I chose Birmingham as it is an esteemed Russell Group University with a strong Social Sciences Department in a cosmopolitan city. I studied International Relations with Political Science as I had an interest in politics and enjoy learning about different countries and cultures. A politics degree provides a broad and research-based skill set, which can be applied to roles in a wide range of sectors and has been useful in my career so far.
What are your fondest memories of your time at Birmingham?
Having fun with friends at the Guild, finishing my dissertation and meeting my Fiancée.
Did you participate in extra-curricular activities, if so how have these helped you in your current career?
I was a member of POLSIS (The Politics Society) which gave me access to lectures from esteemed politicians, including David Miliband, Alastair Darling and Jon Bercow. These guest talks helped me understand how high-profile politicians think and carry out their duties, which gave me valuable insights to use at the beginning of my career. I also took open access Mandarin evening classes which, although I profess my Chinese is now incredibly limited, helped me understand other cultures which again has been useful to apply in my career.
What was your favourite spot on campus or in Birmingham?
I loved the architecture of the Aston Webb building and Old Joe, the campus clocktower.
Describe your current role and organisation
I work in public affairs for Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), the largest infrastructure asset manager globally, where I engage with government and other stakeholders in the communities in which we operate during the acquisition, management and divestment of our portfolio infrastructure assets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Tell us about your career journey from Birmingham student to where you are today
Upon leaving Birmingham I did a marketing and sales job in Essex before being selected as part of the BBC’s Generation 2015 programme, representing young people’s opinions in television and radio broadcasts across the BBC network in the run-up-to and aftermath of the 2015 General Election. After this I moved to London and joined the policy team of the Association of Foreign Banks, the trade association for foreign banks operating in the UK, lobbying government and regulators to protect the interests of member banks. From there I joined the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) as Assistant Director for Financial Services, helping members across asset management, private equity, banking, fintech and insurance to achieve their policy aims in the UK and Brussels. In August 2018 I joined Macquarie in my current public affairs role in EMEA.
What has been the most extraordinary or memorable day on the job?
As part of my job, I have been fortunate enough to have travelled in Europe, Australia, Asia, and America, and to meet with governments and interesting people. So, there have been too many days to pick one over the other, I have enjoyed every single one.
Describe a typical day
I typically meet or have calls with government, trade associations, agencies or our assets. The rest of the day revolves around being part of the Global Corporate Affairs team, so having calls with colleagues in Asia, Australia and the US, as well as, working with the asset management and deal teams in Europe.
What is your top career tip?
Ensure your happy and enjoy your role, if you enjoy what you do then success and plaudits will follow, and every day will feel like an opportunity as opposed to a chore.
What one word would you use to describe the University of Birmingham?