2010s Class notes

Majid Afana (BSc Mechanical Engineering, 2010)

I’ve completed my Master's of Engineering at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada. I managed to do an internship at Magna International whilst undertaking my Master's. There I worked on some exciting new innovations at the Research and Development Facility at the Headquarters in Aurora, Canada.
Upon completion of my Master's I joined SNC-Lavalin, Canada’s largest Engineering and consulting firm. I am an engineering coordinator working on the Mina De Cobre Panama project where we are engineering, procuring, constructing and managing the second-largest untouched copper deposit in the world. It is truly an exciting project on a very large scale.
One of my favourite memories at the University of Birmingham was the second-year trip that was organised as part of a team-building exercise. We spent two nights and three days at the University’s facility in the Lake District. At the time I didn’t enjoy the trip one bit, but as I look back at it today I realise that it was truly one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The friendships and the bonds that were made on that trip eased my time at university and made it more enjoyable.

Dalia Alkatiri (MSc Engineering Management, 2010)

I have a lot of memories of the UK and I'm not sure where to start! I met such great friends from all over the world, my group of friends consisted of lovely ladies from Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Cyprus and China. I remember how we initially struggled with the Brummie accent that some of our lecturers had. We only managed to catch the last word in each of his sentences!

I also enjoyed becoming the Student Ambassador for the University and how I travelled to London to be part of the University’s exhibition. I will never forget the kindness of the British medical team and my dissertation supervisor for understanding my condition and helping me heal when I broke my jaw in a bike accident.

I also managed to travel around the UK and visited some countries in Europe. I may have been in the UK for less than 15 months, but I’m very glad that studying my Master's there gave me the chance of a lifetime to study hard and play hard as well. It made me believe in myself and now I know I can go anywhere and do anything.

Paul Clarkson (MSc Physics, 2010; BSc Physics, 2009)

I loved my time at Birmingham and went on to work for Rolls-Royce for three years before returning to academia, currently doing a PhD in nanotechnology at Cambridge. I also happen to be a play write of a new comedy play  Death Ship 666!,  which has just transferred back to London after a completely sold out, critically acclaimed run at Edinburgh Festival in summer 2013.

Shavindra Fernando (Chevening Fellow; Democracy the Rule of Law & Sec, 2010)

I am presently in Geneva attending the Human Rights Council sessions. I am permanently based in my home country Sri Lanka, working at the Attorney General's Department and the Sri Lanka Navy, where I was was working at the time I did my Fellowship course at Birmingham in 2010. My designations as a Deputy Solicitor General and Judge Advocate General respectively have not changed. 

David Millichope (MA First World War Studies, 2010)

I am semi-retired, so the MA course I completed was not a career move. The MA has encouraged and enabled me to set up a local centenary project, which has been incorporated into the Halifax Great War Trail Association.

Matteo Magagnoli (BA Economics, 2010)

I would like to thank the University of Birmingham as much as possible. I only spent one year there as an Erasmus student, but it was much more important than the other two at my home university. It opened my eyes to a bigger world, offering so many possibilities and chances to get involved and do something inside and out of class. From that one special year I have changed completely, and it is thanks to the drive I got from the University that I am now happily employed in Shanghai!

Oliver Morgan (Sport & Exercise Sciences, 2010)

I studied Sport & Exercise Sciences at The University of Birmingham between 2007 and 2010. I’ve gone on to work in professional football as a Sport Scientist. I completed an internship at Coventry City FC, where I worked with the first team there for two years. I’m currently working as an Academy Sport Scientist at Liverpool Football Club; working with a mixture of ages from the reserves, right the way down to the youngest ages of the academy – I’ve been working here now for two years.

Adina Neamtu (MSc Marketing Communications, 2010)

I'm currently living in London and I'm a Junior Art Director with Critical Mass, a digital advertising agency.

Irene Oppong (BA French Studies and Mathematics, 2010)

I graduated in 2010 and I currently work in London as a Software Developer for an American bank. I have many fond memories of the University where I studied Maths and French, and even in these short three years that have passed, I am already nostalgic for the green campus!

