11 June 2021

The University of East London (UEL) has launched the Diversity of Thought Employer Partnership Programme which works with employers to provide UEL students with a bespoke pathway of engagement, involving mentoring and work experience, based on the needs of employers and capacity to provide support.

This social mobility programme, which begins in September 2021, is a mutual agreement that provides resources to employers as well as skills and experience to UEL students.

The programme will be delivered in conjunction with two UEL partners, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Madison Square Garden (MSG), who are world leaders in live experiences with a portfolio of iconic venues and entertainment brands. The partners will run parallel to each other. Students were selected through a hackathon.

Ebenezer Joseph, a BSc (Hons) Business Management student who is taking part in the programme, said,

I found the AWS hackathon to be interesting as it tested my ability to not only solve issues with technology, but to work with other individuals in the process. Thus, providing an experience unbeknownst by myself before the commencement of the hackathon. As a first year student with a goal of having start-up, I believe this event bestowed upon me was a valuable experience,"

Ebenezer Joseph, BSc (Hons) Business Management student at UEL, said.

As a careers-led University, UEL is committed to providing students with a wide and varied range of skills which will put them ahead in the job market once they graduate. Students and employers will work together for two years.

Cherise Basslian, Director of Career Zone, UEL's dedicated careers service, said, "The Diversity of Thought Employer Partnership benefits both employers we work with as well as our students. Employers gain a competitive edge by recruiting diverse thinkers with different viewpoints based on different life experiences. Students gain valuable work experience.

"I am excited for this project and I am looking forward to seeing the benefits the programme will bring to our students and the aspirational employers taking part."

The students who have been selected to take part are:

Amazon Web Services

  • Brandon Brewer - BSc (Hons) Computer Game Development
  • Chigozie Ehuriah - BA (Hons) Textile Design
  • Ebenezer Joseph - BSc (Hons) Business Management
  • Karl John-Jules - BSc (Hons) Computer Science
  • Manjil Ghale - Computer Science (with Foundation Year)

Madison Square Garden Entertainment

  • Wunmi Malaolu - BA (Hons) Event Management
  • Georgina Pascoe - Event Management (with Foundation Year)
  • Jovan Fernandes - MSc Psychology
  • Raygan Kingston - BA (Hons) Event Management
  • Bisera Ruseva - BSc (Hons) Architecture

What will the students do as part of the programme?
MSG will offer mentorship to five students who want to work in the entertainment industry. This exciting opportunity will enable students to not only undergo training in professional development but also participate in MSG's shark tank project and attend virtual social and networking events.

AWS will provide five students with a unique opportunity to learn about what it's like working at AWS. Over the course of a two-year mentorship programme students will undergo valuable training in professional development and enhance their skills through individual mentoring and a consultancy project.

How were the students selected?
Amazon Web Services held a hackathon event to recruit students to their programme. Students were given two hours to discuss, plan and present a solution to a local cloud issue which was revealed on the day. Harry Goldie, Digital Skills Programme Manager at Amazon Web Services, said, "What was really impressive was the fact that some students had only just been introduced to cloud concepts that day yet were able to articulate how the cloud can make a positive impact."

With a University community made up of 158 nationalities, 70 per cent of our students are from a BAME background and 38 per cent of our students are the first in their family to go to university, UEL is committed to ensuring the best opportunities and experiences for its students.

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