Ambassador Alumni: Alan Gurung

Alan Gurung graduated from University of Kent in 2020. He now works in finance and shares some reflections on his time in the Ambassador Scheme

My name is Alan Gurung, and I graduated from University of Kent in 2020. I was an Outreach Tutor from November 2019 to June 2020, so not so long ago!

Since leaving University, I stumbled upon an opportunity in finance which is something I have always been interested in. The plan was to get into finance after travelling but COVID was more persuasive than I had initially anticipated.

My original aim was to travel abroad and teach (which the outreach programme placed me in great stead for). The goal was to teach in China, Thailand and America. Unfortunately this became impossible due to COVID. The silver lining through this is that I have gained a great job as a financial advisor in the City. Once lockdown is completely over, it’ll be back to travelling around the UK and Europe, meeting clients and talking about finances. It’s great!

Being an ambassador is incredibly useful, and I’m not just saying that because I’m writing for the Ambassador Newsletter… I’m currently a Financial Advisor, and my work involves being face-to-face with a lot of people This role is intimidating to many, but I truly do believe that any Ambassador would be great at this role (or any face-to-face role for that matter)! The confidence you gain from speaking to a classroom of (at times misbehaving) students is far harder, I’ve found, than sitting down with adults talking about their finances… It’s a great challenge and the support system in the Partnership Development Office helps you to become better.

If I could give some advice to current Ambassadors, it would be to have a clear goal for what you want to do in the future, and why. If you can’t answer those questions you’re sleep-walking through life, without a clear direction and purpose it’s incredibly difficult to stay motivated and keep sticking to things that you know you would be beneficial. All of this is far easier said than done, so really spend some time answering these questions for yourself.

Being an Ambassador taught me a lot; Confidence, inquisitiveness, and authority. Whenever you’re doing anything new, like speaking to a class full of students, it’s nerve-racking, and you start acting differently, because you have an idea of how you are supposed to sound or look. But in reality, it is so much easier and much more beneficial to the students if you are just yourself. No one is better at being you than you are. The Ambassador Scheme has really taught me that. I loved speaking with students and interacting with them in sessions. Some things I found that I needed to improve on were not talking so fast, and making sure I am getting the whole group involved in activities. I was able to improve on this by making the class more interactive and asking the right questions which made students more excited about the task they were about to do. All of these aspects of being an Outreach Tutor, as you can imagine is very much transferable to my role of a Financial Advisor.