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Alumna recalls the Brunel services that have shaped her career journey

Peace Ashenafi

The Professional Mentoring Programme and WP Student Ambassador role gave me confidence and the professional skills I needed to step into professional roles after graduating.

Peace, Alumni

Senior Enquiries Officer, Tearfund

Biomedical Sciences BSc - 2017

From UK

Tell us about your career journey since you graduated…

Since graduating I did an internship with Greenlight, a homeless healthcare organisation for 1 year part-time whilst working at a dentist as a receptionist part-time. Upon completion of the internship, I continued for an extra 6 months at the dentist before taking on the role of Senior Enquiries officer at Tearfund, an international relief and development organisation.

What does an average day at work involve for you?

Answering verbal & written enquiries from supporters as well as taking on specific tasks assisting the Contact Centre Manager. I also take time to prepare and run training sessions for individuals in my department to help improve their professional skills. At work I am also responsible for keeping up to date with the work of Tearfund through reading articles, researching about current issues around international development.

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

During my internship at Greenlight, I created a tool which involved forming partnerships with 15 different organisations to provide homeless people with jobs as well as assisting with the creation of a barista programme for homeless people at Kahaila Cafe. The project was something I initiated and developed, and since completing the project many homeless people that Greenlight interact with have been able to step into job opportunities.

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

The Professional Mentoring Programme and WP Student Ambassador role gave me confidence and the professional skills I needed to step into professional roles after graduating. They also gave me an opportunity to find out what I was passionate about and to build networks and connections which are vital to post-graduate life

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

I chose to study at Brunel due to the vast opportunities they presented me with, and I would recommend Brunel to others because the University will help prepare an individual to accelerate their career. I would also encourage people to study at Brunel because they will meet people internationally.

What is your best memory of studying here?

The people that I met on my course as well as taking part in workshops as a Student Ambassador. The Student Ambassador role gave me the opportunity to meet many people across different schools and other universities, and it was a very enjoyable experience which I have learnt so much from.

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

Seize every opportunity that comes to you to improve your professional skills and portfolio. I would especially encourage people to take part in the Brunel Professional Mentoring Programme because you get matched with a professional in a sector you desire, and they are able to help guide you in the decisions you want to make.

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

Don't be afraid to step into a job that isn't initially what you wanted to do - as a Professor once told me, the first job that you get probably isn’t the one you're going to keep forever, as most people have at least 7-8 jobs in their lifetime. But if you do take a role you don't want, make sure to learn from it, take the skills you need, and build your experience so that eventually you can step into the role you desire.