INDUSTRY experts are being invited to lend their support to a new guest speaker series designed to inspire tomorrow's business leaders.

York St John University has launched YSJ Behind Business to motivate students by sharing real stories from alumni and other specialists.

The first session was held during the university's SuccessFest, a week-long series of events to help undergraduates to prepare for work and boost their employability.

The session was headlined by YSJ graduate James Geldart, who is now managing director of Santander International.

He was joined on the alumni panel for the launch of YSJ Behind Business by James Sullivan, who works at the London Stock Exchange, and Szezepan Swiatkowski, HR manager at Leeds Jewish Welfare Board (LJWB).

YSJ graduate Lauren Dodds, who completed her studies last year and went on to become the operations manager of York-based brand management agency Nima, also joined the line-up.

Rebecca Padgett, who is organising the executive guest speaker series, said the sessions would run bi-monthly and aimed to help students be the best that they can be.

She is keen to hear from other willing guest speakers.

"It is open to anybody who has a career and a story to tell," she said.

"Leadership is about bringing people less experienced along with you.

"We are bringing people working in industry into the classroom to talk online to students about their careers and war wounds and how they have got where they are now."

Rebecca, who is a lecturer at York Business School and course leader in marketing, tourism, hospitality, events & sports management courses, also organised the SuccessFest last week and said it went well.

It featured skills workshops and certificated courses from renowned external providers.

All events were virtual due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Sessions included talks by Maxine Gordon, a journalist at The Press, who also coaches people on how to write a press release.

Another topic focused on the essentials of public speaking in a virtual world, while students could also take on a digital marketing short course.

The project was rolled out to all students in the university this year after its successful launch in the York Business School in 2019.

Anyone interested in supporting the YSJ Behind Business is asked to email Rebecca on for further details.