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Alumni return to campus to invigorate career prospects for hundreds of students

Alumni explain what students can expect from a career in law. L-R: Robert Levack (Law 2010), Charlotte Morrish (Law 2008), Maria Jewsbury (Law 2009), John Leonida (Economics 1981)

Channel 4 Sports Correspondent Keme Nzerem (AFRAS 1992) speaks to aspiring journalists during Make it Happen fortnight

More Sussex students than ever are taking part in careers and employability programmes at university.

Nearly 40 former Sussex students returned to Falmer in February and March to pass on career tips to hundreds of students and recent graduates as part of the University’s annual Make it Happen fortnight (22 February – 4 March 2016).

The Careers in… events, organised jointly by the Careers and Employability Centre and the Development and Alumni Relations Office, offer students the chance to learn from – and network with – Sussex alumni working in various industry sectors.

A record total of 650 students and recent graduates attended during the fortnight – an increase of nearly 20% from 2015.

Alumni who volunteered to take part range from recent graduates at the beginning of their career to senior figures possessing a wealth of knowledge and experience in their field.

Alumni speakers included: David Bull CBE (SOC 1971), Executive Director at UNICEF UK; Hilary Oliver, (CCS 1979) Head of Performance and Reward at HSBC; Jake Steadman (COGS 1999), Director of International Research at Twitter; Rosemary Martin (ENGAM 1978), Chief Counsel at Vodafone; and Keme Nzerem (AFRAS 1992), Sports Correspondent at Channel 4 News.

Cat Carter BEM (International Relations 2003), Head of Humanitarian Communications at Save the Children, said: “I really loved meeting the students – they were full of informed, thoughtful questions, and their passion was infectious.

“It felt great to offer some useful titbits of advice to these aspiring aid-workers, to try and inspire the next generation of people to change the world for the better.”

One student said that the events reassured her that it’s okay to be unsure about the next steps after graduation, while another found it motivating to meet successful professionals who were once in the same situation as them.

The events highlighted the warmth felt by alumni towards Sussex, and demonstrated how current students can take advantage of the University’s network of over 150,000 former students to help them prepare for life after graduation.

Photos from each of the seven Careers in… events are available on Facebook and Flickr, and a round-up of the social media activity that took place around the fortnight is available on Storify.

Alumni interested in speaking at similar events in the future are invited to contact or volunteer to join the Alumni Careers Network, a community of over 500 former students worldwide who have offered provide careers advice to current students via email.

By: Tom Furnival-Adams
Last updated: Tuesday, 12 April 2016