me to flourish in my university studies and, from the perspective of Chadwick Lawrence, we have maintained excellent links with the College in taking students for work placements and permanent roles.”

Paul Thornton

Owner of New Zealand based Digital Marketing Company ‘Digital Hothouse’

Class of: 1998

Paul studied A Levels in Business Studies, Principle of Accounts and Computer Studies at Greenhead from 1996 to 1998 winning the 1998 Wheawill and Sudworth Award.

During his time at Greenhead, Paul showed a particular interest within Marketing within the Business Studies A-Level course, so he went on to study Marketing at Northumbria University. After graduation, Paul got a job working for Internet Direct a local business started from somebody’s garage selling Digital Cameras over the Internet. At this point, Paul realised that the Internet and Digital Marketing was the future so Paul stayed in this field, working for Redcats before moving to Agency side. After working for a couple of agencies, Paul was offered a move to Shanghai to work for a specialist retailer selling accessories to over 25 international markets.

After a year living in China, Paul was then offered a job in Auckland, New Zealand, where he still resides. After working for a large Digital Agency, Paul decided to do it for himself and setup his own business, Digital Hothouse. Digital Hothouse has been going since 2010 and provides Digital Marketing services to some of New Zealand’s largest businesses including 1 of the top 6 most visited websites in the country.

Commenting on his time at Greenhead College, Paul said:

Before I started at Greenhead College, I had no idea what I wanted to do, but upon graduating I knew what I wanted to do with my life and what I wanted to work in. I had fantastic teaching and support from the Business Studies team in particular, alongside their unrestrained enthusiasm which drove me to go to University and study Marketing. If it wasn’t for the staff at Greenhead, I don’t know what I’d be doing now, but I don’t think I’d have had anywhere near the success that I have had. I will always look back at my time at Greenhead with great fondness and some of the friends gained there are still my best friends today – even living at the opposite ends of the earth!

Rose Dyson

Business Owner of Pura Cosmetics

Class of: 2018

At Greenhead College, Rose studied Business, French and Geography from 2016 – 2018.

Rose set up her company, Pura Cosmetics, aged 15 years old as part of a business competition at her high school with just a £25 start-up fund.

Since then, Rose has never looked back. Pura Cosmetics, her all-natural, cruelty-free, vegan lip cosmetic brand, has grown from strength to strength.

Rose manufactures and retails all her products herself, which are now being used by the stars of Love Island and other celebrities. Rose wholesales her range to independent stockists, mainly throughout Yorkshire, sells her products online via her e-commerce website and trades at artisan markets and shows across the country.

During her time at Greenhead, Rose received various business awards and accolades such as UK National Young Trader of the Year 2017, and was the youngest ever recipient of Theo Paphitis’ Small Business award. Rose has also been names as one of the top ten most inspiring girls in tech in the UK and is on the UK 20 under 20 top young entrepreneurs list.

For Rose to grow her business to become such a success whilst studying for her A Levels is remarkable. She worked tirelessly around the clock, ensuring to fit in her studies alongside developing new products, making each and every customer order in mass volumes, trading across the country and everything in between. A true inspiration to all future young entrepreneurs!

Commenting on her time at Greenhead College, Rose said:

“I would like to thank the GC Business Studies department for their help, support and encouragement during my two years at Greenhead. They provided me with great advice and recommended lots of fab opportunities for me.”

Dr Samuel Gartland

Tutor in Classics and Ancient History at Oxford University        

Class of: 2003

Sam attended Greenhead College from 2001-2001 where he studied A Levels in History, English, Politics and Geology and went on to study History at Oxford University.

Following postgraduate study, Sam now works at Oxford University as a tutor in Classics and Ancient History. He spends much of his time discussing Greek history, literature and archaeology with undergraduates, as well as writing book and articles on Ancient Greece. He often works in Greece to study the physical remains of the ancient world.

Sam comments on his time at Greenhead:

Without coming to Greenhead for my sixth-form studies, I would never have thought of applying to Oxford (which I had only heard of from the Boat Race on television) and wouldn’t have had a hope of getting in without the fantastic teaching and encouraging academic environment of the college. More widely, Greenhead provided a friendly and welcoming place to spend two years, with the freedom to meet a wide range of new people and to develop friendships and interests which endure to this day.

Susie Beever

Journalist at the Huddersfield Daily Examiner

Class of: 2010

Susie studied A Levels in French, English Language & Literature, Psychology and AS level Fine Art at Greenhead from 2008 to 2010.

