Alumni profiles

The School of Government and Society is proud of all of its students and alumni. Via the University's Development and Alumni Office, we hope to keep in touch with all of our alumni post-graduation, to learn of their many successes and to continue to share our research successes and campus developments.

View our alumni profiles throughout the School and Government and Society:

Latest alumni profiles (2013/14):

Ana Speed, Sociology BA (2009)

Ana Speed, Sociology BA (2009)

Description
I have always had a keen interest in social structures and interactions and studying social sciences at the University of Birmingham provided me opportunity to critically engage with key political, social and economic issues facing contemporary societies.
Nadine Baldwick, BA Sociology and Philosophy

Nadine Baldwick, BA Sociology and Philosophy

Description
My advice to anyone considering studying at Birmingham would be to make the most of your time at university by supplementing your degree with other activities.
Olga Fraczek, Sociology graduate

Olga Fraczek, Sociology graduate

Description
Account Executive, Harvard Public Relations.
Ursula Houston, Sociology BA

Ursula Houston, Sociology BA

Description
Since graduating with a first class degree in Sociology, I have been lucky enough to secure two different internships in the public sector. Both internships were advertised by the careers service solely for University of Birmingham students.
Veronika Fafienski, BA Sociology

Veronika Fafienski, BA Sociology

Description
Studying at The University of Birmingham has been such an exciting and rewarding experience. When I first arrived, I was instantly captivated by the campus atmosphere. All the things you need as a freshly baked student – department, the library, student union and all the friends you made along the way – were in one place. Of course everyone is unique but for my part I can say that at Birmingham I have been able to set the foundations for both career and personal development.
Laurin Weissinger, BA Sociology

Laurin Weissinger, BA Sociology

Description
Currently, I am staying in Oxford and preparing my PhD research that I hope to start this year. Before coming to Oxford, I worked for a while, both at an executive recruitment consultancy in London and full-time in IT.

Elio Di Muccio, MA in Social and Political Theory (2013)

Description
I am an aspiring PhD student in the social sciences with intellectual interests in documentary and archival research on the British state, the sociology of technology, and contemporary networked social and political movements.

Video: Ingrid Doude van Troostwijk, MA Politics and Religion (2012)

Description
Ingrid Doude van Troostwijk describes her experience of studying an MA in Politics and Religion at the Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham during her recent graduation.

Recent alumni profiles:

2012/13

Video: Sarah Jeffries, Public Management MSc (2013)

Video: Sarah Jeffries, Public Management MSc (2013)

Description
Sarah Jeffries describes her experience of studying a MSc in Public Management at the Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham during her recent graduation.
Video: Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Public Administration and Development (Distance Learning) MSc (2013)

Video: Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Public Administration and Development (Distance Learning) MSc (2013)

Description
Samuel Ofosu Ampofo describes his experience of studying an MSc Public Administration and Development by distance learning at the International Development Department, University of Birmingham during his recent graduation.
Joshua Gimba, MSc International Political Economy and Development (2011)

Joshua Gimba, MSc International Political Economy and Development (2011)

Description
I chose to study in the UK because I was drawn to the excellent combination of academics and practical experience the University of Birmingham provided.

Miguel Castro Coelho, MSc in Public Service Management (2003) and PhD in Public Policy (2006)

Description
"It has been a genuine pleasure to return to the campus - I keep strong, positive memories of the time I spent there as a student. It's great to see there has been investment in some of the facilities and those changes seems to be going in the right direction. I am thankful for the generosity of the audience who attended my talk and for their engagement."