Hadrian Peyret (BSc Biological Sciences, 2010)

I graduated from the School of Biosciences in 2010, and I went off to start a PhD in plant biotechnology at the John Innes Centre in Norwich. I am currently in my third year (out of four). I would say that I have very good memories of my time at Birmingham, and my degree definitely prepared me very well for the PhD that I am doing now.

Oumesh Rummun (MBA Business Administration, 2010)

I'm from Mauritius and recently left my post as Operations Manager from Ciel Group and joined Casela of Medine Group as Leisure Operations Manager. It's great to be part of the family of UoB.

Nessa Saniee (MPhil Materials Engineering, 2010)

I'm doing a PhD in Physics at Warwick at the moment. I really miss the student life in Birmingham and the University campus.

Daniyar Suleimenov (BEng Mechanical Engineering, 2010)

I am currently employed at KPMG in Kazakhstan as a Senior Consultant in Management and Strategic Consulting Department.

Liyin Wang (MSc Human Resource Management, 2010)

In the past two years, I worked in a Human Resource Management Consulting Company in Beijing. From next month, I will work for China International Intellectech Corporate, which is the biggest HRM SOE in China, focused on Leadership Assessment and Training. Therefore, I would also like to promote some communication – focused on International Talent, Chinese State-owned company HR issues and so on – with my dear school.

Sue Yian Quek (MSc Poverty Reduction & Development, 2010)

I am still in Malaysia, working for a corporate foundation whose main thrusts are community development and education. It’s been a challenge moving from a pure disbursement entity to one where CSR becomes integral to doing business but we are making baby steps. I have started a hobby non-profit business where, for every children's book sold, I will donate another one. The aim here is to flood Malaysia and South East Asia with good-quality books and to promote literature.

Sarah Bennett (MA Social Research, 2011)

Since winning the Chancellor's Prize in 2011, I have completed an MA in Social Research at merit level. I am now undertaking my PhD in the IASS at Birmingham.

Krystal Cattermole (BA Social Work, 2011)

Since graduating in 2011 with a BA Hons in Social Work, I have been working as a Children's Special Worker for Birmingham City Council. I have moved house three times and I have now found my dream house, which myself and my partner are hoping to buy this summer. I also got engaged at Christmas 2012 and would love to get married in early 2015.

Rai Furniss (BA Hispanic Studies, 2011)

I work for the University in Library Services, part time during 'anti-social hours' (yep, one of those people who keep the library open late!). I don't mind the timing of the shifts, as it gives me time to write and play PC games during the day.

I like the Library (and the University) but it'd be nice if we weren't tearing it down to be replaced by a glass monstrosity with half the books and filled with social spaces that not one single student I've spoken to even wants out of a library.

Other than that I live in Edgbaston, with my partner, I find the jobs market in Birmingham depressing and when I look at the stats for my degree I do wonder where on earth all these '60% of graduates in professional or managerial positions six months after graduating' come from.

I'm involved in the Staff Grow Club and I'd like to stay with the Uni (preferably with a full-time position) as despite all the issues it is a nice place to work. I'd also like to go travelling and go on to do a Master's or other professional training qualification, but that'll need a lot of pennies saving first!

Zaichhawna Hlawndo (PhD Theology & Religion, 2011)

I am now teaching at Springdale College, Birmingham, and doing church planting in Birmingham.

Kristina Jones (BA American & Canadian Studies, English with Year Abroad, 2011)

I am working as the Account Executive for Young Guns UK – a music management company that provides musical entertainment for events, TV shows, commercials etc. It's a great company and finally, after seven months of being in London, I have been successful in getting the job I want in a company that I believe in.

John Langdon (MA Shakespeare and Theatre, 2011)

Just to let you know that I am right back at the Shakespeare Institute... pursuing a PhD here in Stratford where I studied for my MA. I'm enjoying the work and appreciate the opportunity to be here a great deal.

Nikolay Nikolov (BA International Studies with Political Science, 2011)

I graduated from the LSE with Distinction in MSc Political Sociology in December. I was recently awarded the ESRC social sciences scholarship and will be doing a PhD at the UCL on postcommunist identity in October 2013.

