Previous Mentees


All of our mentees are current University of Birmingham students from a range of degree backgrounds, who recognised the value and benefit of alumni guidance during their final year of university.

Below are short profiles on each of our mentees on the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme (ALMP).

Mentees for 2015-16 

Photo - Andrew Kalli

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Andrew Kalli, 4th Year, Dentistry

Mentor: Barry Cockcroft, Retired Chief Dental Officer

Why ALMP? My goals would be to obtain an insight into the role and responsibilities of chief dental officer when Dr Cockcroft held the role. Furthermore I hope to have exposure to the analysis and decision making regarding the new dental contract. I’d be intrigued to hear Dr Cockcroft’s opinions and involvement in practice networks now. I would enjoy meeting other administrative clinicians acquainted with Dr Cockcroft, potentially attending meetings and networking events myself.



Caley Routledge

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Caley Routledge, 3rd Year, English

Mentor: Andrew Garner, Executive Search and Career Management Consultant

Why ALMP? I’m eager to apply myself to a career as engaging and ripe for personal development as consultancy. However, long-term I see myself stepping outside the constraints of clearly laid out career-ladder centric fields like law and consultancy. I’d like to run my own business, and find my own way. But before I can do that I’m aware I have an awful lot to learn. What exactly it is I need to learn though is still not entirely clear, and that, alongside figuring out what the next steps for me are is why I’ve sought a place on the alumni mentorship programme – and specifically one with Andrew, an individual whom from my research is adept at breaking down those two problems and advising.


Chris Topping

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Christopher Topping, 4th Year, Chemical Engineering

Mentor: Ian Minards, Product Development Director, Aston Martin

Why ALMP? Over the next year I’d like to learn/gain many things from Ian. How to make the transition from student to graduate in the most efficient manner. An increased insight into the manufacturing industry and UK engineering. To develop an understanding and knowledge of the factors which make a business successful as well as a portfolio of professional skills



Birmingham photo

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Ella Talbot, 3rd Year, English Language

Mentor: Cilla Snowball, CEO at AMV BBDO

Why ALMP? Over the next year, I hope that the mentoring scheme can help me to gain a realistic understanding of what a career in advertising entails. I think that having Cilla Snowball as a mentor will assist this as I will have the opportunity to find out first-hand what the industry is like. I additionally hope that she will be able to give me advice and support with finding some work experience at an advertising agency, so that I will be able to decide if this is the right choice for me following my graduation next summer. I’m hoping that as a result of the Alumni Mentoring Scheme, I will feel more prepared for entering the working world, and that as Cilla is a graduate of the University of Birmingham she will be able to offer me relevant advice as to how to make myself most employable.


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Ellen Taylor, 4th Year, Modern Languages

Mentor: Louise Barnes, CEO at Crew Clothing

I am interested in working with brands and in international business. I am however unsure of exactly which role would best suit me, so I would like to find out more about what certain roles within this sector would entail so I can understand what career I want to pursue.
By understanding your experiences within the industry and getting practical advice I would like to get insights into different roles within a business, understand what might suit me and what skills I should look to improve. I would also like to get advice on how best to apply for jobs, interview skills and what employers are looking for.



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Grace Louisy, 4th Year, International Relations with Year Abroad

Mentor: Sarah Cox, Director, Cabinet Office

Why ALMP? My dream career would be within policy-making for an international non-profit organisation. I would love to be able to combine my passion for human rights and education with my love for travel and speaking French. Although I have lots of interests and have gained a variety of experiences, I know that I am lacking in guidance and direction. From the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme I hope to narrow my concentration on key areas of interest. As well as advice on CV writing and interviews to prepare me for graduation next year; I believe I could really benefit from the first-hand experiences of Sarah Cox, particularly in Government policy making. I am unsure if my career goals are unrealistic but I have a very open mind and am keen to explore any avenue which I might thrive in.



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Ioana-Teodora Chiva, 3rd Year, Law

Mentor: Luciana Berger, Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Liverpool Wavertree

Why ALMP? I believe a key part of the mentoring scheme is learning about my mentor’s background and personal experience, so this is another significant goal for me. I find this is particularly important since Ms. Berger is the first Minister of Mental Health the country has ever had. I want to meet as many influential people as possible, which would further even more my overall development and employability prospects. Last but not least, I would like to develop a relationship with my mentor that will outlast the ALMP scheme.


Jack Apperley2

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Jack Apperley, 3rd Year, Music

Mentor: Simon Halsey, Chorus Director, City of Birmingham Symphony Choruses

Why ALMP? To observe as many of Simon Halsey’s rehearsals as physically possible. Put together and application for masters course. To study some of Simon’s scores in more detail and develop a more efficient score preparation technique.


Jacob Dorrell

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Jacob Dorrell, 4th Year, Music and French

Mentor: Phyllida Lloyd, Director of plays, opera and film

Why ALMP? I’d really benefit from learning about the inner-workings of the industry and how best to prepare and present myself as an aspiring professional. I’d also really appreciate any advice or criticism you could give me regarding my own performance and my suitability for the world I hope to enter. The different roles in theatre and how a director should best communicate his/her ideas between different theatrical departments (presenting your ideas to producers, for example) is something I’m particularly keen to get to grips with. I’d also like to learn about how much scope there is for directorial interpretation within different genres of professional theatre and how you get to the stage where you can adapt a production significantly (such as an all-female cast).