Simon Hedlin Larsson, BSc Economics and Political Science (2011)

Description
I've recently started to study a graduate degree in Economics and Statistics at Columbia University. Up to that point I had been working for two years as a Political Adviser for Economic and Foreign Policy at the Prime Minister's Office in Sweden.
Michael Uzoigwe, MSc and PhD in International Development

Michael Uzoigwe, MSc and PhD in International Development

Description
The exposure was great and the UK environment provided just the right amount of challenges. The facilities were outstanding, especially the library, and with students from almost every part of the world, IDD provided the best possible platform for my course of study.
Oluwapelumi Okuyemi, International Development (Conflict, Security and Development)

Oluwapelumi Okuyemi, International Development (Conflict, Security and Development)

Description
Having done my research on the course I wanted to study for my post-graduate degree, I was immediately drawn to the University of Birmingham whose international development department is one of the best practise centres for politics and international development in the United Kingdom. I also practically fell in love with the module structure as it fitted in perfectly with how I had envisioned the programme.
Sean Finch, BA International Relations with Political Science (2012)

Sean Finch, BA International Relations with Political Science (2012)

Description
I would advise those looking to study in POLSIS to make the most of the broadness of the subject as it gives you so many options and avenues to pursue your interests. Make the most of the specialisms of staff members and don't be apprehensive about asking them for help. The department is really supportive and can help you achieve your degree goal.
Riona Mulherin, BA International Relations with Political Science (2012)

Riona Mulherin, BA International Relations with Political Science (2012)

Description
Studying International Relations with Political Science gives a brilliant insight into how the world works; it shows you how politics, history, geography, economics, ethics and law are all interconnected at an international level, and the course allows you to look in close detail at all of these topics. I personally really enjoyed modules relating to economics and international development, and the great thing about this course is that you are encouraged to follow these interests.
Nancy Gray, BA Political Science (2012)

Nancy Gray, BA Political Science (2012)

Description
To those looking to study Political Science, I would definitely recommend attending all the different career events held by both the department and the Politics Society; they are worth heading along to. Also, read the emails circulated, it is how I found this internship!

Video: Pyone Kyaw, MSc International Development Department (2012)

Description
Pyone Kyaw describes her experience of studying an MSc in International Development at the International Development Department, University of Birmingham during her recent graduation.

Video: Anthony Gething, MSc Public Administration and Development by distance learning (2012)

Description
Anthony Gething describes his experience of studying an MSc Public Administration and Development by distance learning at the International Development Department, University of Birmingham during his recent graduation.

Video: Erik Fredrikson, MA International Relations (Terrorism and Political Violence) (2012)

Description
Erik Fredrikson describes his experience of studying an MA International Relations (Terrorism and Political Violence) at the Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham during his recent graduation.

Video: Chris Woods, Msc Development Management (2012)

Description
Chris Woods describes her experience of studying an MSc in Development Management at the International Development Department, University of Birmingham during her recent graduation.

Video: Leisl Algeo, MSc Poverty, Inequality and Development by distance learning (2012)

Description
Leisl Algeo describes her experience of studying an MSc Poverty, Inequality and Development by distance learning at the International Development Department, University of Birmingham during her recent graduation.

Video: Andrew Reid, MA Social and Political Theory (2012)

Description
Andrew Reid describes his experience of studying an MA Social and political Theory at the Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham during his recent graduation.

Video: Anna Townsend, MSc Poverty, Inequality and Development by distance learning (2012)

Description
Anna Townsend describes her experience of studying an MSc Poverty, Inequality and Development by distance learning at the International Development Department, University of Birmingham during her recent graduation.

Video: Maria Anna Belka, MSc Development Management (Public Economic management and Finance (2012)

Description
Maria Anna Belka describes her experience of studying an MSc in Development Management at the International Development Department, University of Birmingham during her recent graduation.

Kamna Patel, International Development (PhD)

Description
I've gained two really important things directly related to my current career from my studies at Birmingham. The first is a thorough knowledge of the research process and approaches to research. The second is the exposure to teaching masters students I gained by acting as a PGTA and as a tutor on IDD's distance learning programme. Without this combination of teaching experience and a solid grounding in research, I would not have been prepared for the challenges in my new role.

