Category Archives: Alumni

ALUMNI CAREERS PANEL EVENT, 6TH FEBRUARY, 1pm-3pm, GLT2

Alumni Careers In…
Public Affairs, Public Relations, Engagement and Lobbying

Wednesday, 6th February 2019, 1pm – 3pm

Grimond Lecture Theatre 2

The School of Politics and International Relations is bringing Alumni back to campus. Hear from a panel of 4 alumni speakers who will share the secrets of their career success in Politics and International Relations…

FEATURING:

Misha Upadhyaya
Stakeholder and Engagement Officer at Mayor’s Office
for Policing and Crime
After completing her undergraduate degree and Masters at Kent, Misha Upadhyaya left to join Thames Valley Police as a Civilian Counter Terrorism Officer. For over two years Misha led on Police work for the Government’s Prevent programme which aims to safeguarding vulnerable people away from radicalisation and extremism in the Thames Valley area. She worked extensively with the community to safeguard individuals from a myriad of risks. After this, Misha joined NHS England as the London and South of England’s Regional Prevent Coordinator where she oversaw the implementation and safeguarding legislation in the form of the Prevent statutory duty in over 150 health care organisations; including Clinical Commissioning Groups, Acute, Community and Mental Health Trusts and Foundations Trusts. As part of the regional safeguarding team, Misha worked on a variety of safeguarding risks (Radicalisation, FGM, VAWG, etc). Misha was also part of the national safeguarding team and took a portfolio of Prevent based communications. After spending a couple of years in this role, Misha now works for the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime where she leads on engagement and policy for the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s, Countering Violent Extremism programme. In her free time Misha volunteers as a co-opted School Governor for safeguarding for at her local primary school.

Matthew Partridge
Head of Recruitment and Retention Strategy for the
National Education Union
Matt Partridge studied a BA Hons in Politics and International Relations at Kent from 2009-2012. Involved in many campaigns and organisations whilst studying, Matt initially began work straight out of university with a public relations firm in London.  Shortly after Matt began his current career in the trade union movement.  Initially working for the education union the ATL, Matt soon secured a place on the Trade Union Congress’ Organising Academy; a yearlong program designed to recruit and develop organisers and leaders of the trade union movement.  After completing this course Matt took a full time role with the teaching union the NASUWT as an Organiser.  In 2014 Matt took his career ‘down-under’ to work with the Australian higher education union the National Tertiary Education Industrial Union as a National Branch Organiser.  Returning in 2015 to work on Labour’s general election campaign he briefly worked in an organising role for UNISON, the UK’s largest public sector union, before securing an organising post with a union he had always dreamed of working for; the National Union of Teachers.  Working first in an organising role then as a negotiator and casework official, Matt played a key role in amalgamating the NUT with the ATL to form the National Education Union in September 2017.  Matt is now working in the union’s head office in a strategy role managing a team responsible for ensuring teaching remains a highly unionised industry and the NEU the largest education union in Europe.

James MacCleary
Campaigns Director for the European Movement UK
James MacCleary is a political campaigns professional with nearly 15 years’ experience working in politics and public affairs. James developed his skills working for the Liberal Democrats who he has also represented as a local councillor where he lives with his family in Sussex.  James has also worked in animal welfare and led successful human behaviour change campaigns for the RSPCA, and led the establishment of an expanded advocacy presence for Cats Protection. James is now both Campaign Director for the European Movement UK and Co-Director of Campaigns for the People’s Vote.  James is currently leading one of the largest grassroots political campaigns in the UK pressing for a public vote on the final Brexit deal.

Rory Murray
Senior Public Affairs Adviser, Royal College of Physicians
Rory studied Politics and International Relations graduating in 2015. During his final year he stood for election as a full time officer for Kent Union, initially as Vice President (Welfare) and then being re-elected as Kent Union President the following year. During his time at Kent Union he led on a community approach to tackling harassment in the night economy, securing £120,000 to reduce cost barriers for students and leading a strategy review. Rory was then appointed as a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) assessor working for the higher education regulator the Office for Students. After finishing at Kent Union he went on to work for the Royal College of Physicians, initially as a public affairs adviser and then promoted to senior public affairs adviser. In this role Rory leads on the college’s public affairs and campaigning activity working across a broad range of areas from workforce, public health, tech and artificial intelligence. Rory works to ensure the voices of the colleges 36,000 members are heard across Westminster, Whitehall and Brussels. In this role Rory also manages a small team supporting the college’s campaigns and policy objectives. In addition to this role Rory is also studying part-time for a MSC at Birkbeck in Child, Youth and International Development.

You will gain first-hand information and practical advice on various careers paths. Our alumni are able to share invaluable information through open, honest dialogue with the students who attend. The event wraps up with a networking session where attendees can mix and mingle with all of the panelists.

