2000s Class notes

Phil Barton (MEng Mechanical Engineering, 2000)

Between 15th-19th July 2013 Phil was part of a group of 16 who were aiming to be the first to Kitesurf 280km from Australia to Papua New Guinea, Torres Crossing in aid of McGrath breast cancer foundation.

Phil was one of the 11 who made it the whole way across by kite alone, beginning in waters in Cape York where there is an estimated 200,000 salt water crocs.

Richard Campbell (BSc Applied and Environmental Geology, 2000) 

I’m currently teaching GCSE science resits at Stoke on Trent 6th Form College, hoping to teach geology from next year. I’ve been married for four years to Laura (also a teacher) and have a two-year-old son, Lucas.

Neil Gibson (MEng Mechanical Engineering with Spanish, 2000)

My Master's proved invaluable in my career as I quickly was posted to Mexico working on Drilling Rigs.

I worked around the world and then did an MBA at London Business School and became a management consultant. I really enjoyed it, but last year I quit my job to follow my passion and create graphic novels (comic books). In my opinion there is too much children's content in comics (Beano, Dandy, Spiderman) and not enough thought-provoking comics. A year after I started full time, my first book is now top of the bestseller lists on the graphic novels section of the Amazon Kindle.

I still use the skills I learnt at Birmingham in my career and cannot think what my life would have been like without my time there. I gave talks at the Apple store on Regent Street about following your passion and have been asked to speak at three other universities.

Ferial Mansour (MEd, 2000)

I had the honour of completing my MEd at the University of Birmingham in 2000. Following my study at Birmingham I completed my PhD in Gifted and Talented Education at the University of Cambridge.

I worked with several UK education institutes and education companies and, currently, I am running my own consultancy, specialising in Training School Leaders and Teachers in the Middle East to accommodate the needs of gifted students and preparing the appropriate provision to include all school students to raise the school performance. At the moment I am working on a contract with CfBT for Abu Dhabi Education Council. This seems to be an extended contract for another couple of years.

Antonios Minopoulos (MSc Accounting & Finance, 2000)

From 2001 to now, I’ve worked as a Cost Control in the Mining, Aluminium and Oil & Gas sector.

Yuk Chong Liong (PhD Theology, 2001)

I am still in Melbourne, involved with the Melbourne School of Technology

Marcian Kobello (MBA International Banking & Finance, 2001)

I am glad to inform you that I am still working with the Bank of Tanzania as one of the managers in the Directorate of Finance. I am working hard to achieve my dreams. Let's hope that my dreams will come true before I attain retirement age.

Georgia Michael (BA Modern Greek Studies, 2001; MPhil Byzantine Studies, 2005)

I am afraid you haven't got rid of me just yet! I am now doing my PhD at Birmingham.

David Morland (LLB Law, 2001)

Best memory: Pretty much every club night at the Guild, and the Selly Sausage to cure the hangovers.

After graduating in Law from Birmingham, I moved to London and took a place on the Royal Bank of Scotland Financial Markets Graduate Programme. I completed the programme and worked on the corporate interest rate derivative sales desk.  

In late 2002 I moved to UBS Investment Bank, where I had stints in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and New York, becoming Head of US Private Debt Issuance, before moving back to London as Executive Director of European Private Debt Issuance for the bank in 2011.

This demonstrates that someone with a Law degree can enter banking and compete at the highest level with more traditionally suited candidates (e.g. economics/mathematics/physics) from the best universities in the world.

I now live with my partner in London during the working week and at our country house near Cambridge at the weekends.

Adam Nunn (BSocSci International Studies with French, 2001)

I am married and working in London in international media planning and have been with the same company since August 2002. I’m now back after three years’ living and working in Budapest, with responsibility for business across 10 countries in Central and Eastern Europe – working on Unilever's media strategy and planning.

In my spare time out there, I established the Hungarian Rugby League Federation and played two games for the new Hungarian national team, the Magyar Bulls, continuing the tradition of having helped set up the Birmingham RL club in 1997 (making me a dual nationality player), and having played five times for the Scotland Amateurs national team between 2003-06.  I am taking a one-month sabbatical in September and joining the Clipper Round the World Ocean Yacht race, which sails from Rio to Cape Town – three weeks, 4,00 miles in a 70ft yacht with 20 strangers – what could possibly go wrong!  

