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Alumna shares her experience of studying an unconventional course and working in a niche field

Palavi Kele

I'd recommend Brunel for its excellent on-campus facilities, experienced faculty and guest speakers, and extra-curricular sessions. And definitely the multicultural student strength.

Palavi, Alumni, Postgraduate

Intercultural Consultant, Self-employed

Cross-Cultural Psychology MSc - 2012

From India

Which country do you currently live in?

Saudi Arabia

Tell us about your educational and/or career journey since you graduated from Brunel?

I moved back to India after my graduation at Brunel and worked in the field of diversity and inclusion and cultural intelligence (CQ). My role involved curating content and facilitating workshops on effective cross-cultural communication, building a global mindset and cultural sensitization. Since then, I have worked with several multinationals across sectors through global relocation companies like BGRS, Dwellworks and Global Adjustments.

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

I have been most passionate about helping expatriate families across several nationalities acculturate to their host countries, including business culture for the working expat, spousal support for the partners and youth programs for Third Culture Kids (TCKs). I personally have learnt many new things about their cultures in the process of intercultural training sessions. It is an extremely satisfying experience to watch these families thrive in their new environment through their crucial career and personal life phases. The highlight for me has been the ability to make that positive difference in their lives and grow through the process.

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

Brunel prides itself in its multicultural student strength and I had the best opportunity to make friends from many different countries like Romania, China, Algeria, Malta, Germany, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Czech Republic just to name a few, whom I am still in touch with. I've learnt a great deal about world cultures and my stay at Brunel has played a key role in shaping my worldviews.

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

I was attracted to the unconventional courses that Brunel offered that had pragmatic applications in the business world. I'd recommend Brunel for its excellent on-campus facilities, experienced faculty and guest speakers, extra-curricular sessions like 'how to write essays' or 'learning the basics of Mandarin' which I took and thoroughly benefitted from. And definitely the multicultural student strength.

What is your best memory of studying here?

I have so many good memories from Brunel and I vividly recollect them even after 10 years! I lived on campus in 'halls of residence' and was able to actively participate in the orientation days, organize events for on-campus societies like Six Degrees, work as a Student Mentor with Brunel International and host language and culture cafes for international students - all of these were great learning opportunities on the personal and professional front. However, my favourite memory would be of the London Olympic torch relay that Brunel hosted in July 2012! Oh, and watching Usain Bolt train in the Indoor Athletic Centre (IAC).

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

Choose to live on campus if given the choice. It will help you immerse yourself in the student community and enhance your overall stay beyond just the academic part.