Tell us about your educational and/or career journey since you graduated from Brunel?
When I left Brunel, I was interested in working closely with people since my prior experience had been mainly office-based. I worked front-of-house at a gym, and eventually spent four years supporting children with special educational needs. I really enjoyed it but felt limited to how much change I could really make as a member of the support staff. This led me to UK Youth, a national charity where I had the opportunity to design programmes and curriculums for various topics including employment support for NEET young people, and entrepreneurship. I now work as an Employment Project Support Officer at Black Thrive Lambeth where I have to opportunity to contribute to systematic changes, with the hope of reducing the inequalities that lead to poorer socioeconomic outcomes for Black communities in the borough.
What's been the highlight of your career journey so far?
Making a difference to children who struggle with long-term conditions and/or have special education needs has been very rewarding. Sometimes it is as simple as being able to make them laugh.
At UK Youth, I enjoyed being part of working groups that aimed to promote positive wellbeing and culture within the charity. Being a member of the 'Dream Team' responsible for delivering the first National Day of Hope to commemorate Damilola Taylor's birthday, was a very special experience. Meeting Stormzy was also pretty cool!
In my role at Black Thrive Lambeth, I really feel like I can be part of 'the solution' to creating a world where Black people can thrive, not as an exception, but as a rule.
How would you say your Brunel experience has helped you to get where you are today?
I was very lucky to find the perfect course at Brunel. It was the only University in the UK to offer the two courses that I wanted, with a placement year. Without that placement year, I would've been lost post-graduation.
The support I received from Brunel for the whole of the four years and beyond made my experience even better. Without the safe and welcoming environment at Brunel, I don't think I would've achieved everything that I did! Brunel gave me the confidence to pursue work that is important to me.
Why did you choose to study at Brunel and why would you recommend Brunel to others?
Again, it offered the perfect course for me, but I also knew I was going to go there the first time I stepped on its campus (when my brother was moving in during his first year). Something about Brunel made me know straight away that it was for me. It is hard to explain.
I would recommend Brunel to others based on how positive my experience was there. I feel lucky to have met people from all walks of life. Brunel really pushes you to go for your dreams and be the best you can be. That is why I love giving back to the Brunel community!
What is your best memory of studying here?
Ah, I have too many! I really enjoyed performing with Brunel Singers and the Gospel Choir. Strangely, I also really enjoyed going to my lectures.
If you could give one piece of advice to current Brunel students, what would that be?
Take every opportunity that comes your way; you never know which one will come in handy in the future.
Try new things, meet new people from different walks of life, AND NETWORK!
Most importantly, enjoy every single moment you have at Brunel (…ok I know that wasn't one, but Brunelians never stay in the box!).
What would be your top tip or key advice for new graduates as they begin their career journey after leaving Brunel?
Do not panic! It may take weeks or even years to find the right place for you, but embrace that uncertainty. Trust in your strengths, and take every positive opportunity you can. Network, Network, NETWORK! Not every job will turn into a career, but you will always learn something valuable from it.