A years’ overview: Alumni Advisory Board activities

alumni advisory board activities overview

The Alumni Advisory Board (AAB) is made up of fifteen members.

They met online four times during the year 2020-21 where they shared ideas with the University, heard about new projects and events for alumni, and offered their advice on a range of activities.

Meetings are chaired by Alumni President Oliver Sidwell who also represents the Board and the alumni population at quarterly University Council meetings.

Each year members of the Board get involved in various activities outside of their advisory roles. Here we look back on the academic year 2020-21 to share an overview of some of the work they have been involved in.

At the start of September 2020 three new members, Aisha Adedeji, Amy Ward and Yasamin Fozouni, joined the AAB. It didn’t take any of them long to settle in and get involved with alumni activities and participate at Board meetings.

Aisha volunteered and shared her experiences at a careers talk as part of the University’s work to mark Black History Month in October. She has also been involved in a new mentoring programme supporting black students.

Amy Ward, Dana Nassif, and Karen Whittingham were part of an online panel event to share recruitment tips with recent graduates. The event aimed to give 2020 graduates the chance to hear application and interview experiences from alumni working across a range of sectors, both from the point of view of an applicant and employer. Later in the year Luke Stott chaired a similar panel event to support 2020 graduates.

Passionate about supporting graduate careers, Luke also fronted a callout for job opportunities in the autumn of 2020. The aim was to support alumni and recent graduates by sharing job opportunities from within the Loughborough family. Over £800,000 worth of jobs were submitted by alumni, and jobs continue to be shared. Luke Stott and Amy Ward also shared advice and information to help graduates as part of this work.

In enterprise, Alex Laybourne joined a session as part of inductions in the Studio, the University’s business incubator. The theme of the session was on having the confidence to run your own business and Alex discussed running his own business and leaving a secure career. Oliver also attended a pitching session at the Studio and discussed his business journey. He also chaired an alumni-facing event, Insights into Entrepreneurship, which took place online in October 2020.

Activities were not only UK based as several alumni supported work from around the world. Winter Graduation 2020 could not go ahead as planned but a project to celebrate graduation was launched. The Winter Class of 2020 saw alumni sharing special messages of congratulations and three members of the AAB, Guy Broadbent, Yasamin Fozouni, and Margaret Eyres, got involved. They shared video messages and featured in a graduation video which was used across social media and on the University website.

Margaret Eyres wrote a blog about her experience of becoming a legal resident in an EU country post-Brexit. As a resident in France, she shared an insight into the practical things people needed to do.

In early 2021, The £10k Challenge took place. Alumni, staff, and students were invited to take part in the challenge, a socially distant running event that raised money for the University’s mental health appeal. Alex Laybourne was the face of the challenge and part of the Falk Egg team. He ran 10k every day for ten days and his team raised nearly £14,000. Alumni President Oliver Sidwell also got involved and chose to complete a wildcard challenge, drinking one pint of custard each day for ten days, and also ran a 10k. In total over 180 people took part and raised over £30,000 which has gone towards helping bolster mental health and wellbeing resources at the University.

In more recent months, the first Voices of Diversity event took place online as part of a series of sessions to support the University’s work on race equality. The event focused on reflecting on the past, looking to the future, and sharing experiences and learnings with the Loughborough community. Sumeet Vermani took part in the discussions and discussed entering the job market, tips for students, confidence building, networking, and learning.

Alan Vaughan Thomas fronted the recent alumni #LboroInnovation project, which showcased innovations by Loughborough graduates and the impact they have on the world. Alan worked on many innovative projects during his career in the automotive industry and shared one as part of the project, the Jaguar pop-up bonnet. The project saw over 50 alumni share their #LboroInnovation stories.

Over the summer of 2021, elections took place for five new AAB members. The following alumni were welcomed to the Board from all over the globe: Edith Alusa (Kenya), Elizabeth Byrne (UK), Emma Fu (USA), Patrick Lee (Hong Kong), and Danielle Sharpe (Singapore).

As we welcome our new Board members, we say a huge thank you to Guy Broadbent, Margaret Eyres, Yvonne Lumley, Alison Melvin, and Sumeet Vermani who have volunteered on the Alumni Advisory Board for several years.

Read more about the members of the Alumni Advisory Board.