David Willie

"When speaking to my careers advisor at school about the next step, my goals were deemed 'too ambitious'.

Despite this, I chose to apply for the City and Guilds Electronic Engineering course Kirby College (now known as Middlesbrough College), which had a module in Audio Visual Production and Equipment Servicing. It was then that I realised exactly what I wanted to do as a career!

Following completion of the course, I immediately signed up to the two year BTEC National Diploma in AV Studies, again at Longlands. The course offered a great array of video, audio production, photography as well as a range of practical hands on modules on equipment repair and services. I felt the course would make me 'work ready' and I was proved right!

Shortly after leaving college I was able to put my skills to work as part of a small two person video production team working on a wide range of projects for the local council.

I then went on to a successful 18 year career working in roles such as an AV Technician, AV/IT Manager and Principle AV/IT Manager in a number of large universities across the UK. 

Following this, I moved to Visavvi (Saville Audio Visual) where I’ve held a number of roles including Account Manager, Videoconferencing and Telepresence Specialist and Head of Communication and Collaboration Technologies.

Now, 15 years on I head up Marketing and Product Management at Visavvi, a £50m turnover company operating globally - my job has taken me all over the world!

The formal and practical training that Longlands College (Middlesbrough College) gave me all those years ago has really been the foundation of my journey. I would encourage anyone to look at what the College offers - it certainly worked for me!

It's been great to visit the AV department as it brought back memories of when I trained at the College back in 1983 - the facilities are fantastic and the lecturers really know what’s needed to produce 'work ready AV students'!"

It's been great to visit the AV department as it brought back memories of when I trained at the College back in 1983 - the facilities are fantastic and the lecturers really know what’s needed to produce 'work ready AV students'!