Meet The Team


PlaceNet is run by a group of dedicated members thriving to ensure the placement industry and professionals are well represented within their area of expertise.


Chair: Sarah Sheikh

Sarah started her HE career at the University of Greenwich, Business School, where she was Employability Manager for 6 years. Sarah joined Barclays Investment Bank and worked in the Campus Recruitment Team recruiting graduates and interns for Markets, Trading & Structuring, Research and Quantitative Analytics teams. She finally rejoined HE in October 2017 as Placements Manager for the London College of Communication at the University of the Arts London.

Sarah grew up in Belgium and is half Danish, quarter English and quarter Pakistani. When she is not at work, Sarah enjoys trying out new restaurants (ramen being a particular favourite) and travelling within and outside of the UK as much as possible. She has been a member of PlaceNet since 2011 and is currently chair of the charity.


Secretary: Darren Spillett

Darren is our Secretary and he comes from a Heritage Management background having completing a Masters at the University of Wales, Bangor. He then moved to York to pursue his passion for all things heritage and ended up working in the wonderful world of placements, after a sojourn working on the employer side of placements with the York Archaeological Trust. Darren’s work managing placement administration within the Department of Biology at the University of York has brought him into contact with a wide range of people from across the globe and has worked tirelessly to improve the employability of York students for the last ten years.  


Vice Chair: Rachael Collins

Rachael is Head of Placements at University of Liverpool and a slave to her children. A Career Adviser who moved to the dark-side of employability (ie, placements) Rachael leads a team that provides support to students when looking for year long placements and shorter internships either as part of their academic course or stand alone. 


Treasurer: Virginia Goodwill

When she's not surfing or travelling, Virginia works as an Industrial Placements Officer at University of Brighton. As well as the treasurer for Placenet Virginia is Vice Chair at Brighton Surf Life Saving Club.


Branding & Marketing: Alex Elkins

Alex is Head of Entrepreneurship at City, University of London and has a wealth of experience across employability and enterprise education from his time at the University of Hertfordshire, LSE and through his various roles at City. Alex has previously headed up placement units and led teams to deliver new and innovative work based learning programmes. Alex also enjoys a decent coffee and a good chat about startups...and star wars. 


Website and Social Media: Simeon Smith

Simeon is a digital creative with an analogue heart. When he's not working as an Employability Specialist at Swansea University he does freelance work for Lomography, The Presence App, Raw Edge @ London Fashion Week, Awen Cultural Trust and Amateur Photography Magazine.


Masterclass Lead: Ciarán McMullan

Ciarán is Employability and Placements Manager (EC Futures) at Coventry University and an avid promoter of Gaelic Games in the West Midlands. He regularly plays both Hurling and Gaelic football, competing in the Warwickshire Championship. 


Got skills you'd like to share with us? Drop us an email to find out more about becoming a trustee.