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School of Business and Management

Degree Apprentices host panel event with third sector professionals

On Wednesday 9 December, the School of Business and Management was delighted to host the Charity Sector Industry Spotlight Panel, hosted by two of our talented degree apprentices.


The event was part of the extremely popular Industry Spotlight Series, organised by the School’s Business Development Team. The series is a bespoke programme of events designed to bring students virtual careers learning side by side with industry talks and Q&As. These exclusive events give students the opportunity hear from those in industry, as they discuss their career pathways and the impact COVID19 has had on their sector.

The charity sector panel was the first to be hosted by students - Noama Chaudhry and Catherine Hogan. Noama and Catherine first joined the School in 2019, enrolling on the BSc Business Management with Social Change degree. This Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship was specifically designed for the charity sector, making Noama and Catherine perfect choices to host.

The panel itself was comprised of industry professionals from the charity sector, including:

  • Kay Ali- Interim Deputy Director, Development & Communications at Relief International
  • Shivonne Graham- Managing Director at Women for Women International - UK
  • Rowena Estwick- National and International Partnerships Manager at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Charity
  • Michelle Agyakwa- Resourcing Manager at Unicef UK
  • Kerry Downes- Managing Director at West Ham United Foundation.

The panel discissed various topics, including: how Covid-19 has affected the non-profit sector and how the sector is responding, advice for those interested in joining or working for charities and the key challenges and opportunities faced by the panelists. 

About the opportunity, Catherine said: "When my cohort was asked if anyone would like to host the last QMUL SBM Spotlight panel, I knew it was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss. As a second year UG student, it is not that often you get the opportunity to network with such high-profile leaders in the charity sector. It was truly inspirational to be able to talk so openly and collaborate with other female leaders in the sector and gave me hope for my personal future career prospects. I went out of my comfort zone to co-host the session by facilitating the discussion in front of an audience, asking questions and moderating the chat with another student, which are all employable skills that will help me in the future. I remember one of the panellists gave a really valuable piece of advice to “not be afraid just because you’re new” when referring to a job or industry, and so my main takeaway from the event was to always put myself out there, whether that be through attending networking or panel events, or be as small as connecting with others on LinkedIn. I would strongly encourage other students to get involved in attending sessions like these to build their network and learn from leaders in industries you are curious about – you will leave feeling inspired and optimistic about your career prospects.

Noama also commented: "I really enjoyed co-hosting the Charity Sector Spotlight. It was an excellent opportunity to engage in and learn more about the sector from a diverse range of female leaders. It was very insightful to find out more about both how their charities are faring during COVID-19, as well as learn valuable insight into the panellists’ personal journey to their professional position."