30 January 2020

The conversation flowed as fast and free as the Thames as more than 50 people attended a University of East London (UEL) alumni networking event at floating events space, The Yacht.

The evening was an opportunity to meet with peers, develop long-lasting relationships, access career opportunities and share ideas.

Joan Saunders-Reece, chair of the UEL Alumni Advisory Board, said it was great to see such a variety of alumni at Wednesday's event. She said, "It was a very good night in a nice location. There were lots of new faces, and such diversity both culturally and in terms of career sectors. This is what makes the alumni network so successful."

Independent London mayoral candidate Nims Obunge came along to the Victoria Embankment venue to speak to past and current University students, including some who are working with him on his bid for City Hall.

My campaign is about providing opportunities. At this alumni event, I am listening and learning from Londoners. It’s about hearing their issues and articulating them in my policies. We need to champion what the University of East London does, and its graduates."

Nims Ubunge, London mayoral candidate, said.

The alumni network welcomes members from around the world and creates opportunities for communication, friendship and networking.

Dr Syed Tarek is now a senior lecturer in business administration at Arden University, London, after graduating in the subject in 2010. As well as teaching, and pursuing research into natural disasters in Bangladesh, Dr Syed works with the University to provide alumni network events for the Bangladesh community. 

He said, "For many international students, UEL is home; you feel part of the community. It can be difficult once you graduate, but the network provides a space for Bangladesh alumni to keep those connections. The events are a good reminder of your time at university, but also a chance to look to the future.

"I am a first-generation immigrant, so my family didn't have any connections. UEL has provided that platform, and I feel proud that UEL has played a part in my success."

The guest list included alumni, Alumni Advisory Board members, nominated final year students and staff from the Alumni Engagement Office and the Centre for Student Success.

Joshua Mansano, who graduated from his illustration degree in 2018, believes his time at the University helped him find his own artistic voice.

He said, "Since graduating, I completed a digital marketing and videography internship in Spain, and I am now a freelance videographer. I have worked on a variety of projects, including music videos, interviews and commercial content.

"The skills I learnt at UEL have helped me tremendously but, more than that, UEL taught me networking, organisation and research skills, which have been important. I had the space to learn how to become unique and be original in my thinking."

Pictured: Jaasir Ali, Vadi Loango, Jacqueline Malcolm, Joan Saunders-Reece, Jacqui Bashford - all from UEL's alumni advisory board, Charlie Werren, Alumni Engagement Manager and Nims Obunge, London mayor candidate. 

Find out more about UEL's alumni network.

Related topics