Why did you choose to study Politics at Loughborough University?
I moved from New York to the London borough of Waltham Forest at the age of 10, and have therefore only just recently lived long enough in this country to say that I’ve spent over half of my life in Britain.
Before University, whilst my sense of American identity was stronger, I was inspired by the election of Barack Obama and his message of hope and change that propelled him into the White House. I was still only in secondary school, just starting my GCSEs, but it was from then that I thought that I began to feel a sense of civic duty and decided to learn more about politics.
I chose to study Government & Politics at A Level, and am grateful to have had an amazing teacher whose passion helped consolidate my desire to take on the subject at degree level.
My love for basketball and desire to play more competitively alongside my studies are what made me choose Loughborough to join in its rich sporting heritage.
What did you enjoy about your course?
While I was at first apprehensive about studying history modules at the onset of my degree, I grew to appreciate the context and holistic view of the world that it helped me to develop through studying a mix of history and political processes and institutions.
This was helped by the Political Philosophy module in my second year, taught by an incredibly knowledgeable and passionate lecturer, which helped me overhaul my world view and really craft my perception of self and society. I couldn’t imagine studying anything else and coming out as the same person I am today.
How has Loughborough University inspired you and helped you to progress in your career?
Practice what you learn.
Studying Politics can be one of the most fulfilling subjects because there is so much scope to apply what you learn to your everyday life. There are so many avenues to represent people and help shape the change you want to see in the world.
Universities are where movements are nurtured and it’s so much easier to be a part of something bigger than yourself while you’re still a student. Studying Politics should inspire you to do more, not just to feel like you know more.
Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities during your studies? If so, how did this impact upon your Loughborough experience?
I was an active member of the intra-mural basketball teams for Faraday during my time at the university, captaining and then coaching the teams in my first and second year.
However, the best thing I did with a small group of my friends was found the Ethnic Minorities Network (EMN). With help from the then Welfare & Diversity Exec, and the BAME officer, we established the first sub-committee for the representation of the University’s ethnic minority students.
While we were only able to carry out small campaigns and events within the year of our inception, the committee really took off in my final year. We had many more events with guest panels, and launched the “Uncensored Thoughts” YouTube series, where students would talk openly about their experiences as a minority navigating the education system and social issues important to them. Through the strong year we had, I made lifelong friends that still inspire and challenge me like they did then.
Can you tell us about your career journey so far?
I went into University hoping to graduate and possibly go into politics. Yet the more I studied, the less interested I became in becoming a part of the current institutions that govern us. While I loved my course for opening up my perception of the world and what it is to be an active citizen, it left me without a career path that I was interested in. I decided not to apply for jobs during my last year of university, choosing to instead focus on my dissertation. While I was at first pleased with the idea of relaxing after completing my studies, I quickly became bored within a week. However, I wasn’t interested in applying for jobs just for the sake of it. I took my time and successfully applied for a British Council-funded Generation UK Internship. I spent two months studying Mandarin and interning at ADISports in Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan Province of China, and the hub of hip hop culture in the Far East.
After completing my internship, I wasn’t ready to return to the UK just yet, and ended up travelling through Asia for an additional seven months. My original plan was to find a job out there, but with my language skills not up to the standard they’d need to be anything other than an English teacher, I found my way on the flight back home in time for the snap General Election in June.
Upon my return, I resumed my search for jobs here and saw the ad for my current job through the university careers network. My love for basketball as a teenager lead to a love for sneakers, and I was naturally attracted to the idea of working for the largest footwear retailer in the country. Upon getting the job offer, I was happy to find that I had been placed within size?. I’ve been a size? customer since my brother and I went hunting for the now-closed Covent Garden store before the first Nike Air Yeezy released. We used to spend every other weekend visiting the London stores to check out the weekly Air Jordan release and I never thought I would eventually be working for them myself.
Can you tell us more about your current role?
For the past two years, I’ve been based in Bury, Greater Manchester rotating through the multichannel departments learning about the digital marketing landscape first-hand through working in SEO, PPC, Social Media, Merchandising, and more.
I knew very little about the industry before joining and I’m now looking after multiple international accounts for our paid search marketing, managing the ads that you might see from size? on Google.