Cornelius Poepel (PhD Music, 2011)

I have been working as a Professor for Sound in Media since 1 March 2008:


Among other collaborations I am collaborating with the University of Technology, Sydney.

Danisha Sornum (LLM Law, 2011)

I am now back in Mauritius and I am now at the head of the newly-established Equal Opportunities Commission here. I would love to hear from my friends in Birmingham.

Sreenidhi Sreekumar (MSc Healthcare Policy & Management, 2011)

I was a student at the Social Science Centre, for my PG in MSc Healthcare policy and management, 2010-2011 batch. Ever since I returned to India I have had wonderful opportunities, and presently I am working as a management consultant for Kerala State Institute of Health & Family Welfare. The centre acts as an apex institute for training of healthcare workers on various aspects and plays a key role in human resource development in health sector. It’s a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the Institute and I am now planning to pursue my Masters in Public Health due to the exposure I am getting in public healthcare. All thanks to the University of Birmingham. Highly recommended. Thank you to all the faculties that were at the centre.

Matt Stuart (BSc Sport and Exercise Science, 2011)

I work in the fun and fantastic world of TRAVEL! I am a Business Development Executive at Collette Worldwide Holidays, a large holiday company which designs its own tours of the world, and groups and clubs all over the UK love and travel on them!
We travel from Antarctica to Africa, so far I have only been to the States twice and off again to the Grand Canyon at the end of the month. Hopefully I will be going on a tour of my own later this year, I have Australia in my sights! I have always loved travelling and now I talk to people who want to travel or organisations who want to sell travel. My job is to find new groups/clubs/associations who like travelling the world, and get them travelling with us.

Jichuan Zhou (MSc International Marketing, 2011)

After graduating, I came back to China and started my career. I worked for IBM, China, in the position of Asset Management from February 2012 to February 2013, and after that I was employed by a Chinese Government Financial Group. The company is one of the top financial organisations that focused on trusts, securities, insurance, fund, and even real estate. I am working for the Department of Trust.

Paul Amuzie (LLB Law, 2012)

Birmingham was a wonderful time in my life and, even though I haven't been graduated very long, it seems so long ago.

I am now working with Citizens UK, the largest broad-based alliance of civil society in the UK. We are a team of professional community organisers working across the UK to build powerful communities that can affect real change.

I was part of a team from across the UK that met with David Cameron at 10 Downing Street to talk of how civil society can play a part in changing Britain for the better, including subjects such as payday lenders and the lack of a cap on interest rates, amongst other pressing concerns of Citizens UK.

If we are able to get government to implement changes, it will be hugely historical for Brits. It's wonderful to be a catalyst for change at this level.

Jackie Askew (MSc Clinical Oncology, 2012)

Since graduating, I continue to help patients along their cancer journey as a Macmillan Urology Nurse Specialist.

Robert Chen (BA Political Sciences, 2012)

I am back in Sydney, Australia, studying at the University of New South Wales. Heaps want to come back for a visit!

Marco Egawhary (MBChB Medicine, 2012)

I graduated from Medicine in 2012 and am now training to be a Roman Catholic Priest in Rome. I just wanted to mention the great atmosphere there has been in Rome over the past few weeks, from Pope Emeritus Benedict's resignation on 11 February, to the Inauguration Mass of Pope Francis.

There has been a great atmosphere in Rome, which has seen the gradual change from the sadness of seeing Benedict leave to the joy of welcoming Pope Francis – they have truly been historic days, which I shall never forget! It has also been a blessing to share in the recent celebrations with the Archbishop of York and other representatives from the Church of England!

Ronan Gay (BA Classical Literature and Civilisation, 2012)

I have gone travelling because I can.

Steph Green (BA English and Drama, 2012)

I graduated last July (2012) in English and Drama, I now work in the North Liverpool Academy as a Sixth Form Graduate Mentor and have done since September.

What I wanted to mention especially is that I am Assistant Director with the Chester Mystery Plays, a huge, prestigious and iconic part of the country's theatre http://chestermysteryplays.com/  

The event only happens every five years and would be of interest to those with theatrical, theological, religious and historical interest.