Following her time at Greenhead, Susie went on to study a degree in English Literature at Newcastle University, where she also worked as a News Editor for the student newspaper. Deciding to stay up in Newcastle, after her graduation Susie studied for an NCTJ (diploma in Journalism) with the Press Association and then secured a job working for a national press agency in Leeds.

Susie now works as a Journalist at the Huddersfield Daily Examiner covering news travel and weather, as well as campaigning on mental health issues.

Commenting on her time at Greenhead, Susie said:

“The two years I spent at Greenhead College were undoubtedly what kick-started my career and I am proud to be an alumni. I was inspired by all my tutors, but particularly by my English tutor whose energy and enthusiasm was what drove me to study the subject at University. Besides this though, I always felt the staff at Greenhead always had time for each individual student and believed in everyone’s ability.”

Dr Jack Blackburn PhD, MRSC

Organo-analytical Research Scientist, University of Huddersfield.

Class of: 2002

Jack attended Greenhead College between 2000-2002 studying A-Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Psychology, winning the 2002 Miss Patch Award.

Following A-level study, Jack attended the University of York and later the University of Huddersfield, graduating with a 1st Class BSc(hons) degree in chemistry. Following a successful degree program, Jack was offered a university research scholarship in organic chemistry through the prestigious Leverhulme Trust, under the supervision of Dr Wesley. J. Moran and Dr Karl Hemming. Jack’s research focused primarily on the development of novel anti-cancer agents, for which Jack was awarded his PhD following acknowledgement of his research from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Following his PhD study, Jack took up his current position at the University of Huddersfield. Specialising in mass spectrometry, Jack’s work focuses on developing global capabilities in organic-analytical chemistry. He has made and continues to make internationally recognised scientific contributions to medicinal chemistry, environmental chemistry, microbiology, materials science and archaeology.

Commenting on his time at Greenhead College, Jack said:

Prior to attending Greenhead College, I was shy and desperately short with confidence. I look back on my time at Greenhead College with great affection and can only describe it as life-changing! I would consider my experience at Greenhead College to be the single greatest positive influence on both my educational and personal development. As such, I salute Greenhead College in every single professional achievement I make.

Thom Walker

Studying MA Printmaking Camberwell College, University of the Arts London

Class of 2003

Thom was at Greenhead College from 2001-2003, he studied A level Art, Geography and English Language as well as an AS level in Maths.

Thom followed his interests in visual art to study at Leeds College of Art and Design, completing an Art Foundation year which helped him get a place studying at the Glasgow School of Art from 2004-2007. Whilst living in Glasgow he became very involved in the art community and worked several jobs alongside making his own art such as a wine seller and a postman (not quite as fun as it sounds in the Glasgow rain).

Thom moved to London in 2011 and began working at Whitechapel Gallery whilst continuing his own art work, taking part in exhibitions and starting to focus on creative writing and self-publishing books of his poetry and short stories.

Currently working in an Art Community centre in East London and as a Teaching Assistant in a Special Needs school in West London Thom is half way through a MA in Printmaking at Camberwell College of Art.

Thom commented on his time at Greenhead:

“Greenhead College was an invaluable experience for me, all the teachers I had were inspiring and brought passion and energy to their subjects. I feel that especially the strength of the art department was fundamental in my development and helped me to see the value of art and have belief in what I could achieve if I threw myself into it.”

Professor Judy Hirst MA, DPhil, FRSC

Professor of Biogical Chemistry at The University of Cambridge and Deputy Director of the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit.

Class of: 1990

Judy studied A Levels in Chemistry, Biology and Maths at Greenhead College from 1988 to 1990.

Following this, Judy’s academic success went from strength to strength. As an undergraduate, Judy attended St John’s College, Oxford to read Chemistry and following her graduation, decided to remain in Oxford to study for a Doctor of Philosophy researching mechanisms of catalysis in complex enzymes.

Judy then did postdoctoral work at The Scripps Research Institute in California for two years, before taking a position at The Medical Research Council in Cambridge.

Currently, Judy is a Professor of Biogical Chemistry at The University of Cambridge, as well as Director of the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit, Head of a research group, consisting of PhD students and postdoctoral scientists, Dean of College and Director of Studies in Chemistry at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. An extremely impressive array of professions!

Judy was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) this year, and shortly after was also awarded an Interdisciplinary Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC). 

Reflecting on her time at Greenhead College, Judy said:

‘I was happy there, it was an excellent college and the teaching was high quality. It was also a supportive environment and it got me on to where I wanted to go’.