Student report 2: London Professional Network 2014

London-networking-eventCurrent Ancient History 3rd year and Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme student Will Hazelton describes his experiences at the recent alumni networking event.

It was with a sense of trepidation that I made my way to the train station to head down to London for the Alumni Networking event at the BT tower, with nothing but a crumpled guest list in my hand and wearing a hastily ironed shirt. I had no idea what to expect from the evening as I had never been to anything like this before. The other student who managed to secure a place, Mitali, is an incredibly driven business student with a year of experience under her belt and a graduate job already secured. I was the opposite. I have limited experience and am still unsure as to what I want to do after I graduate- and I was very well aware of this. However, this was not an issue.

After speaking to Paul King from BT as well as the Dean of the Business School (feeling incredibly out of my depth alongside Mitali who was impressing both with her astounding business knowledge) the rest of the alumni started to arrive. All were incredibly interesting and an absolute pleasure to talk to. My business knowledge (or lack of it) was not a problem as many of the alumni were arts graduates. I spoke to Egyptologists, Bankers, Lawyers and many more. The venue was absolutely fantastic and the entire room was admiring the view of the city. It was brilliant to have so many professionals from so many different areas of expertise and backgrounds all in one room. The evening was phenomenal yet seemed to be over very quickly as time flew by!

It was brilliant to see the evening from both the perspectives of Mitali and myself. Mitali benefitted as she got advice on her career from experienced professionals; whereas I benefitted greatly as I had the same advice but for building my career. I had a lot to think about as I was brought into contact with a lot of gifted professionals and I am currently in talks with an alumnus regarding my future choices.

 The evening was thoroughly enjoyable and a resounding success all round. I now appreciate how valuable networking is both for businesses and for employees.

For more information about the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme please visit www.birmingham.ac.uk/generic/internships/mentoring/almp/index.aspx