I’m looking also to get involved with the University and see if there are ways that I can arrange potential internships for recent graduates to get involved in media planning within the Omnicom universe.

Lisa Chan (MSc Toxicology, 2002)

I just thought I'd quickly send an update and let you know that I have now relocated to sunny and hot Bangkok, Thailand, and I am still working in my role as Head of Global Pharmacovigilance for Besins Healthcare. I have been here since November 2012. My favourite memory at UoB – the friends I made during my MSc Toxicology course and the visits to Pharma to get an insight as to what it was like working in the industry were probably the reason why I managed to secure a position at one of those companies after my studies there.  

Neelam Morris [nee Sahota] (LLB Law, 2002)

I was Neelam Sahota. Now a Senior Business Manager – Legal for Hays Specialist Recruitment.

Anoupvir Nandra (BDS Dentistry, 2002)

Dr Nandra is one of two principal dentists at the Edgbaston Dental Centre. Since leaving the Dental School, he came to work in Edgbaston, following completion of his vocational training in London.
He has become a keen advocate of continuing professional development, and is continually involved in postgraduate education. He has achieved many postgraduate qualifications, and is studying for more. He is on a career pathway which leads to the Fellowship of General Dental Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons.
Aside from his own education, Dr Nandra has taken a keen interest in training others. He returned to the University of Birmingham to take a part-time post as a Clinical Lecturer and has also become a vocational trainer for newly qualified graduates. Dr Nandra is also a clinical mentor for organisations such as the Association of Dental Implantology (ADI) and The Society for the Advancement of Anaesthesia in Dentistry (SAAD).
Dr Nandra’s Practice, Edgbaston Dental Centre reached the finals in the categories of Best Dental Practice in the Midlands, and Best Dental Team in the Midlands, as part of the Dentistry Awards 2012. Dr Nandra himself won the individual award for Best Young Dentist in the Midlands.
Recently, Dr Nandra has had the following article, Continual Training, published in the Young Dentist Magazine, May 2012. He has also given lectures nationally and internationally.

Dr Nandra, holding the individual award for Best Young Dentist in the Midlands

Kate Powers (MA Shakespeare Studies, 2002)

My MA was in Shakespeare; in part, I use that knowledge to teach inside a men's maximum security prison in the US. The theatre classes and workshops I teach help the men to improve critical thinking and reading skills, build confidence, cultivate empathy, compassion and trust. I would love to share the value of this work with the Birmingham community.

Jonathan Symcox, BSc Sport and Exercise Sciences (2002)

Since Birmingham, I have worked as an online sports journalist for seven years while occasionally freelancing. I have interviewed legendary sportspeople such as Stirling Moss, Daley Thompson and Steve Davis, and covered events such as the World Snooker Championship and Six Nations rugby. 

In 2011 I edited and published my grandfather’s diary, which he kept during the 1984-85 miners’ strike, with the collaboration of prominent socialist MPs such as Dennis Skinner and Alan Meale.

Francesca Bacigalupo (BA French Studies/Italian, 2003)

I'd like to let you know that I am a Senior Director of Sales, Enterprise Partnerships EMEA with CEB. I'm based in London and Washington DC.

Dimitra Koutsantoni (PhD English, 2003)

I graduated from the PhD programme in 2003. I am now in New York City and work as Associate Director of Sponsored Projects and Foundation Relations at Columbia University's Graduate School of Business.

Edoka Amuta (MA Mission Studies, 2004)

I was elected in August 2012 and consecrated in November 2012 as Bishop and Connexional Secretary for Evangelism and Discipleship in the Methodist Church, Nigeria. I have sought a Visa for the UK to attend the Bishops' Retreat and may spend some time in Birmingham according to the schedule. I heartily look forward to a good time in Birmingham once again.

Sadiki Byombuka (MSc Public Economic Management & Finance, 2004)

I graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2004 in the International Development Department). From 2005 to 2011, I worked for a UK-based international NGO, Tearfund, as its Country Representative in my country, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
In the last couple of years, I have achieved two key things:
1) In October 2010, I completed my doctoral studies and have obtained my degree of Doctor of Business Administration with a Major in Project Management at Atlantic International University (USA). Following this degree, I was appointed Associate Professor by the Ministry of Education in my country, teaching at the Bukavu Rural Development University College.
2) In November 2011, I was a candidate at the legislative elections in the DRC and won a seat as Member of Parliament. I am now a Member of Parliament in the DRC since February 2012 and am chairing the Parliamentary Subcommission on the Environment.