BMA official image cropped

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Jessica Court, 4th Year, Medicine

Mentor: Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen, Former Bupa Group Medical Director

Why ALMP? My current career interests are psychiatry and General Practice. I enjoy both these specialties as they allow you to have patient contact whilst also taking on other roles, as especially seen in GP. I hope to take on leadership roles as I progress throughout my career and I am considering an intercalated degree in medical management and then applying to the academic foundation programme to get experience in management. I hope to gain insight into a career of medical management and leadership through discussions with my mentor and gain an understanding of what leadership and management skills are required to succeed in these roles. I hope to identify these early on in the mentoring relationship so I can work on them over the year and reflect on my progression with my mentor.


Joshua Tulley

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Joshua Tulley, 3rd Year, Medical Science

Mentor: Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice

Why ALMP? Over the course of the mentoring project, I hope to gain an insight into the work of my mentor and how they accomplish leading professional teams whilst maintaining a healthy balance between work and family life. I also hope to gain advice on my CV to tailor it to suit the health care sector. Finally, I wish to use this opportunity to gain some work experience in the field to gain a greater breadth of knowledge into the many areas of medicine.



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Lucy Elliott, 4th Year, Medicine

Mentor: Dr Rowan Hillson, National Clinical Director for Diabetes

Why ALMP? I am really looking forward to being mentored by Dr. Rowan Hillson. I hope that she will be able to help guide me with my endocrinology research this year as well as help me in preparing for an academic FPAS application next year.  I am hoping that Dr. Hillson will help me to reach my full potential and that we will have a great year working together.


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Makedah Simpson, 3rd Year, Political Science with Social Policy

Mentor: Baroness Doreen Massey, Former Chair, The National Treatment Agency For Substance Misuse

My primary goal for mentoring is wanting to gain guidance as to what to do post undergraduate studies. Currently, I lack financial means to undergo postgraduate study but at the same time, I do not feel ready for full time employment. Baroness Doreen Massey could help me through exploring feasible options and pathways in further education or employment. In addition to this goal, recent events have occurred in my personal life which has knocked my self-confidence.  Baroness Doreen Massey could help me improve this through exploring the benefits of inner confidence within employment.


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Marianna Lampon, 4th Year, English and American Lit with Year Abroad

Mentor: Baroness Patience Wheatcroft, Working peer and company director

Why ALMP? I know I will benefit greatly from being partnered with Baroness Wheatcroft due to her amazing credentials and first-hand experience in journalism. Having worked in the field, I feel as though she will be able to help guide me towards my next steps after university. Specifically, learning from her experiences in The Times and The Sunday Telegraph would be a privilege – such a vast knowledge of the journalism and newspaper/magazine industry would help me understand what I can expect when going from local to national media and larger publications.


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Mary Agbesanwa, 3rd year, Economics

Mentor: Jane Lodge, Non Executive Director and former Partner, Deloitte

Why ALMP? Through the mentoring programme I hope to learn much more about what it takes to be a successful female leader, how to seize opportunities in my final year and invaluable advice on career direction. I am also keen to work on identifying and developing my skills to maximise my potential for a career in consulting from someone has reached Partner level, awarded the Midlands Business Woman of the Year award and travelled across the world visiting countries such as India, China, Russia and the US to name a few.



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Matilda Kanjere, 4th Year, Chemical Engineering

Mentor: Mayank Patel, Group Chairman & CEO – Azibo Group

My career interests lie in Investment Banking and have completed various internships at top investment banks including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Having experienced both Investment Banking and Sales & Trading, I believe my key strengths are aligned to Investment Banking thus I would like to pursue this avenue going forward. Over the next year, I hope to deepen my knowledge of financial services and learn more about how to navigate the industry in order to best position myself for success.



Olivia Grant, 3rd Year, English Lit and Music

Mentor: Alan Davey, Controller, BBC Radio 3

Why ALMP? I want to work in the arts sector; arts administration and learning and participation interest me most. I want to organise events for people who may not have the means to enjoy the arts and to help people learn more about getting involved. I would love to work in a theatre in London or the Royal Opera House. Over the next year I would like to improve my public speaking and presentation skills, and to have more of an idea of what arts administration actually is in practice. My main goal for the end of next year is to gain either a work experience placement or an internship at an arts company.



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Sebastian Lear, 4th Year, Business Management with Year in Industry

Mentor: Sam Decombel, Co-Founder and COO of MuscleGenes Limited

Why ALMP? My plan at the moment is to pursue as much of the entrepreneurial side of things while still at University (hence applying for mentorship) and gain some valuable experience, as it seems highly likely that I will have to look into full time employment post-graduation. From there, I’m looking to gain lots of experience and contacts to use as a basis for launching a start-up or getting further involved in that side of business later on in my career.



New mentor!

Shaun Evans, 4th Year, Medicine

Mentor: Alan Boyd, Managing Director at Boyd’s

Why ALMP? I have always been drawn to all medical specialties concerned with the mind and brain. I have explored a career in neurosurgery through several electives and attachments and I am now sure it will give me the balance of medical/surgical and practical/academic skills I am looking for. I am committed to an academic career in neurosurgery and I wish to pursue this via a higher degree and formal postgraduate clinical academic training. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Professor Alan Boyd as a mentor. I would like to work with him on thinking about the broader picture in translational medicine. I would also like to learn how to make my research work best for my patients by drawing on his experience of bringing therapeutics to market.



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Thomas Griffiths, 3rd Year, Economic and Social History

Mentor: Valerie Hughes-D’Aeth, HR Director, BBC

Why ALMP? The main goals that I wish to achieve as part of the mentor scheme is to improve my interview technique. I am not very confident when it comes to interviewing and I cannot seem to find the balance between under selling myself and being over confident. Likewise I need assistance in recognising how my experience and extracurricular interests fit the demands of the job in which I applying for. Additionally, as I don’t have a business background I wish to be able to find out how to adapt my humanities degree to be suitable for a business environment and how best to display this.