Alumni

Alumni profile - Ruth Mensah

I wanted to experience working within the Higher Education sector and as I had such a positive experience whilst studying at Queen Mary, I thought it would be a great next step to enhance my career development by working within the Careers and Enterprise department in the programme team!

28 November 2019

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What did you study at Queen Mary and what are you doing now? I studied Business and Management and I’m currently working within the Queen Mary University of London Careers and Enterprise department as an Employer Engagement Assistant.

Can you describe what a typical working day looks like for you? I think working in the Careers and Enterprise department and supporting student programmes – QConsult and QTaster, means that no day is really the same especially when the programmes are in full swing! However, what I can guarantee on a daily basis is that I'll be dealing with student enquiries in some capacity.

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary? I chose to study at Queen Mary mainly because of what the School of Business and Management offered in terms of flexibility in module choices. The fact that I had complete freedom to choose my modules and really tailor my degree in the second and third year of my course was a very influential and exciting factor. Aside from my course, I also really enjoyed the campus vibe and the diversity of the University when I visited on two occasions for open days. Although Mile End can be such a busy area, as soon as you enter the campus it feels like you are in a completely different environment – separate from all the hustle and bustle, yet still having the city a short train or bus ride away!

What do you think is unique about Queen Mary compared to other universities? Queen Mary is an incredibly diverse university and compared to some other London universities, all your lectures and seminars are based on campus which was very convenient.

What made you apply for a job at Queen Mary? How is your experience as an employee of the University different to your experience as a student? I wanted to experience working within the Higher Education sector and as I had such a positive experience whilst studying, I thought it would be a great next step to enhance my career development. From an employee perspective, one thing that has been different are the interactions I have with other students. Working within the Careers and Enterprise department in the programme team, has enabled me to see the ins and outs of how the student programmes are set up, managed and delivered which has been very interesting.

I understand that you graduated from the University this summer, how did you find the quick transition into a full time job so near to finishing your studies? Although it took some time getting used to and adapting, the quick transition from my final exam into my current role helped me maintain a working mind-set as well as a good structure which has definitely helped me within my job.

How did your time and study at Queen Mary help your career and development? My time at Queen Mary helped me maintain and develop many transferable skills which helped me enhance my employability through each stage. Within my time at Queen Mary I got involved in extracurricular activities as well as participating in a summer internship and these experiences have been incredibly influential for my career and development.

Which company did you do your summer internship with and what did you learn from your internship? I worked at Shearman & Sterling LLP and being based in the Business services within the law firm was a very interesting experience. I was able to work with other interns as well as liaise with the HR advisors in my department so I learnt how to adapt to different working styles and through this developed my team working and communication skills further.

Is there any advice you would give to current students or recent graduates considering their career options? I would say be active and consistent in your search. You may not know exactly what industry or role you want to pursue as a career and that is absolutely fine but just make sure you put yourself out there and apply for a variety of roles as this process will be an invaluable learning experience!

Why is it exciting to do what you do? Helping students and seeing their confidence develop throughout the student programmes that I assist is very rewarding and has been an interesting aspect of my job.

Did you participate in any extracurricular programmes or activities outside of your studies whilst at Queen Mary? I actually got involved in the QConsult programme in my first year at university and as I'm now assisting and supporting other students going through the programme as part of my role, it's been a sort of full circle experience! Whilst in my second and third year I was also involved within my School of Business and Management as a PASS Student Organiser, mentor and ambassador.

Can you expand on what you had to do as part of your participation in the QConsult programme? Why would you recommend that other students get involved with this programme? As part of the QConsult programme I worked with four other Queen Mary students from different degree disciplines to complete a project for our client. We visited our client’s office to discuss our approach to the project brief, conducted research and presented our findings which was highly appreciated by the company and they took on board some of our suggestions which was great. I would recommend the QConsult programme to other students because it is a fantastic opportunity to enhance many transferable skills, meet new people and engage directly with clients. You will also be supported by the QConsult team with training and coaching workshops so even if you’ve never done consultancy before, you’ll be well informed and equipped!

Do you have any role models that you look up to, both inside and outside of your field? My parents are definitely role models I look up to – their work ethic has always been something that motivates and inspires me to achieve.

Lastly, do you have a favourite spot on campus? Is so, where is it and why? One of my favourite spots on campus would be the canal side – it’s quite tucked away from everything else on campus and the perfect place to relax and have lunch when the weather’s up for it!