Video: Katherine Tonkiss, PhD Local Government Studies (2012)

Description
Katherine Tonkiss describes her experience of studying a PhD in the Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham during her recent graduation.

Video: Claire Kueh, MSc Public Management (2012)

Description
Claire Kueh describes her experience of studying a MSc in Public Management at the Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham during her recent graduation.

Video: Alyson Nicholds, PhD Local Government Studies (2012)

Description
Alyson Nicholds describes her experience of studying a PhD in the Institute of Local Government Studies during her recent graduation.

Elena Lynch, BA Sociology (2011) with International Study Year

Description
What I found most beneficial about taking the course was the ability to study a wide range of issues that have, and arguably still do, affected our daily lives. For example, I found the study of multiculturalism particularly interesting especially whilst living in as culturally diverse a city as Birmingham.

Charlotte Barnard, BA Sociology (2011)

Description
Sociology has developed my way of thinking. Before I used to look for answers that were matter of fact and obvious, but Sociology taught me to 'think outside the box' and explore my own logical interpretations and challenge others.

Abi Gill, BA Sociology (2010)

Description
The teaching quality is outstanding and staff go out of their way to support students throughout their degrees and also beyond with applications for jobs and further study. Crucially, studying Sociology develops the transferable skills that graduate employers desire in their applicants and the fact that Birmingham is a Redbrick has really advanced my career and further education options.

Laura Greaves, BA Sociology (2010)

Description
The sociology programme was challenging especially when tackling the theoretical aspects of the course. However the broad choice in interesting and relevant topics such as, Gender and Sexuality, and Family, kept the theoretical side of study contemporary and most importantly interesting.

Sundeep Johal, BA Sociology (2010)

Description
What made this programme stand out for me was the dedication of the lecturers which helped further strengthened my passion for the subject. The knowledge and support I gained from lecturers was priceless and provided me with an ideal foundation for my chosen career: social work. This course is ideal for anyone with the desire to question the taken-for-granted aspects of society and will be sure to challenge and stimulate the mind."

Rosie Jennings, BA Sociology (2010)

Description
I found that the course gave you a lot of freedom to tailor your own learning. There were a lot of module options to choose from as well as the core subjects in sociological theory. As a result the knowledge I got from the course was balanced and of interest to me personally.

Katie Ramsay, BA Sociology (2007)

Description
I am still fascinated by sociology and my love for travel has been greatly enhanced by my sociological background. I spent one year driving through Africa and often found myself dissecting my experiences and surroundings in a sociological way.

Dalvinder Singh, BA Sociology (2006)

Description
Do the reading each week, study hard in your last two years. Try to get some work experience or an internship whilst at Uni, as this could be invaluable experience or can lead to a job offer once you've graduated.
Emily Gray, BA Sociology (2002) and MA Social Research Methods (Cultural Studies and Sociology) (2005)

Emily Gray, BA Sociology (2002) and MA Social Research Methods (Cultural Studies and Sociology) (2005)

Description
I found both of my courses challenging for varying reasons. Intellectually they challenged the way I thought about the social world and led me to question my own place within the social world.

Dee Reid, BA Combined Honours in English and Sociology (1973)

Description
As I trained as an English teacher and initially taught English and Drama, the Sociology part of my degree formed less of a part of my initial working role but it widened my horizons to different ways of seeing and thinking.

2011/12

Sippi Azarbaijani-Moghaddam, MSocSc in Rural Development (1996)

Description
Sippi has worked for many years as a consultant and country expert on Afghanistan and neighbouring countries. From informing the military and UK Ministry of Defence to defending Afghan women's rights both before and during the reign of the Taliban, Sippi spent 16 and a half years working both in Afghanistan and all around the world imparting her wisdom on Afghan politics, development and culture.

Video: Kate Barry, BA Law with Politics (2001)

Description
Just remember how much you've been given and how much you know and remember how difficult it was at the beginning for you to understand all those weird concepts and the theories and political views and ideas and how you've managed to translate them and how that will help you in being a voice and an advocate for other people because it's invaluable having people who can speak for other people because not everyone can do that.