Christopher Collins (MSc Chemistry, 2004; PhD Chemistry, 2009)

After looking for the right job for a while, I got a job working for Experian doing data analysis. This involved using databases and processing data using the skills I attained during my time in Birmingham.

After nearly three years there, I moved back into Chemistry and am now working for Dotmatics, a leading supplier of software to the pharmaceutical industry. At Dotmatics I travel the world, helping scientists to get the most from their experiments, just as those around me in the chemistry department and the chaplaincy at Birmingham helped me. I have a great passion for educating others on a one to one scale and sharing the skills and abilities that my studies at Birmingham developed.

I remember all of my time at the University of Birmingham with fondness and truly appreciate the doors opened to me through what I learnt whilst studying there.

Anthony Lyons (MSc Applied Geophysics 1986; MA Shakespeare Studies, 2004)

I took an MA in Shakespeare Studies at The Shakespeare Institute in Stratford from 2002-03. I have been Head of English at The King’s School, Canterbury, since 2004.
I am married to Yvonne, an Artist and Graphic Designer, and live in Highstead, a village near Canterbury in Kent.

Eleanor Padmore [nee Hawkins] (BSc Geology, 2004)

I was Eleanor Hawkins and I studied BSc Geology from 2001-04. As of May 2012, I'm now Eleanor Padmore.

Dave Adams (MSc Physics, 2005)

Since completing my Master's, I worked initially for an engineering company and then whilst waiting for my application to join the Royal Air Force I worked as a Physics Teacher at an independent school.

In 2007, I joined the Royal Air Force as an Officer Cadet in the Training Officer branch, which specialises in Design and Delivery of Training and Education.

On completing Initial Officer Training at RAF Cranwell in July 2008 I was posted to RAF Cosford in the West Midlands, a large training unit.

After this tour I went to RAF Benson, a large helicopter base in Oxfordshire, as the Training Officer responsible for the design of flying training for new pilots.

I now work at RAF Halton at the Defence Media Operations Centre, delivering Public Relations training to military personnel. In this role I have deployed to Afghanistan and am liable to be deployed anywhere where the UK military is working.

Seyi Adisa (LLB Law, 2005)

I attended BPP law school from 2006-2007 and finished with a distinction. I relocated to Nigeria in 2008 and attended Nigerian Law School in 2010. I am currently studying to be a Chartered Secretary as well.

I am a partner at Tunde & Adisa Legal Practitioners, a partnership set up to provide corporate commercial legal services in Nigeria. The firm has six other lawyers and is based in Ikeja, Lagos State. In October 2011, I was appointed the Principal Private Secretary to the Executive Governor of Oyo State. This role is expected to run until 2015 in the first instance.

I got married in July 2011 to Mrs Tolulope Adisa, my high school sweetheart. We live together in Ibadan, Oyo State.

My favourite memories of Birmingham include participating in extracurricular activities especially the Africa Caribbean Society and volunteering to coach football to kids. I also miss the late nights in the library!

Ogochukwu Egbe (LLM Law, 2005)

I completed my postgraduate degree (Master's) in Law in 2005 and currently working as a Regional Law Manager in a bank in Nigeria. I am now married with kids and my new surname is Egbe. I am currently based in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. I would love to be in touch with other alumni residing in Nigeria.

Sophie Hussey [nee Yeo] (Sport & Exercise Science, 2005)

I am currently working as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where I study inflammation in obesity and type 2 diabetes. I was recently awarded a National Service Research Award from the National Institutes of Health. I live in San Antonio, Texas. I changed my name from Sophie Yeo to Sophie Hussey following my marriage in 2010.

Matthew Kerton (BSc Biological Sciences with Study in Continental Euro 2005; PhD Biosciences 2009)

After completing my PhD in Biosciences at Birmingham, I gained employment as a wheat breeder, working for DSV UK Ltd, near Banbury.

