Meet the team

Meet the staff that make up the Business School Careers team (BBS Careers) and learn more about the skills and experience they bring to the team in order to help enhance student employability at Birmingham Business School.


Tripp poses wearing a blue check shirt

Tripp Martin

Birmingham Business School Head of Careers

More about Tripp

Tripp Martin joined Birmingham Business School in July 2014 as the Careers & Placements Manager after working two years as the MBA Careers Consultant at Aston Business School. Prior to that time he spent 15 years with Enterprise Rent-A-Car in the United States and the UK working in graduate recruitment, learning & development, human resources, and operations.

Tripp is an advocate of LinkedIn and has spent a significant amount of time daily over the past 12 years connecting with, engaging with, and nurturing professional relationships. Along with the rest of the BBS Careers team, Tripp encourages all Birmingham Business School students to create an effective profile, connect with friends, co-workers, alumni, etc., and interact on LinkedIn daily in order to maximise their career prospects.

Melanie poses wearing a red blouse

Melanie Billingham

Postgraduate Careers Consultant

More about Melanie

Melanie is an HR practitioner and recruiter with over 10 years of experience in the financial and professional services sectors, including four years as the Graduate Recruitment Manager for KPMG (Midlands). She is CIPD qualified, with a Postgraduate Certificate in Careers Information, Education and Guidance. Melanie has been a Careers Consultant at the University of Birmingham since 2004, specialising in postgraduate careers consultancy, recruitment and selection, interview techniques and assessment centres; working with students, both individually and in groups, to give them the best possible chance of securing the job they aspire to. Melanie is currently working with MBA students and alumni at Birmingham Business School.

Lucy poses wearing a white shirt with blue butterflies

Lucy Wild

Postgraduate Careers Consultant

More about Lucy

Lucy has worked at the University of Birmingham since 2006 and is experienced with coaching students through tough recruitment processes. Her specialism is LinkedIn and how students can build the kind of network required to succeed in today’s job market.

As a Strengths Profile Accredited Practitioner, she has a particular interest in helping students realise their strengths in order to improve their performance. She works with students from our Accounting, Finance, Investments, Financial Technology and Economics programmes.

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Sandy Purewal

Skills Development Consultant

More about Sandy

Sandy is a Skills Development Consultant, working with Postgraduate students at Birmingham Business School since 2009. Sandy has an MBA and a PG Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. Her previous experience includes 5 years’ in the public sector and 7 years’ in the private sector in the area of Business Development, working with a wide variety of clients including, John Lewis, Harrods, InterContinental Hotel Group, amongst many others.

Sandy’s main area of specialism includes design and delivery of experiential skills development programmes to enhance employability skills. These programmes are delivered as accredited modules or through group teaching and incorporate key employability skills such as leadership, team-working, communication and commercial awareness amongst many others. All programmes have a strong focus on reflection and coaching to enhance the employability skills of our students. Sandy is currently dedicated to working with MBA and MSc students and alumni at Birmingham Business School.

Tom poses wearing a white shirt

Tom Ellis

Undergraduate Careers Adviser

More about Tom

Tom joined Birmingham Business School in 2021 from the private sector. Prior to joining the University of Birmingham Tom has had 9 years of experience as a project manager and management consultant working for two international consultants, Atkins and Arup, in the energy and transportation sectors. During this time Tom has supported all stages of the graduate recruitment process for Atkins and Arup, both Times Top 100 Graduate Employers.Tom also held roles as the project management graduate lead and as a graduate line manager for Atkins. Prior to his professional career Tom completed an undergraduate degree in Business Management with a year in industry and study abroad semester in Guangzhou, China.

As a careers adviser, Tom will use this experience to help students understand the various industry sectors, what employers are looking for and how to use this information to maximise their career prospects.

George poses wearing a pale blue shirt

George Thomas

Postgraduate Careers Adviser

More about George

George joined Birmingham Business School in 2024 following a transition out of the private sector. George comes from a HR background with multi-industry experience. 

Prior to working at the University of Birmingham, George worked for Goldman Sachs; initially, George joined the firm as a recruiter within the EMEA Diversity Recruitment team, and then pivoted into the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team as a DEI Advisor. 

With experience in 360 recruitment processes coupled with exposure to fast paced industries across both public and private sectors, George aims to provide careers advice support to the PG community. 

Sonia poses wearing black dress

Sonia Kumari

Skills Development Adviser

More about Sonia

Sonia joined the University of Birmingham in 2018, working within the Postgraduate team at Careers Network, before joining the Birmingham Business School team in 2024.  Sonia has worked in a variety of careers and employability-related roles within the education and careers sector over the past thirteen years.

Prior to joining the university, Sonia project managed a number of national initiatives and careers and employer-led projects in collaboration with a number of educational establishments, local, national and global employers, senior stakeholders and partners within the public and private sector.  She also previously managed, led and co-ordinated the Skills Show - the nation’s largest careers, apprenticeship and skills event. 

Sonia enjoys supporting students to develop vital skills required to succeed in today’s competitive job market. Sonia is passionate about ensuring students receive excellent learning, guidance and student experiences, so they can make good choices relating to further study and employment, thus best preparing them for their future and the world of work.

Laura poses wearing a blue shirt

Laura Scott

Employer Engagement Officer

More about Laura

Laura joined the University of Birmingham in 2020, working within the central Careers Network’s Employer Relations and Work Experience teams, before joining the BBS Careers team in 2023. Prior to joining the University, Laura worked in the American study abroad sector for a number of years in both the UK and US and has a wealth of experience in supporting international students through their studies in the UK.

