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A passion for politics and mental health leads alumna to found her own company

Angela Awuah

Studying at Brunel helped me develop a deeper understanding of my passion in politics and mental health.

Angela, Alumni

Founder and Director, Mental Health The Arts

International Politics BSc - 2014

From UK

Tell us about your career journey since you graduated…

When I left university, I became a carer for a family member who was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia. It gave me a passion to learn more about mental health, so I joined a campaign called ‘Time to Change’ to raise awareness of stigma and discrimination towards mental health before founding Mental Health The Arts in 2016; an early intervention creative arts academy for young people between the ages of 13-25 years old with lived experience of mental health. It's been great so far as I have featured on various TV programmes such as the BBC News.

What does an average day at work involve for you?

On an average day, I would be to go to the gym and then make my way to my office to send emails and work on proposals for clients. It may also include preparation for a talk or a workshops with an event in the evening. At times, I get invited to exclusive events across the country to meet notable people.

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

My biggest highlight so far was winning the award from Deutsche Bank for the Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Entrepreneurs in July 2019. For me, it really gave me assurance that what I am doing is on the right path. Sometimes when you are starting something new it is easy to feel discouraged, but keep you have to keep going.

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

Studying at Brunel helped me develop a deeper understanding of my passion in politics and mental health. Before I came to Brunel I knew that I wanted to get into politics, but studying my course enabled me to understand politics from all over the world and now I have a dream to influence mental health policy all over the world.

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

I chose to study at Brunel because it was a close knit community and I had friends that also attended, so it was easy for me socialise. I studied International Politics for my Bachelors and it was a great course. I would recommend Brunel to others because it is a great community which seeks to help you through any challenges you may face when studying.

What is your best memory of studying here?

My best memory was meeting my fiancé and also making amazing friends who I am still friends with five years later. In addition, it was the independence of living alone and learning various skills that would help me in the future - practical skills like how to cook, how to use the washing machine, etc.

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

Enjoy every moment! University is a time to learn about yourself and study a subject you have an interest in, so enjoy it. Also, build your work experience and get involved in societies - this helps your overall university experience and career journey. No person is an island, so make friends on your course as well so you can help each other out.

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

Do not be afraid to take risks and step into the new. Every job is part of your amazing journey towards purpose. No matter what happens in your career do not ever give up - it may get difficult, but do not despise small beginnings as you never know who is watching you and can help elevate you to the next level.