My job involves project managing the wheat breeding programme to develop new varieties of wheat, which eventually end up in farmers’ fields and then perhaps in a loaf of bread, a biscuit or a cake.

The role is varied with office time, European travelling, tractor driving and scientific conferences. We have recently been successful in having a new variety, which is called Chilton, recommended to the farming community.

In other news, I married a lovely PhD student from the Geography Department next door and, four years later, we have a son and heir called Toby William – when it comes to his university choices, we shall be endorsing Birmingham!

Nazir Muhammad (EdD International Ed Mgt & Pol, 2005)

I completed my Doctorate in Education at the School of Education in International Management and Policy under the supervision Professor Lynn Davies, who specialises in education against extremism and moved back to Pakistan.

Now I am working on a DFID-funded education project as Senior Advisor. My education at Birmingham has helped me greatly in my personal and professional growth. I am working on the Education Innovation Fund and the Voice and Accountability Fund, both supported by UKaid in Pakistan.

I work for the improvement of primary and secondary education in both public and private schools especially in remote areas of the country where the literacy rate is very low i.e. less than 50 per cent. It gives me a great sense of pride that I am graduate of the University of Birmingham, which enabled me to become an expert in international education management.

Marion Barton (BA Drama and Theatre Arts, 2006)

I am now a Music Therapist for the Richmond Music Trust. I work with adults with learning disabilities, children with additional needs and elderly adults with dementia. I am married, so my name is now Marion Barton.

Heidi Bentley (BA Theology, 2006)

I have just returned from six months’ Disaster Management training in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I'm currently setting up a charity to run a youth development programme there.

Richard Cartwright (BSc Economics, 2006)

I've just launched – very successfully – a Wheelchair Rugby Club at the University. I'm now a lecturer at Southampton Solent University – it's all about bringing the Paralympic legacy to life!

Laura Freeman (BA Classics, 2006)

I graduated in 2006 and for most of the time since, I've been working for the NHS, but since last January I've been working for the University, in the Admissions Department. I also belong to the UoB Gilbert and Sullivan Society. I met my fiancé in 2004 through mutual friends in the IAA and we're getting married next winter.

I see my Classics classmates as often as we can but I would be thrilled to hear about any upcoming reunions in Birmingham.

Wilson Lalengke (MSc Global Ethics, 2006)

I am Wilson Lalengke, my friends call me Shony, and I am now living in Jakarta, Indonesia, my home country. Any good news, please share.

David Pelerins (MA International Studies [European Integration], 2006)

I remember my time at Birmingham with a lot of fondness. I really loved the campus and felt extremely proud to be a part of such a respected institution.
I spent most of my time at the library and the European Research Institute. I remember being overwhelmed at first by the amount of reading which was required of students, as well as the level of personal involvement necessary in order to get anything accomplished in terms of keeping up to speed with the classes. Being French and not used to the British teaching system, never before had I encountered such an open, engaging and efficient way of learning.
I remember having a great sense of peace and accomplishment as I walked in the campus. Not so much in Selly Oak, though, which is where I used to live. That, in turn, was the not-so-bright side of my time in the UK. I stayed in Jarratt Hall for a couple of months and I remember meeting all manners of incredible people there from just about all walks of life. This made for a fantastic, culturally-rich environment. At any rate, I can honestly say that I spent a tremendous and exhilarating year at Bham, where I learned a great deal.
Unfortunately, I had not been so successful at securing a job until recently. I got a pretty good internship at an international organisation, followed by an awful job in Paris and a three-year career as a musician and composer. An album, a few shows in Paris, some minor airplay, one radio commercial and one hit single (which, by the way, was beautifully mixed by a brilliant sound engineer teaching at Cambridge and mastered in the UK) later, I had to accept the fact that the music scene was just not for me, I had to look back into more familiar avenues.

After a short spell working at the same international organization in Vienna, Austria, where I had done my internship, I did not manage to land a job for a whole year in Paris.
With a baby on the way, I had to find a new solution, which is why I went back to study for one more year, in France this time. Based on my education and what little experience I had managed to accumulate, I was given the chance to enter the last year of a Master's degree and I studied translation. Thanks to that, and I believe in at least some part thanks to the degree I completed in Bham, I recently managed to start working as a translator at several UN locations in Geneva, Switzerland, namely the World Health Organization, World Trade Organization and UN HQ. I am still in the process of honing my skills and getting more experience, but I believe I am on the right track.