Video: Adrian Bradley, BA Political Science (2003)

Description
My main piece of advice is make the most of your time. What you get out of being at university, the degree is the hygiene factor that will make sure your application is read but no more than that. What you get out of the university is all these experiences that you can have while you're here and the CV you can build...

Video: Derek Lowe, BA Political Science (1976) and MA Social Science (1980)

Description
Get the most out of it when you're here and get the most out of it in terms of your course, make sure you engage with the teaching staff and get the most out of your tutors and your friends, enjoy the social side of things but really focus on where you want your degree to lead to...

Video: Chris Richardson Wright, BA International Relations (2011)

Description
The best thing for me was the opportunities that I got in my extra-curricular activities. I made full use of the opportunities available in the students union and I really enjoyed all of the work I did in charity fundraising, volunteering and events management as well.

Raam Thakrar, BSocSco International Studies with Politics (1998)

Description
Really think through what you want to do – and where career choice overlaps with intellectual interest and skills. And importantly the amount of money you want to earn.

Video: Dominic Morris, MA International Political Economy of Development (2008)

Description
I work as a consultant for a consultancy in Bristol. We work with the British Government across DIFID and the foreign office and the Ministry of Defence in the Security and Justice arena and the stabilisation agenda at the moment.

Video profile: Caroline Littlewood, MSc International Development (Urban Development)

Description
What I enjoyed most I guess was first of all studying within a really international range, being able to work with students from all over the world. Also what I really liked about the IDD programme is that it allows you to do the research for your dissertation abroad so it's combined with very hands on field research which was really the deciding point for me why I choose this degree

Video profile: Zainab Usman, MSc International Development (International Political Economy and Development)

Description
There were so many things I had learnt in my undergraduate degree but then as I was doing my Masters doing my research. It's like my brain was expanded I got to learn so much about so many different things, I met a lot of incredible people from all over the world, it was amazing. The people, the staff, my fellow students the close nit environment, all those counted.

Video profile: Virginie Lacroix, MSc International Development (Governance and Statebuilding)

Description
I choose to study at IDD mainly because they have Governance and State-building specialisation. They teach a lot about conflict and post-conflict it's one of the best schools for international development in the UK and it's very good for governance and civil servant management and that's what I was looking for so that's why I came here.
Alessandro Capozzi, BA International Relations (2010)

Alessandro Capozzi, BA International Relations (2010)

Description
"Birmingham is a hugely diverse university with students from every corner of the world with unbelievable experiences and different motivations for coming to Birmingham."

Marie Houdart, MA International Studies (International Political Economy) 2010

Description
"The POLSIS has great modules and great teachers who are available and here to support you in your studies and the search of jobs afterwards. The classes are very interesting and since we are not many, there is a great space left for debates."
Annie Tickell, BA International Studies and Political Science (2009)

Annie Tickell, BA International Studies and Political Science (2009)

Description
"I would definitely recommend Birmingham to any prospective student because I had such a fantastic time there. The opportunities you have as a student are endless and Guild really does have something for everyone. Studying politics was incredible because the course was so structured and the teaching was exceptional."
Laura Harris, BA Political Science (2009)

Laura Harris, BA Political Science (2009)

Description
"The best points of the course was the choice of modules in second and particularly third year and the level of support you could get from the lecturers before essay hand in and exam time – I really enjoyed being able to take place in open but informed discussions during every seminar as well and that for me was the best part of studying politics"
Steven Pitt, MSc Public Management

Steven Pitt, MSc Public Management

Description
This position became an opportunity for him through his work on the Graduate Scheme and was too good an opportunity to turn down. Although he has left the scheme, Steven is still funded to complete his part-time postgraduate study – a Masters in Public Sector Management at the University of Birmingham.
Simeon Whittingham, MSc Public Management

