Careers and Employability Centre

Make it Happen

An annual programme of events featuring inspiring Sussex alumni from a wide range of organisations and industries, with stories to tell.

Taking place Monday 24 to Thursday 27 February 2020, Make it happen featured four evening events with panels of Sussex graduates now working in different sectors, sharing their tips for job hunting and career success under the ‘Careers in…’ banner. 

You can download the speaker biographies for each event using the following links:


2020 central programme: 

Careers in Media and Communications
Monday 24 February, 6-8pm, Chowen Lecture Theatre, Medical School

  • Jenny Bernarde (Media Studies, 2011): Social Media Executive at Learning People Global.
  • Sofya Gething (Film Studies, 2015): Product Manager at Sony Music Entertainment.
  • Alice Clarke (Media Studies and Cultural Studies, 2007): PR Manager - Food at Marks and Spencer.
  • Chris Roche (English and Media, 2011): Commissioning Editor at Hodder Education.
  • Nkem Ifejika (Multimedia and Digital Systems, 2003): Documentary and Podcast Maker, freelance.

Careers in Development, Charities and Not-for-profit
Tuesday 25 February, 6-8pm, Chowen Lecture Theatre, Medical School

  • Lindsay Horler (Social and Political Thought, MA 2014): Brighton Area Lead -Fulfilling Lives at Equinox Care.
  • Nikki Bayliss (Literary History & Cultural Discourse, MA): Head Of Development at Alzheimer's Disease International.
  • Melissa Geere (Anthropology of Development and Social Transformation, MA 2019): Barnados
  • Cat Carter (International Relations and Anthropology, 2006): Head of Humanitarian Safeguarding, Save the Children
  • Rebecca Weighell (Economics and International Development 2015): Young Advocacy and Engagement Officer, War Child UK

Careers in Business, Finance and Marketing
Wednesday 26 February, 6-8pm, Jubilee Lecture Theatre

  • Aydan Richards (English Language and Linguistics, 2017; International Marketing MSc, 2018): SAP TRM/PSCD Applications Consultant at Capgemini. 
  • Molly Masters (English Literature, 2018): Founder at Books That Matter. 
  • Yiheng Yu (Accounting and Finance, 2017): Finance Business Advisory Analyst at Deutsche Bank.
  • Polly Gilbert (English & History, 2014): Co-Founder / Marketing Director at Tap / Goodbox.
  • Nikhill Gopal (Mathematics and Economics, 2013; Financial Risk and Investment, MA 2014): Internal Auditor at RBS.
  • Alise Viba (International Relations and Anthropology, 2014): Global Financial Crime Manager at Aviva.

Careers in Government, Public Services and Heritage
Thursday 27 February, 6-8pm, Chowen Lecture Theatre, Medical School

  • Zoe Lake Thomas (Development Studies, 2013): Participation Coordinator at the Transport Museum.
  • Daniel Fieller (Global Political Economy, MA 2002): Team Leader Bosnia & Herzegovina, & Reconciliation, FCO, London, UK at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
  • Lloyd Russell Moyle MP (International Law, LLW 2016): MP for the Labour Party.
  • Poppy Robinson (English Literature with American Studies, 2016): Civil Service Fast Track Scheme.
  • Charlotte Swope (Geography and International Development, 2018): National Management Trainee (NGDP), Surrey County Council

 Events featured panel discussions featuring Sussex alumni, with discussions including how they got into their industry, the challenges they have faced throughout their career and what keeps them motivated. 

 Students who came to Make it Happen in 2019 said:

Not only did I learn about what Sussex connect was and how it could benefit me in my future career plans, it made me understand what career path I would like to go down plus how to get there! It’s left me positive about my future and the next steps I am going to take after uni.

"[The speakers provided] real world examples of people who have been in our situations and went on to do well in their sectors"

"The talk was very inspiring, and the face-to-face networking was very helpful and fun. I could ask as many questions as I wanted and all the alumni were very friendly and supportive." 

Sussex Connect

This year’s Make it happen follows the launch of Sussex Connect, the University’s new eMentoring social platform, where you can connect with hundreds of Sussex students and graduates to share your experience and find jobs. All speakers involved with Make it happen events will be encouraged to sign up to the platform so you can continue the conversation after the events.

Image of Sussex Connect banner with illustrations of students in front of the meeting house. White on orange background.


Make it happen 2018

Graduates are welcome to attend all Make it happen events.

Please email to book your place.


School-based events

New for the 2020 programme, additional events will take place throughout the term in schools:

Careers in Law
Wednesday 18 March, 2-4pm, Chichester Lecture Theatre

Careers in Life Sciences
Wednesday 25 March, 6-8pm, Fulton B Lecture Theatre


How to Network

Here are a few ideas for Make it Happen events:

  • Look at the list of speakers
  • Think about who you want to talk to
  • Read their biographies, if you can. There will be hand-outs at events
  • Research their organisation
  • Think of 2 or 3 good questions to ask

Check out our networking page for more ideas, including the types of question to ask