Henrietta Brealey

  • Policy and Patron Advisor with the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce
  • BA English, 2012

Henrietta Brealey graduated with a degree in English Literature in 2012 before completing a Master’s degree in Public Management. She is now Policy and Patron Advisor with the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce.

henrietta brealeyWhat were the best aspects of your degree programme?

"I enjoyed the variety of avenues for study my course offered. The flexibility to choose what areas to focus on was really worthwhile and by final year I was able to create a lot of my own essay titles. Being able to construct an argument, use evidence and communicate effectively and clearly in a variety of media are skills that employers genuinely value. Studying English Literature certainly provides an excellent basis for developing these skills."

How did the university help prepare you for your career?

"While studying for my degree, I worked as a Student Development Assistant at the Guild of Students and took part in the UpRising Leadership Programme. After graduating from the programme I was assigned a mentor. I wanted more work experience outside of traditional student roles so discussed my career options with my mentor. He approached a number of contacts working in Policy and Public Affairs asking if any would benefit from an intern. The Director of Policy at the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce replied and, after an interview, I was offered an internship."

What did you do next to get to where you are today?

"After beginning my Master’s I was offered a part-time job as a Policy Assistant at the Chamber before being offered a full time role as a Policy Advisor on completion of my degree. I was then promoted to Policy and Patron Advisor. In a day I can be doing anything from speaking on local radio in the morning, to lunching with CEOs and Directors in the afternoon and attending or running an event in the evening!"

What advice would you give to a current student?

"Your degree alone is not enough! With the increasing number of students graduating every year, it’s very important that you consider ways to boost your CV while studying if you want to stand out from the crowd. Get involved in societies or volunteer, get a job or an internship and do visit the careers centre for advice and guidance!”