One hundred and twenty Westminster international students and recent graduates attended Westminster Working Cultures (WWC) Professional - Career Insights events in Africa and Latin America, where they learned about the professional landscape, career opportunities and working life in their home countries On Thursday 25 and Saturday 27 March.
WWC Professional is a virtual event series which supports the employability skills development of Westminster overseas students and recent graduates from key international locations relevant to Westminster’s student and graduate community. The series is a unique opportunity to learn from Westminster alumni in their home countries about the local professional landscape and career opportunities, and how to cope with reverse culture shock when returning home after graduation.
The panels tailored their advice to support and address specific anxieties felt by international students and recent graduates during the pandemic, including concerns around how COVID-19 might affect their chances of securing employment in their home country as well as how to demonstrate their resilience during this particularly challenging time.
On Thursday 25 March, the ‘Career Insights: Africa’ event welcomed a panel of four speakers, including International Business and Management MA/MSc graduate and Senior Marketing & Communications professional at PwC Lynda Ori from Nigeria, Media and Development MA graduate and Show Host at The Pulse, JoyNews Gifty Andoh Appiah from Ghana, MBA graduate and North Africa Finance Director at Pfizer Karim Bousalem from Morocco, and Construction Project Management MSc graduate and Founder of CPD ltd. Anil Singh Rana FRICS from Mauritius.
Highlights from the event included tips on how African students can make the most out of their time spent studying at Westminster, the importance of gaining a global outlook while in London, and how to leverage the competitive edge acquired with an international degree when navigating the labour markets of African countries.
On Saturday 27 March, the Career Insights: Latin America event presented a panel of four speakers, including Media Management MA graduate and Screenwriter at Rede Globo Brazil André Modenesi from Brazil, Events and Conference Management MA graduate and Marketing & Communications Associate Manager at Accenture Bárbara Loedel Rois from Colombia, International Human Resource Management MA graduate and Climate Change Coordinator at WWF Fabiola Olivares from Mexico, and Corporate Finance Law LLM graduate and Senior Partner at BARREIRO, OLIVA, DE LUCA, JACA & NICASTRO Gonzalo Oliva Beltrán from Argentina, who shared their invaluable experience with Westminster students and recent graduates from the Latin America region.
The panel emphasized the importance of bilingualism and cultural sensitivity when working for multinational companies in Latin America, and advised students to take every opportunity to network whilst at University to demonstrate to potential employers a willingness to learn, be flexible and adaptable.
Talking about the event, Criminology BA Honours student Debora Rubio said: “I had the fantastic opportunity to participate in the #WWCProfessional Latin America virtual event. It was a great way to learn from Latin American alumni, their experience in the respective professional sectors, their experience at the University of Westminster and their clever bits of advice. This opportunity gives you a chance to grow your network but also become more ambitious too. It is definitely a great programme to join!”
This programme was made possible by the generous funding support from the Quintin Hogg Trust and was organised by the Westminster Working Cultures team within the Alumni Relations office.
WWC Professional is part of a wider programme of activity, including WWC International and WWC UK designed to support the employability skills development and global outlook of Westminster students. The WWC Professional event series hosted five events this academic year which featured a range of successful alumni speakers from India, China, Sri Lanka, Africa and Latin America. Over 350 Westminster international students and graduates attended the events. Upcoming WWC Professional events will take place in Summer 2021.