Roshni Purmessur (MBA International Business, 2006)

After having successfully gone through my MBA, I have been promoted to the position of Human Resource Manager at our national airline, AIR MAURITIUS. I am responsible for advising and acting on all operational HR matters for three large business units at the airport comprising around 1,500 employees.
It will always be a source of pride for me to have studied at Birmingham. I can still remember how my lecturers were so comprehensive and cooperative. It was really a great time, which I miss.

Daniel Sowho (MSc International Money & Banking, 2006)

I currently work for Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL), which is a major ship owner as a Tanker Operations Co-Ordinator and have been here since 2010.

Bode Aregbesola (MBA Business Administration, 2007)

I am at Access Bank Plc, Victoria Island, Lagos. I am the Head of the Transport Desk, in the Institutional Banking Division.

Nusrate Aziz (MSc Development Economics 2007; PhD Economics 2011)

After coming back from Birmingham, I joined back my university in Bangladesh (the University of Chittagong). I joined a Malaysian university in January 2013. I'm Senior Lecturer here. Before leaving the UK, I worked in the University of Bath as a Teaching Fellow for one year and then in the University of Birmingham as a Visiting Lecturer. I also worked as a consultant for DFID project in Bangladesh.

McRobby Chiwale (LLM Commercial Law, 2007)

I have been in my home country Zambia after graduating from the University of Birmingham. I value and cherish the LLM (in Commercial Law, with Merit) I got from Birmingham and I more often than not apply the said valuable education at my workplace, ZESCO Limited, where I am the Chief Legal Officer for the Copperbelt Division, based in the city of Kitwe. I have fond memories of the Law Library, Jarratt Hall, my hall of residence and Birmingham city at large.

Yasar Eltaf (PG Cert Mental Health Care, 2007)

I am a postgraduate alumnus from 2007 and I am currently in Qatar. I work here as a project management consultant in healthcare.

James Hooley (BA Political Science, 2007)

I joined the Foreign Office (FCO) Fast Stream. I've now been with the FCO for over five years. I'm currently Head of Sanctions (e.g. economic/trade sanctions on Iran, Syria etc). I spent three years at the British High Commission in Nairobi working on Somalia, travelling in and out of Mogadishu as part of the first UK team to do so for 20 years.

Edmund Kinwasi (MBA Public Service [International], 2007)

Since I left B'ham in 2007, I have been actively performing my duties as a Head of Department, applying acquired knowledge, skills and gained experience which have made a big difference in my present organisation (Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, Tanzania).

Natalie Manifold (BA English, 2007)

I'm in the Dorset coastal town of Lyme Regis, most famous for its connection with Jane Austen and also the famous author John Fowles, who wrote The French Lieutenant's Woman. I own a company called Literary Lyme Walking Tours.  

When I graduated in 2007 after being very ill while at uni, I knew I didn't want to do the normal graduate fast track into London life, so I moved to Dorset. When I was a child, my mother had been utterly obsessed with the book The French Lieutenant's Woman and a bit must have rubbed off – I now operate French Lieutenant's Woman walks and Jane Austen Walks of the town. I also operate many others such as Mary Anning Walks (first palaeontologist) and South West Coast Path Walks. I have also started to operate Broadchurch tours. 

I am particularly proud of what I have achieved. I have worked with some of the biggest museums and universities in the world (I've even operated a tour for UoB) and my walks are rated 5* on Tripadvisor.Natalie Manifold in 19th century costume

Joan Mattia (PhD Theology and Religion, 2007)

This past August I accepted a position in Central Europe with the University of Debrecen, Hungary. I have been teaching three classes: Professional Communication, Intercultural Communication and Advanced Conversation to graduate and postgraduate students.

Ronald McAuley and Sarah Hsiu-Ju Yang (both MBA International Business, 2007)

We met on our GDBA and MBA, married in December 2009 and have a lovely 16-month-old daughter, Anabelle.
I have recently set up my own consulting business, my wife is an Operations Analyst for a freight forwarder and is lucky enough to work from home. We are enjoying life just 20 minutes south of the centre of London.

