Development & Alumni Relations Office 

GRADUATE PROFILE PROVIDERS – CELEBRATING VOLUNTEERS’ WEEK 2021 AT QUEEN’SMale in dark jacket and tie and female in salmon coloured top against Volunteers' Week backdrop of colourful hands

01 June 2021

Getting the celebrations underway for Volunteers’ Week at Queen’s (1- 7 June), today we acknowledge and thank all those graduates who provide the University with career profiles – for online class notes, for faculty and departmental websites and for student recruitment prospectuses, careers-related events and news stories.

During the week and across a number of areas, Queen’s is focusing on some of the many hundreds of graduates who, during the last 12 months, have volunteered in different ways in support of the University. You can find out more about volunteering as an alumni here.

Today we acknowledge all those who provide graduate profiles – details of how their University experience and the subjects they studied have helped them in their careers – or news of a special achievement, which shows where a Queen’s degree can lead. Such information helps to inform prospective students of the benefits of studying at Queen’s.

“We love to hear how Queen’s graduates are getting on their careers and will always welcome news of individual achievements,” said Natasha Sharma, the University’s Alumni Relations Volunteer Manager.

A graduate profile can often provide a current student with a road map for their future career, highlighting pitfalls to be avoided, opportunities that they may not currently be aware of, or even flagging up extracurricular activities which will make a CV stand out from the crowd.

“By profiling their careers, and their time at Queen’s, alumni like Dr Marie Bradley (pictured above) are an inspiration to future generations of civil servants, broadcasters and third sector leaders,” added Natasha.

Dr Bradley shared details of her academic and career path; she obtained her Master’s in Pharmacy from Queen’s in 2005 and a PhD in pharmacoepidemiology four years later. Since leaving the University, she has undertaken extensive training and completed a three-year fellowship in the US. Her testimony is a valuable asset to graduates considering a similar degree or field; she has 10 years of experience as a pharmacoepidemiologist in academic, government and regulatory sectors in Europe and the US and currently works as a senior pharmacoepidemiologist at the US FDA.

Many graduates volunteer their personal endorsements for specific courses or qualifications that they have undertaken at Queen’s. Sharing their experiences with others potential Queen’s students, often working in very similar careers, can help to sell the advantages of a particular professional qualification or degree course.  

HAPP alum and journalist, Bill Neely (pictured above), is one of many such graduates, who celebrated his degree and where it has brought him: “I think my degree has been hugely helpful in my career. As a journalist in Northern Ireland, my background education in Irish history gave me the confidence to challenge statements made by politicians, or to put present crises into a historical context.” Neely was Chief Global Correspondent for NBC News, from 2014-2021.

“Often an individual graduate achievement, which an alumnus or alumna is prepared to share with us through a news story that we then share with our alumni around the world, can hugely enhance the reputation of the course they studied. This is another very important way volunteering,” said Natasha.

Graduate, Adam McGibbon recently picked up the David & Goliath Award for an environmental campaign he pioneered, the UK Overseas Fossil Fuel Campaign. Adam’s campaign had a significant impact on UK policy; in December last year, the Government announced that all taxpayer support for fossils. Sharing his achievement has been an inspiration for many other students at Queen’s who want to make an impact: “This was a campaign run on a shoestring budget, but with a massive global impact. It's been really encouraging to hear about other governments who are set to follow the UK's lead”.

AHSS has been featuring their alumni guests in a podcast series, Alumni Anthologies, to show how their graduates have excelled in a vast array of diverse careers, both locally and internationally. Alumni Anthologies is a collection of stories from past students about their experiences from university and beyond, and features Kelly Andrews, Chief Executive Women's Aid; Sean Doyle, Director of Unscripted at The Walt Disney Company, and more!

While the contribution of profile and commendations could be important for the future career of an individual Queen’s student, the simple act of providing that career pen picture could also be beneficial for the volunteer graduate.

“For our alumni volunteers,” continued Natasha, “volunteering can also be a really great way to develop their own transferable skills. It can help broaden and expand their personal networks, and in most cases it has a really positive impact on the individual’s mental health and wellbeing.

“And the more you do it, the greater the buzz!” she added.

For further details on becoming a graduate volunteer at Queen’s University Belfast – such as becoming a career mentor, providing a work place learning opportunity, or assisting with student recruitment – please contact Alumni Volunteering Manager, Natasha Sharma.

For general enquiries about this story or to submit a graduate news item, please contact Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office, Queen’s University Belfast.


Back to Main News









Top of Page