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Alumna reflects on her career journey since leaving Brunel

Alumna reflects on her career journey since leaving Brunel

Published: 14 Mar 2023

Suk Yan Agnes Shuen

Brunel helped me to develop an interest in working as a part time Community Worker

Suk, Alumni

Sociology BSc - 1988

From Hong Kong

Previous Institution

Tottenham College of Technology - A levels

Tell us about your career journey since you graduated…

I now live in Canada. I have been an Assistant Social Work Officer with the Hong Kong Social Welfare Department, worked as a primary school teacher in two schools in Hong Kong, worked as an Early Childhood Educator in Canada, worked as a Chaplain with the Salvation Army in Vancouver, worked as a Chaplain in a nursing home in Hong Kong, worked as a Humanitarian Officer with the Christian Action in Qinghai China and worked as an online English teacher for a (not confirmed yet) American company based in Beijing.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

I am semi-retired now. I am taking educational classes and also volunteer in an assisted living facility every weekend in the spiritual care area.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

I spent 3.5 years working in China, mainly as a teacher and counsellor for the severely disabled young adults in a communist government welfare home.

How would you say Brunel helped you to get where you are today?

Brunel helped me to develop an interest in working as a part time Community Worker after taking a course in Community Work.

Why did you choose to study at Brunel and why would you recommend Brunel to others?

Brunel chose me instead; I was applying for a course as a Registered Mental Health Nurse but did not secure a place. I met and was inspired by the late Professor Roger Silverstone and Dr Maryon Macdonald.

What is your best memory of studying here?

I was blessed by a book wrote by the late Dean of the Social Anthropology and Sociology department who used to teach in Hong Kong University

  • Giving presents that were gladly received by the teachers
  • I dropped my graduation hat by accident during the ceremony that cheered everybody in the room
  • I enhanced my squash playing and took a ceramic class
  • My lovely roommates in the flat and meal sharing in Isambard Close

If you could give one piece of advice to new students, what would that be?

Open your heart and mind to enjoy the journey and welcome everyone you meet on campus and in lectures.

What would be your top tip or advice for new graduates as they begin their career journey?

Keep moving on and enjoy what you do; it may not always have the greatest monetary return but you will have richness in your heart.