Andrew Rolnick (MA Applied Linguistics, 2007)

I completed my Master's via a distance learning programme, while I was working in Japan. I now live in Israel. I have been working for over two years as a Teaching Assistant at the College of Management in Rishon Litzion, Israel. I also work on a part-time basis as an English Teacher in Ort Tarabin High School – a Bedouin Arab school. Moreover, I am finishing a writing internship in the Public Relations office at Tel Aviv University.

Yahya Sandali (MSc Physics and Technology of Nuclear Reactors, 2007)

Nowadays, I am in China-Beijing, specifically at the Beijing Institute of Technology. I have started my PhD programme which I have been doing since 2011. I had a great time at the University, I remember it well.

Rob Spurling (BA Geography, 2007) 

I really enjoyed my time at the Uni and particularly my involvement in the Christian Union there. It really helped me spiritually.

Haytham Abushaban (MBA International Business, 2008) 

I was selected last September to participate on an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), USA Entrepreneurship and Business Management- Multi Regional Program by the US State Department. Representing my country, this is one of the most prestigious exchange programmes with Prime Ministers participating in it.

Josh Bloom (BA Drama and English, 2008)

I am currently working as Producer for Red Bull Media House – Red Bull's content arm in Austria. I owe a lot of my breaks in the media/TV industry to my time with Burn FM, the Guild's radio station. I look back very fondly on that time, where I gained the basic skills I needed to get a foot up in the industry.

Beth Charley (BA African Studies with Development, 2008)

Since graduating in 2008 I moved to Dublin to manage Ethiopiaid Ireland for a year on the Reed Graduate scheme. Then I became an IT Project Manager for my second placement. Unfortunately, I became ill with fibromyalgia and then moved to Herts in 2010. Since then I have done some further studying in basic bookkeeping and currently an access diploma in nursing health and science as well as volunteering with a local sexual health charity.

I am hoping to look for work after spending three weeks in a pain management clinic at RNOH Stanmore and being diagnosed with Aspergers last summer. I want to do further study and work in something to do with sexual health, but am taking one day at a time.

I would like more info on the 50th anniversary CWAS conference and also how I might get regular news from Our Africa. I have one from 2012 but that's all – do they have an online presence. The happiness lecture in June also sounds good.

I am grateful for my time spent at the Uni, especially as it led to my first job and helped to hone my interests and the direction I want my life to go.

Joe Flanagan (BA Media, Culture and Society, 2008)

In 2015 I switched careers and started my own digital market agency based in Warwickshire, Rank Easily Ltd. where we provide a range of services for both small and large ecommerce businesses. I am also the founder of 90s Fashion World, a clothing, culture and nostalgia website about the last decade of the 20th century. I've found studying Media, Culture and Society at Birmingham helped me greatly develop my skill set and achieve my own personal business goals.

Daniel Higgs (MSc Chemistry, 2008)

I am doing a PhD in Materials Chemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in the USA. My favorite memory is eating an ostrich burger from the small farmers' market that used to come during the summer once a week on a Friday to the area between Chemistry and the Clock Tower.

Jessica Jackson (BA Performing and Visual Arts, 2008) 

I'm in Shropshire, living in a caravan. 

Stephen Jordan, (MEng Civil Engineering, 2008)

Hi, I am currently seconded to EDF Energy via Atkins working from Hinkley Point C. I am part of the construction team preparing for the first nuclear power station in 25 years. I don't think I would be in this position without the UoB. 

Eluka Kibona (MA International Development, 2008)

I am back in Dar-es-salaam working, doing my PhD at the University of Dar-es-salaam and I am a new mother! I miss Birmingham – it is truly an exceptional University!

Yukako Kuwano (BSc Public & Social Policy Management, 2008)

I'm working in Tokyo and doing great! 

Hukum Meena (MBA Public Service [International] 2008)

I am working as Secretary to the Revenue and Land Reforms Department of the Government of Bihar Patna, Bihar.

George Mwaisondola (PhD Law, 2008)

After graduating in 2008 with PhD in law degree, I went to Tanzania and I lecture at St Augustine University of Tanzania. I also work as an attorney at Galati Law Chambers Advocate.
However, I am currently in the United States as a Fulbright Scholar. I am researching mortgage finance, and I'm based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (September 2012 to May 2013).