Simeon Whittingham, MSc Public Management

Description
When the chance to apply for the graduate management programme came up, Simeon decided this would be a very good way to broaden his general experience of local government as the scheme allows you to do three placements over 12 – 18 months and funds a Masters course in Public Sector Management. The postgraduate study he is doing is paid for by the Council and he is undertaking this on a part time basis at the University of Birmingham.
Caroline Davis, MSc in Public Management

Caroline Davis, MSc in Public Management

Description
The MSc in Public Management is paid for by the Council, but still involves time spent outside of work to keep up with the work. Caroline feels a scheme such as the one at Birmingham, gives a variety of experience in the breath of placements available to you.

Jemma George, BA Sociology (2008)

Description
Birmingham is a fantastic and vibrant city. The University campus is just two stops away from the city centre so it's brilliant if you want to explore the area. The University Main Library hosts most of the Social Sciences material and is an excellent resource for students. My fondest memories were being part of the Social Sciences Society and getting to organise events and nights out for SSS members.
Ben Nunn, Political Science BA (2008)

Ben Nunn, Political Science BA (2008)

Description
"There is a great atmosphere around the campus and Birmingham, as a city, is fantastic. On top of this, the POLSIS department is really well established and has a great course to offer."
Sarah Kelleway, BA Political Science (2008)

Sarah Kelleway, BA Political Science (2008)

Description
"I frequently recommend Birmingham to my students when I know they are very sociable individuals, and would do well in a large university. I always comment on the range of societies and activities available, many of which I took part in myself. I also emphasise what a fantastic city Birmingham is."
Concy Aciro, MSc Poverty Reduction (2007)

Concy Aciro, MSc Poverty Reduction (2007)

Description
Concy Aciro is an opposition MP in the Ugandan Parliament and is involved in peace talks between the government and the Lord Resistance Army rebel group to resolve the long-running armed conflict in Northern Uganda.
Katra Sambili, MSc International Development (2007)

Katra Sambili, MSc International Development (2007)

Description
"The best thing about the International Development Department (IDD) was the wonderful global environment in which we learned and relished the freedom to add to the development discourse through our experiences as representatives of our respective countries and continents."
Martin Shapland, BA Modern History and Political Science (2007)

Martin Shapland, BA Modern History and Political Science (2007)

Description
"I found the course and environment at Birmingham to be supportive and motivating - the lectures, seminars and student support offer the right mix to impart knowledge, go away and discover your own perspective on that knowledge and then have them challenged by peers – I found, especially with politics, that there is never a wrong answer which challenges yourself or others."
Hadianto Wirajuda, MA International Studies (Diplomacy) 2007

Hadianto Wirajuda, MA International Studies (Diplomacy) 2007

Description
"I found that the course offered the perfect combination between practical and theoretical modules. We live in a changing world where on the one hand, practicality plays an important role in our job and on the other hand, the significance of concept is also a vital element of any profession."
Gareth Wall, MSc Poverty Reduction and Development Management (2007)

Gareth Wall, MSc Poverty Reduction and Development Management (2007)

Description
"The field study component of the course was what made the programme stand out from the other international Development masters in the UK. Also, the course covered a broad area of development studies, ideal for someone like myself who is coming from an arts background."
Rebecca Young, MSc Poverty Reduction and Development Management (2007)

Rebecca Young, MSc Poverty Reduction and Development Management (2007)

Description
"The actual content of the course was intense but really brought us up to speed and I still use logical frameworks and various tools for participatory research. My fellow course mates were a joy."
Namawu Alhassan Alolo, PhD International Development (2006)

Namawu Alhassan Alolo, PhD International Development (2006)

Description
The combination of distinguished faculty, innovative research, diverse student body and a global network of distinguished alumni was, indeed, a major attraction to the University of Birmingham.
Andrew Futter, BA Political Science and International Studies (2006)