Alumni Pub Night!

Alumni Pub Nights, is Kent’s social and networking series for alumni and students. The next pub night is on Tuesday 27 November with our current Alumni Postgraduate Scholars coming along to speak to thank alumni for their support and speak to current students about life as a PhD student. The last pub night before Christmas so be sure not to miss it!

As usual, it’s not just about the theme (Meet the Scholars!) feel free to come along if you would just like to catch up with fellow alumni in the Canterbury area.

Students welcome! Not to worry if you have no interest in further study you can still attend to meet other alumni in the area who work in a range of careers. A great networking opportunity plus…

ONE FREE DRINK + HOT SNACKS PROVIDED!

Register here – https://alumni.kent.ac.uk/events/event-name-alumni-pub-night-meet-the-scholars-november-2018

EMPFEST 2018 Alumni Careers Panel Event

 As part of EMPFEST 2018, the School of Politics and International Relations is bringing Alumni back to campus.

Hear from a panel of 5 alumni speakers who will share the secrets of their career success in Politics and International Relations…

Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Time:  2pm – 4pm
Location: COLT3 – Cornwallis South East (Octagon)
SIGNUP

FEATURING:

Annette Fisher
Freelance Social Accountability Practitioner &
Participatory Action Researcher

Jonathan Millins
Head of Office for the East of England European Partnership

Mitchell Adams
Content Manager, Dods Parliamentary Communications

Scott Macdonald
Deputy Head of the Iraq Team at the
Department for International Development

Sulmaan Hanif
Regional Manager, Middle East and Africa,
The Economist Intelligence Unit

Our alumni’s career experiences include the Civil Service; European Government; International Research and Global Public Affairs.

You will gain first-hand information and practical advice on various careers paths. Our alumni are able to share invaluable information through open, honest dialogue with the students who attend.

At this event, we aim to highlight unique career possibilities that exist for School of Politics degree holders, helping you envision possibilities for yourself you may never have considered. The event wraps up with a networking session where attendees can mix and mingle with all of the panellists.

Alumni needed for Discussion on the Value of Volunteering

The School of Politics and International Relations is looking for alumni to join our Careers and Employability Panel event discussing the Value of Volunteering. The panellists will look at how the skills, experience and contacts gained though volunteering have contributed to their professional life.

DATE: Thursday 11th October
TIME: 4.15pm – 6pm
LOCATION: Canterbury Campus

Looking at the Value of Volunteering in various career paths, how to make the most of voluntary work and how to effectively demonstrate your volunteering experience in the recruitment process. There will also be a Q&A session and a networking drinks reception after the talk.

Please let me know as soon as possible if you are interested in participating. Many thanks!

Charlotte

JOB TITLE
Postgraduate Student and Parliamentary Intern

INDUSTRY
Postgraduate Study/Politics

EMPLOYER
LSE/Sajid Javid MP

 

I originally come from Surrey, and during my time at Kent, I studied Politics and International Relations. My interests include politics, musicals, travelling, and trying out new restaurants and cafes, which is why I enjoyed my time living in Canterbury!

I found out about the course whilst researching different courses and universities online. I was very impressed by the range of modules available compared to other universities, and I really liked the campus when I attended the open day.

I completed a number of internships before and during my time at Kent to improve my CV. I was also on the committee of Kent University Conservative Association (KUCA), where I was Secretary in second year and Chairman in third year. I also attended Debating and Model United Nations, where I attended a conference at Reading University. Societies played a very important role during my time at Kent; they’re a great way to make friends and meet like minded people, and I met some of my good friends through societies.

Since my gap year before university I have tried to gain as much work experience as possible. Over the years I have done internships in Parliament, the Civil Service, the charity sector and in public affairs. These internships have been proven to be very valuable since they have allowed me to broaden my skills, as well as providing me with a clearer idea of what I want to do following my studies.

Today, I am studying for my Masters in Public Policy and Administration at the LSE, and I intern for Sajid Javid MP once a week as part of the LSE Parliamentary Internship Scheme. The scheme was one of the reasons why I applied to LSE, and even though I had already completed an internship in Parliament, I really wanted to return to gain more experience.

During my internship in Parliament I assisted with organising the annual jobs fair in Bromsgrove, which is Sajid’s constituency. This involved recruiting local and national businesses to exhibit, as well as other administrative tasks relating to the fair. I was very fortunate to help out on the day, especially since my previous internship in Parliament didn’t involve constituency visits. It ended up being the biggest Bromsgrove jobs fair yet, and I was very glad to hear that attendees were receiving job offers in a matter of weeks after the fair took place.

I think that my time at university shaped my principles, and since graduation they’ve been reinforced. Before university I didn’t care much about networking or setting goals, and I was too scared to try new things. However, during my time at university and my internships I realised that these principles were very beneficial.

