The most recent event from the ‘What it takes’ series, organised by the Alumni team at the University of Westminster, introduced students to the perks and challenges of working in the charity sector through the personal stories of four successful alumni.

Four guest speakers from different backgrounds, who all graduated from the University of Westminster and successfully turned their passion for the charity sector into careers, presented their experience to students in the ‘What it takes to work in the charity’ sector event.

Chris Ankobia, co-founder of Access UK charity and alumnus from the Purchasing and Supply Chain Management MSc course, spoke about his journey and emphasised the importance of transferable skills when looking to start in the charity sector.

Speaking about his motives to set up his own charity, Chris said: “I always felt that I wanted to do something more productive than working for profit or for personal gains.”

What it takes to work in the charity sector

Juliet Bouveire, Chief Executive at Stroke, the UK’s leading stroke charity, who graduated from Westminster Business School, talked about the main challenges she had faced throughout her career and encouraged students to focus on their strengths.

Giving valuable insight into specific aspects of charity work, Juliet said: “If you want to change public attitudes, government policies or the culture of an organisation, it really does take time and you’ve got to be resilient and you’ve got to stick with it.”

Also on the panel of speakers were Leon Ward, Deputy Chair of the UK's largest sexual health charity, which provides sexual health services to young people, and Heather Salmon, Founder of Positive Change Initiative, a social innovation project designed to transform the way ‘positive impact change’ is delivered in the world.

The event ended with a Q&A session and gave students and guests the opportunity to network with the speakers.

The next event from the ‘What it takes’ series, aiming to inspire current students by bringing them together with successful alumni, is ‘What it takes to be a Creative Boss’, taking place on 3 April.

Register for ‘What it takes to be a Creative Boss’ event here.

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