Working as Employer Liaison Officer within the BBS Careers team, Laura’s work focuses on engaging employers with the Business School through activities, events and work opportunities, with a view to improving students’ employability. Laura is passionate about connecting students with a diverse range of employers in both the UK and abroad, to help students better understand the wide range of career options available and to gain high quality work experience and employment opportunities post-graduation. 

jodie poses wearing a blue dress

Jodie Bird

Industry Engagement Officer

More about Jodie

Jodie did both her BA English and MA in English Language at the University of Birmingham and since 2016 has worked in various roles at the University; starting as a Graduate Trainee in Professional Services, moving on to Central Careers, the Development and Alumni Office and joined BBS Careers in 2022.

Jodie’s area of specialism includes engaging with industry and managing relationships, with a passion for bringing companies into the curriculum to help enhance students learning and commercial awareness. 

Mandy poses wearing a black top

Mandeep Dhaliwal

Placements and Employability Team Lead (away on secondment)

More about Mandeep

Mandeep joined the University in September 2016 and is the Placements & Employability Officer Team Lead in the BBS Careers team. Having worked in HE for several years, Mandeep has experience in various administrative and academic-related roles, with a particular specialism in Careers and Placements. Mandeep enjoys working with students providing careers coaching, running workshops and enhancing students skillset and understanding of the employability journey. She also enjoys networking with employers to keep an up-to-date knowledge on the industry and application processes.

Mandeep has particular interests in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) to ensure students are represented fairly across the school/college and University. She also has an ILM 5 Coaching and Mentoring qualification which she will be using to help students to achieve their career goals.

sym poses wearing a black top with flowers

Symrun Samria

Placement and Employability Officer

More about Symrun

Sym joined Birmingham Business School in July 2021 having previously worked within Careers and Placements at two other higher education institutions. She works across UG degree cohorts to support students in securing full year placements, summer internships and short-term work experience helping to enhance their skill-set and develop their confidence in their employability journey.

Currently studying for a PG Diploma in Careers Guidance at University of Warwick, Sym is particularly passionate on widening participation and social mobility to ensure as many of our students and graduates as possible recognise their potential and reach their career goals.

Ruth poses wearing a black blazer

Ruth Meredith

Placement and Employability Officer

More about Ruth

Ruth is currently working as a Placement and Employability Officer in the BBS Careers team. Currently, Ruth works to support all undergraduate Business School students in their search for work experience, specialising in Year in Industry/Placement support. This involves career coaching, designing bespoke programmes of events, skill development work and one-to-one advice to individuals as well as practical advice on CVs, Cover Letters, Applications, LinkedIn profiles and more.

Ruth is particularly focussed on working with businesses to secure exclusive opportunities for our students, both in the UK and Internationally. Working in partnership with multiple different businesses has allowed for key commercial relationships to be built for our student cohorts. Previous success has included the creation of exclusive roles and programmes for BBS students and she is looking forward to continuing this work within BBS Careers. 

taran poses wearing a black top

Taranjit Sanghera

Placement and Employability Officer

More about Taran

Taran Sanghera joined Birmingham Business School in 2021, with over 8 years of experience across Russell Group and Post 1992 institutions, and a key focus on understanding the needs of students, graduates, and employers. Prior to joining the University, Taran worked as a Visiting Lecturer and Careers Advisor supporting Postgraduate international students to secure placements. In her years of working within Higher Education, she has specialised in running large projects to support students in gaining work experience, securing short term placements, and building successful relationships with employers in London and the South East area.

Prior to her professional career, Taran graduated in Business Management and has completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Career Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education. As a Careers Advisor, Taran will be using her experience and passion to support students securing work, understanding the industry, and empowering them to sell their skills and values confidently in order to reach their goals.

Katie poses wearing a black top

Katie Jelley

Digital Experience Manager

More about Katie

Katie joined Birmingham Business School Careers in 2024. Prior to this, Katie had over 11 years' experience at the University, including with projects, data and evaluation, running mentoring schemes, sourcing work experience opportunities for students and, most recently, employer engagement, events and relationship building. 
Katie has particular interests in student experience and engagement, digital content, web design, accessibility, digital learning design, online resources, branding & marketing and graphic design.

Julie poses wearing a red blazer

Julie Shires

Careers Administrator

More about Julie

Julie Shires began her employment at the University of Birmingham in July 2014, joining the BBS Careers team a few months later. She has over 20 years’ experience of administration with various public sector organisations. This included eight years at a museum whilst also working as a local history researcher.  Currently she helps run a tree consultancy business on a part-time basis with her fiancé.

Julie is a first point of contact for students reaching out to the careers service.  She provides general administrative support to the careers team, including assisting with and promoting the programme of events and activities.

Ben poses wearing a white shirt

Ben Russell

Careers Administrator

More about Ben

Ben joined Birmingham Business School in 2022. Prior to joining University of Birmingham Ben worked in the charity sector supporting the families of police officers and staff who lost their lives on duty. During this time he helped deliver communication and engagement programmes for beneficiaries, supporters and volunteers. Prior to working in the third sector Ben was a journalist for more than 10 years covering a wide range of stories and helping ensure people's voices were heard.

Ben is a first point of contact for students reaching out to the careers service. He provides general administrative support to the careers team, including assisting with and promoting the programme of events and activities.