Catherine Mwarari (PG Cert Inclusion & Special Education Needs, 2008)

After leaving Birmingham in 2008, I came back home in Kenya and I am now a Lecturer. What I miss most in Birmingham is the library – so well stocked with the latest resources.

Ritchie Wood (MA British First World War Studies, 2008)

I obtained my Master's Degree on 12 December 2008 at The Centre of First World War Studies, under the wing of the absolutely brilliant Dr John Bourne. My dissertation was entitled The Contribution of the British Mining Effort on the Western Front to the Allied Victory.

At the age of 74 years, I followed this by completing a PhD at Swansea University, being awarded my Doctorate on 28 September 2012. My thesis was entitled The South Wales Miners' Contribution to the Tunnelling Companies on the Western Front during the Great War.

I am now enjoying giving talks on the topic in Wales and England. I have publishers interested in turning my thesis into a book and I am also in the middle of negotiations to take part in a one-hour BBC radio programme based on my thesis involving South Wales miners in the tunnelling companies during the Great War.

Miha Zakotnik (PhD Metallurgy and Materials, 2008)

I have moved from the magnetic industry based in Yantai to a guest Professorship position at Beijing University of Technology. I am doing research on magnetic rare earth materials. At the same time, I am also a Director of Research and Development at a US company named Urban Mining Magnetic.

Shadi Al Khateeb (PhD Metallurgy and Materials, 2009)

I got a PhD from UoB in 2009, from the School of Metallurgy and Materials. Currently, I am the Head of the Materials Engineering Department at BAU University-Jordan.

Afolake Adebayo (MPH Medical Education, 2009)

I came back to Nigeria on completion of my programme in December 2009. I currently work with St Kizito Clinic, Lagos. I now have two children, the first is a girl born February 2010, and her brother was born in January 2012.

Though I visit the UK once in a while, I must confess that I really miss Birmingham as a city and I miss the University of Birmingham greatly. I look forward to coming back for my PhD sometime.

John Blythe (MA History of Art, 2009)

I'm on a PhD part-time research programme, the History of Art, at this university... self-financing, happily with no second career intentions.

Karen Boulton-Lear (PG Cert Dyslexia Studies, 2009)

Since completing my postgraduate certificate, I am now working at Staffordshire University as a Specialist Dyslexia Tutor and Mentor. I originally started at Staffordshire University as a Support Worker and Note Taker and now I also work on a one-to-one basis, giving tuition to a range of students, which I really enjoy.

I have also had training on various enabling technology and software and I am always interested in furthering my knowledge through CPD.

Faridah Bukirwa (LLM International Commercial Law, 2009)

I work for the Government of Uganda. I am the Senior Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer at the National Council for Higher Education – the Council is the regulatory body for institutions providing higher education in Uganda.

Aysin Ersoy (MA Security Studies, 2009)

Currently, I work at the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Turkey as an Assistant Foreign Trade Expert. Before that, I worked at the Turkish General Staff as a Security Expert between 2010 and 2012.

John Howells (BA Applied Golf Management Studies, 2009)

Here's a small update on my career. I graduated in 2009 with a First in AGMS. I have since worked as a golf teaching professional in Wales, Austin, Texas, Bahrain and I am now settled in Dubai.

I am working at the Butch Harmon School of Golf in Sports City, Dubai. It's been a great reward for the hard work at Uni. I would not have got to this stage without the help of AGMS and the University of Birmingham.

Robert Kitalala (MBA Strategy & Procurement Management, 2009)

I graduated from the University of Birmingham in the Business School, Centre for Business Strategy and Procurement (CBSP) in 2009. Since then I have been working with the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA), Ministry of Finance in Tanzania. I live in DSM. I have achieved a lot since then, including promotion from the position I held before to the level of Principal Procurement Officer within PPRA. This is a great achievement and this has been due to the knowledge and skill obtained from the CBSP.

I have also been appointed the Project Coordinator for the project known as Institutional Support Project for Good Governance II. This is financed by the African Development Bank. I am also the project team member for another project known as Enhancement of Procurement Capacity for Local Government Authority Project, financed by the Government of Belgium. These two projects are coordinated at PPRA and the Authority appointed me due to the strong capability I demonstrated after graduating from the MBA (SPM).