Shula Hickey (LLM International Commercial Law, 2012)

I'm currently working at DWF LLP in Manchester in insurance.

Nathan Lightman (BA Political Science, 2012)

I have a job as a Trainee Solicitor with Speechly Bircham, a firm of solicitors in the City, which I will start next year, after I complete the GDL this summer, and then the LPC next year.

Rebecca Loveys (BA Music, 2012)

Here's a little about what I've been up to since leaving Birmingham in July 2012. I do miss it a lot!
Graduating with a 2.1 in Music, I worked as a Teaching Assistant in Bournemouth for five months, by the end of which I realised I in fact did not want to pursue a career in teaching.
I started working with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority at the beginning of February, and will be here until at least the end of this September on a maternity cover as Licence Committee Administrator. This has meant a sudden move to London from Dorset, where I lived before I came to Birmingham.  
Also living in London is my boyfriend, whom I got together with (we met through Nightline) at the beginning of our third years. We frequently reminisce about happy days at Birmingham! We came back to Birmingham for a 'nostalgia weekend' in October and, of course, had to go back to Dilshad's.

Catherine Maryon (MA Social Research [Social Policy], 2012)

Since graduating, I have become General Manager of Northampton Hope Centre, a major local charity serving Northampton's homeless and vulnerable people. We provide day centre facilities, attending to basic needs (food, showers, clothing), as well as activities, informal and formal training and employment opportunities. I have a team of 10 staff and 90 regular volunteers and, between us, we make it all happen. I finished my MA in Social Research expecting to register for a PhD, which I am still keen to do. There's life in the old girl yet!

Emma Matthews (BSc Economics, 2012)

I am currently a Trainee Investment Advisor at Charles Stanley and am in charge of Execution Only for the office I work in. I have moved back to Devon after initially planning to stay in Birmingham.

E. McKeand (BA Modern Languages: French, German and Spanish, 2012)

I am currently doing a (five-month) traineeship at the Directorate-General for Translation at the European Commission in Brussels.

Aso Saeed Hama Salih (MSc Public & Environmental Health Sciences, 2012)

My current news is I am working in DOH in my city Sulaimany, Iraq, but now I am busy changing my job and transferring from the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research as a teacher or lecturer in the Polytechnical University’s Community Health Department.

In addition, I would like to continue with my studies and come back again to Birmingham to study for a PhD in the same course that I got my MSc in.

Steve Sheath (BSc Economics, 2012)

I graduated in 2012 and currently work at Ernst & Young in Corporate Finance.

Khiem Truong Dinh (MSc Computer Science, 2012)

I work for Hau Giang Community College.

Rachael Walker (BA American and Canadian Studies, 2012)

I graduated in July 2012 and spent some time working at home before moving back to Oxford, Mississippi to begin my Masters in Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi US.

As part of my undergraduate degree, I began my year abroad at the University of Mississippi in 2010/2011. My decision to study here was based on my interest in certain areas of Southern history, but also to take the plunge and place myself in a region of the US that was fairly unfamiliar to me and what I believed would be the furthest away from home. My year abroad was without a doubt a challenging experience but an invaluable one for personal and academic growth. My time living in Mississippi cemented an obsession to understand the south, how it is thought about within the region and outside, as well as my interest in the value of international education.

Whilst studying for my Masters I have been working as a graduate assistant for the Division of Outreach within the University. My first year was spent working with international students coming to exchange or for English Language programs at the University. My second year has been spent delving into the world of grant writing research and social media marketing as the division endeavors to expand its operations.

I often think fondly of my time in Birmingham as it was an experience that opened doors for me. I made fantastic friendships and was challenged academically. I was also fortunate to be part of a small and supportive department which allowed me to look outside the confines of academia within the UK.

Teyen Widdicombe (MSc Physics and Technology of Nuclear Reactors, 2012)

I'm currently in Victoria, Australia, as I was born and spent the first two months of my life here prior to 1986, giving me citizenship and meaning I could take a three-month working holiday without having to worry about visas.

Alex Whiteley (BA Drama and English Literature, 2013)  

I’m staying in the University of Birmingham family by studying on the first year of the new Shakespeare and Creativity MA at the Shakespeare Institute.