So, late in January, on a cold wet day, I set off on a day trip to London. I always enjoy being in London and today I was meeting Andrew to observe two very different meetings. The first meeting was the Board meeting at the Royal Brompton Hospital. Andrew is a Non-Executive Director of the board, and I was able to observe the discussions at the meeting; ranging from an IT Update to Clinical Quality reports to finances. Andrew kindly organised it so would be sat just behind him allowing him to clarify terminology for me. After the meeting I spoke to some of the other non-executive directors, who were all very friendly, and it was great to meet other leaders from other professions.
The Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme almost forces you to look towards the future whether that be in terms of higher education or working. At the same time, it allows you to see how far you have come as an individual from the start of third year on the way to the end.
Last month I was fortunate enough to spend a week gaining work experience at Cilla’s advertising agency: AMV BBDO. While it was incredibly exciting for a girl who’d always lived in The Midlands to be going to work in the biggest advertising agency in the UK, I was a bit daunted by my daily commute into London, something which I soon became comfortable with.
4th November 2015
After a few informal emails with Sarah Cox, I had luck on my side when I visited my sister in London and arranged a meeting with her at (very) short notice. She squeezed me in for a breakfast meeting at 8am the next day, at the Department for Work and Pensions headquarters.
It was during my medical elective whilst I was working in South Africa that I sent off my application for the ALMP. I hadn’t heard about the ALMP prior to applying for it so I was unsure what to expect but was very pleasantly surprised when I was invited to attend an interview at the university. I felt that the ALMP would be a great opportunity to learn from the experience of previous alumnus and also would be a way of enhancing my career once I graduate from the University.
Name: Mary Agbesanwa
Year & Subject: 3rd year student studying Economics
Professional interests: Professionally, I am looking to pursue a career in Consulting after having completed an internship and work experience at PwC this summer and last. I believe that Consulting is that right career path for me as I like change, learning about different industries and travel.
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 progression in the Consulting industry.
An invitation into the House of Lords. Me? Already?
Let me backtrack and quickly tell you who I am before we get to the invitation. My name is Makedah Simpson and I’m currently twenty years of age. It is quite clear what university I attend and I’m currently tackling (Yes, I used the correct word) my third and final year of Political Science with Social Policy.
I applied for the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme (ALMP) because whilst in second year, it dawned on me that my time at the University academically was nearly over. The process of graduate applications, moving back to London and knowing I will actually have to pay tax hit me all at once. I saw the programme as allowing me to gain further insight into the government, giving me guidance on whether I should undertake further education and developing my potential. Continue reading
Nervous, but excited I turned up at the Crew Clothing offices to meet with their CEO and my mentor, Louise Barnes. I was amazed at how quickly I was down in London to meet with her. Just a few quick emails and my train tickets were booked! I had no idea what to expect from the first meeting. It felt almost like I was going for a job interview, rather than a chat with my mentor. Continue reading
The last meeting we had was to review my CV, cover letter and personal statement. I feel a lot more confident about applying for jobs now. Since that meeting, I’ve applied for two jobs. I was able to get through the application a lot more quickly and I’m much happier with what I’ve handed in than in the past. Continue reading
My first mentor meeting with Simon Halsey took place in November 2013. We had a very informal coffee meeting and discussed anything and everything to do with university so far to long term career prospects. I have worked with Simon for the past year or so through choirs and other musical events at the University of Birmingham, but this was the first time we had properly got to know each other in a mentoring context. We began by discussing the various career opportunities in the music/performing arts industries. As a well-connected and world-renowned musician, Simon has many contacts and networking circles in the business. After discussing my initial thoughts on where and what I’d like to do, he made extremely thought-provoking suggestions on alternative routes into different institutions, which were related to music, but that I had previously not considered.