The Breakfast Club.
In the 2017-18 academic year, President Martin Blake and committee member Michael McDowell decided to reach out to BRA alumni by holding a series of business breakfasts in the Belfast City Centre. To broaden the appeal of the event, the Old Girls’ Association was invited to join co- sponsor the events and former pupils Caroline Dillon and Laura Jackson joined the organising committee.
Starting in November 2017, several breakfasts were held at Ten Square Hotel, directly behind Belfast City Hall. The first event drew 30 people and attendances gradually increased. Each event offered alumni the opportunity to network and to listen to short and entertaining speeches by former pupils. The events were run with clockwork efficiency, commencing at 7:45 a.m. with orange juice and networking, followed by a healthy, self-serve breakfast buffet and two short speeches by guests with questions from the audience. Each event finished punctually, before 9:00 a.m.
Following the success of the breakfasts, the school invited the Breakfast Club to put on a careers breakfast and in March 2018, over 40 students and teachers shared a networking event with 9 guest speakers at the school. This was followed by a business lunch at the Europa Hotel.
Guest speakers have included:
Jacqui Berkeley: TV Producer
Marty Neill: CEO Airpos, Tech Industry entrepreneur.
Tony McAuley: Author, broadcaster & peacebuilder
Mark Regan: CEO, Kingsbridge Private Hospital
Samantha Sloan: Breast Surgeon
Angela McGowan: Regional Director, Confederation of British Industry.
Kevin McNamee: Finance Director, Denroy Group
Louise Brogan: Owner of Social Bee – trainer and consultant in use of social media.
Sara Neill: BBC Journalist.
Tara Gaston: Politics, picture editing and app marketing
Caroline Dillon: Retail customer service and management training consultant.
Clare McDowell: Recruiting industry.
Gareth Davis: Quantity surveying & construction industry.
Alan Bennett: Architect.
Michael McDowell: Marketing and Sales.
Career Breakfast April 2018
Breakfast Club, May 2018, Ten Square, Belfast