The one piece of advice I would offer to current students is get some relevant work experience or get involved with societies while you’re still at university. The job market is very competitive, so it is very important to stand out. However, make sure it doesn’t get in the way with your studies.

 

 

 

Mitchell

JOB TITLE
UK Monitoring Content Co-Manager

INDUSTRY
Political Communications

EMPLOYER
Dods Parliamentary Communications

 

I come from the middle of nowhere originally. I’ve always had an interest in film and politics, so it was pretty much a coin toss to decide which I took on as a degree, and linking back to the previous point, whilst at Uni I worked on a student film in my spare time and even took a couple of modules in film during my first year, so it’s a great idea to explore all your options.

I’m currently trying to learn Japanese, although as I’m not great with languages it’s taking me a little while to get anywhere near being able to say I can even speak the basics with confidence. I love football, even if it’s basically just a recurring punishment for supporting Stoke; and I run a really nerdy social media/news website in my spare time to try and keep me sane.

I can’t remember exactly how I found out about my course, but I can remember that I chose it for a couple of reasons. The first being the concept of wild modules, which I knew I would want to take in film and gave me the chance to really explore which avenue I wanted to go down as a career. And the second was because I fell in love with the campus when I came to visit.

As was required for one of my modules during my third year I needed to find an internship somewhere, so although it may not count as extra-curricular I worked for the local Liberal Democrat party for a few months over the summer, which proved to be a lot of fun and helped me to develop quite a few key skills that I needed in the work place.

I also took part in the Harry Potter society on campus, which is where I met my fiance. So definitely take part in societies if something takes your fancy!

Knowing that I wanted to move to London as soon as possible after University I started to look for work opportunities throughout my third year at Kent. Eventually I landed on an Public Affairs internship with a company called Redwood Consulting, who specialise in PA and PR for property stakeholders (I knew I was on to something special when a man wearing a cap with the football team I support walked past just before I entered their offices).

My internship with Redwood was contracted for 3 months, so during my time there I kept searching for full time roles to take on once my contract came to an end. As it turned out I had a very helpful mentor at Redwood and she helped me to find a job with Dods and at the end of my 2nd month I handed in my notice, having being offered a full time job as a Monitoring Content Specialist for Dods.

My job with Dods started in October 2016 (Roughly 3 or 4 months after graduation) and I’m still with the company now, only in a different role. Over the course of my time with Dods I began to take on more responsibility in the team, even crafting myself a new job title by showing some initiative in the social media side of things. Then through determination and a little bit of luck I eventually found myself as the Senior member of the team and subsequently the Co-Manager (which is where I am now).

The core aspect of my job of and the job of my team is to monitor all the various Parliaments/Assemblies in the UK and to relay important information/information we are sent directly by stakeholders (Political parties etc.) either to our team of consultants or to clients directly. Beyond this I also act as a  source of contact for queries and issues for both internal and external sources; liaise with various teams throughout Dods to ensure that our product is being smoothly delivered to clients and to identify new areas for improvement.

The one piece of advice I would offer to students today is don’t be afraid to take on extra curricular activities during your time at University or even once you find yourself in work. I wouldn’t have progressed the way I have at Dods if I didn’t go out of my way to identify an issue in our social media offerings, prove that I could improve things and earn a new job title which then put me in good stead for my next couple of promotions. Furthermore, I don’t think I would have been given the opportunity at Redwood if I didn’t already have prior experience interning for a political party during the summer between my 2nd and 3rd years of Uni.

Even to this day as I continue to redefine what I want to do for the rest of my career I am constantly engaging in other ways to develop my CV outside of my actual job (Or even just taking on stuff outside work because I find enjoyment in it). You aren’t always going to be head over heels in love with what you do at work/Uni, so putting the effort in to create something of your own on the side that caters to what you love is often the most rewarding thing that will keep you ticking.

 

 

 

Alumni & Student Pub Night

The Alumni Pub Nights series is Kent’s social and networking series for alumni and students.  The theme of the next Pub Night is career advice and mentoring:

Date: Tuesday 27 March
Time: 18.00 – 20.00
Location: Miller’s Arms in Canterbury
Register here

Join us and catch up on news from Kent and socialise with current students and fellow alumni.  The University of Kent’s Careers and Employability Service will be also be joining us to talk about what help they can give students, staff and alumni and how the mentoring platform, KEW-NET, could be of use to you.

Alumni please join us to find out how you can help a Kent student progress in their career. We will be exploring mentoring, campus talks, taking part in Kent’s Employability Festival and offering a student work experience.

This is also a fantastic opportunity for 1st or 2nd year students to network with alumni and find out about our upcoming graduate careers fairs and work experience opportunities.

Drinks and nibbles will be provided.

Please help us get the word out and share on Facebook!