Jewellery graduates named in 30 under 30 list


Six graduates from BCU’s School of Jewellery have been named in this year’s Retail Jeweller’s Rising Stars ‘30 under 30’ list.

Of the five categories on the list, BCU graduates were named in three of them.

In the ‘Designers and Designer-Makers’ category, graduates Conor Maher and Mark Newman were recognised.

Conor Maher graduated from our HND Jewellery and Silversmithing course in 2021.He is now a freelance designer at Conor Maher Jewellery Design, which was set up in 2019, the same year he won the British Allied Trades Federation (BATF) goblet award.

He said: “I am delighted to be recognised and included in this year’s list. A nomination was an honour in itself, especially to be acknowledged amongst such a range of talent and exceptional skill sets.

“The nature of my work is largely behind the scenes, which means being noticed and getting my work publicised was really satisfying and very special.”

Mark Newman graduated from our BA (Hons) Jewellery and Silversmithing – Design for Industry course in 2021.

He is a Goldsmith and Designer-maker at Mark Newman Designs and has been self-employed since 2011. Whilst his studio is based in Ireland, he also travels back to Ireland to teach part-time at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.

Mark said: “Being nominated for the 30 under 30 list has been incredibly validating. With such a flourishing industry, I’m taken aback to be highlighted in such a way.”

In the ‘Manufacturing, Industry and Apprentices’ category, graduates Tony Bellefontaine, Andrew Cowley and Charlotte Rose were recognised.

Tony Bellefontaine graduated from our BSc (Hons) Gemmology and Jewellery Studies course in 2022, where he received the Fellows Award for its valuation module.

Tony is currently a Gemmologist at the Birmingham Assay Office and working towards becoming an accredited valuer.

Andrew Cowley graduated from our BA (Hons) Jewellery and Silversmithing – Design for Industry course in 2018, and he is now the Director and co-founder of Bespoke Quarter, which was established in 2021.

Charlotte Rose graduated from our BSc (Hons) Gemmology and Jewellery Studies course in 2023 and has since become the first female Vice President at London Diamond Bourse.

Graduate Monika Jockute was recognised in the ‘Retail, Buying and Merchandising’ category.

Monika graduated from the School of Jewellery with a BSc (Hons) in Gemmology and Jewellery Studies, and then went on to study MSc Management and International Business at our Business School.

Monika is now the Store Manager at Sonny’s Jewellers, a store she joined as a part-time Sales Assistant in 2019.

Rebecca Skeels, Course Director and Senior Lecturer in the School of Jewellery, praised “the quality of students emerging from the School of Jewellery.”

She said: “The graduates are proactive and hardworking, utilising their skills and continuing to learn and develop to allow them to be successful in their careers.”

“We wish them every success with their next steps.”

See the full list here.

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