Emina Hadziosmanovic (BSc Psychology, 2009)

I have been awarded Young Woman of the Year 2013 – Honorary Award. The ceremony took place on 8 March 2013 in London. I also received the Rayne Fellowship for Refugees in July 2012 with £15,000 funding to complete a project which trials a new psychological therapy with Bosnian refugee groups in the UK.

I am currently completing my PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Nottingham.

Emily Henderson (BSc Psychology, 2009)

I graduated in 2009, Bsc Psychology, followed by a PGCE in 2010. I am now living in Uganda, where I helped to set up an orphanage for children with special needs.

Emma James (BSc Psychology, 2009)

My news update for you is that I'm now back at the University of Birmingham! I graduated from my undergraduate degree in Psychology at UoB in 2009 having had a wonderful time, and loving UoB. I was delighted when last year I was accepted onto the Doctorate course in Child and Educational Psychology. I've been back six months now and am loving every minute. Love Old Joe and seeing him each morning on my way in, although as I'm based in the School of Education, I don't get to walk under or around him unless I make my way over there.

 Davina Lim (BA English Literature and Language, 2009)

After graduating from Birmingham, I went on to complete a Masters in Gender, Sexuality and Culture at Birkbeck College. After getting my PGCE certificate, I started teaching English Literature and general paper in Singapore. That has been most exciting and challenging thus far. Now, I craft education policies that affect all levels of education here and I’m also a freelance writer for the Australian website Eatability.

Nurian Nurjanov (Graduate Diploma in Business Administration, 2009)

After graduation from University of Birmingham, I studied and graduated from University of Edinburgh, MBA, and graduated in 2010. I currently work as a General Manager at Gamma Tech FZE, Dubai.

Deniz Sarica (MSc International Business, 2009)

I work at Accenture Management Consulting as a Consultant in the Financial Services Area, and reside in Istanbul at the moment.

Laura Simpson (BSc Biosciences, 2009)

I'm now working and living in Bath. I work for the University of Bath as an Events Co-ordinator.

Jane Traies (MPhil Gender Studies, 2009)

After completing my MPhil in Gender Studies at Birmingham, I embarked on a PhD in Gender Studies at the University of Sussex; I am hoping to submit my thesis at the end of this year.

Eleni Tsompanaki (PhD Dance in Higher Education, 2009)

I returned to my hometown in Greece, struggling with the situation here. Although there are limited dance opportunities in Greece the fact that I acquired a PhD gave me the opportunity to find job more easily. I work in a research programme for minority groups in Greek schools teaching creative dance and giving workshops to primary school teachers. Parallel to that I give some lectures to the University of Western Macedonia about individuality and special needs (only a few per year, unfortunately). I am also an IB (International Baccalaureate) Teacher at Anatolia College. My degrees from Birmingham are very strong and if something is starting here in Greece I am the first person to call.

I miss everything from those years! I miss the campus, I miss my teacher, Tansin Benn, I miss researching till I dropped! Most of all I miss the library. This beautiful, huge building that makes you want to stay in there for ever! As I am back in Greece, I really miss England... I wish I had opportunities to come again. I will, I know I will because the 'loss' is big! Thank you for making me a better, stronger and more creative person. A wonderful university full of memories!

Eguolo May Vanni (nee Orubu) (MSc Environmental & Natural Resource Economics, 2009)

I graduated from the Department of Economics in 2009. Since then, I have had so many exciting events and so much going on in my life. I studied Economics, Banking and Finance (MSc) at the University of Glasgow between 2009 and 2010, and graduated in December 2010.

I got married in November 2010 and now known as Mrs Eguolo May Vanni. I now also have two kids, Harriet (two years old) and Henry (six months old). My family and I currently live in Aberdeen and I now work with the Nationwide Building Society.

John Yang (MBA Management, 2009)

It is my pleasure to share my news here: A new child – my daughter, Rose Lala Yang, was born on 12 November 2012. She is my second child. A new job – I started with Datacom Business Services Pty Ltd, as SAP Technology Architect on 23 Aug 2012, in Melbourne, Australia.

I'm looking forward to hearing more alumni events, especially to be held in Melbourne for the MBAs.