Andrew Futter, BA Political Science and International Studies (2006)

Description
"Since completing my degree at Birmingham I have studied for an Ma in Intelligence and International Security at Kings College London, before returning to Birmingham to studying for an MA in Research Methods – a prerequisite for studying a PhD."
Terry Goodwin, BA Political Science (2006)

Terry Goodwin, BA Political Science (2006)

Description
"The University of Birmingham was a brilliant experience. The course was challenging and the lecturers approachable, the Guild and its societies were a great way to learn new skills, and the city as a whole is an amazing place to spend three years."
Nick Renshaw, MSc Poverty Reduction and Development Management (2006)

Nick Renshaw, MSc Poverty Reduction and Development Management (2006)

Description
"By the time I had finished at Birmingham I felt much more confident in my academic abilities and felt ready to continue my career in development… I recently worked on a multi billion dollar programme for national urban renewal in India."
Bethany Baxter, MSc in Poverty Reduction and Development Management (2005)

Bethany Baxter, MSc in Poverty Reduction and Development Management (2005)

Description
My time at IDD allowed me to gain exposure to and skill development in a number of disciplines that have proven essential for success in my current line of work. I have found coursework in participatory development tools and project planning to be particularly beneficial.
Kate Dixon, BA Political Science (2005)

Kate Dixon, BA Political Science (2005)

Description
"I now manage the Constituency Office for Robin Walker (MP for Worcester) completing a variety of research, casework and political campaigning functions."
Sam Grundy, MSc in Poverty Reduction and Development Management (2005)

Sam Grundy, MSc in Poverty Reduction and Development Management (2005)

Description
For masters graduates looking to work in international development, the best advice I can offer is get into the field and stay there. Employers look for results and the best way to move up in your career is to prove that you can make things happen on the ground.
Tendongmo Ntemgwa Patience, MSc Governance and Development Management (2005)

Tendongmo Ntemgwa Patience, MSc Governance and Development Management (2005)

Description
"I was able to pick up skills that I am now putting into practice… [and] I built life-long relationships with people I met in the University."
Elena Roffi, MSc in Poverty Reduction and Development Management (2005)

Elena Roffi, MSc in Poverty Reduction and Development Management (2005)

Description
"When I began studying at IDD in 2004 I already had done some research and field work. Nevertheless, I felt I needed a boost to my professionalism. I found this in IDD's MSc in Poverty Reduction and Development Management, and even more - a new family and true friends."
Dr Julius Sandy, PhD Public Policy (2004)

Dr Julius Sandy, PhD Public Policy (2004)

Description
"My time as a research student at Birmingham was very challenging but extremely rewarding and exciting. IDD offers an excellent mix of academic expertise and first-hand experience in public policy / governance, making IDD degrees very useful in real life situations."

Victoria Westwood, BA Political Science (2004)

Description
"Every day is different, I have an extremely varied job. I could be out meeting one of my customers one day up in Scotland, developing new marketing ideas in our head office in London the next."
Rachel Cunningham, MA Political Science (2002)

Rachel Cunningham, MA Political Science (2002)

Description
"I love politics and working in politics is the best thing I could ever have hoped for. I very much enjoy the diverse nature of my job. I meet fascinating people and get to travel across the UK."

Bakari Khamis, MBA (Public Service) 1999

Description
"The education and learning in Birmingham helped me further shape my vision and understanding of public service delivery in all spheres of government. I worked in the Ministry of Finance and later in the Ministry of Health with diverse portfolio."
Roland Buerk, BSocSc Political Science (1995)

Roland Buerk, BSocSc Political Science (1995)

Description
Tokyo Correspondent, BBC News
Michael Hughes, MBA (Public Service) 1995

Michael Hughes, MBA (Public Service) 1995

Description
"I applied to study at Birmingham because of its unrivalled reputation in the study of local public services."

More information:

View our alumni profiles throughout the School and Government and Society: