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Alumni – been there, done that...




Welcome to the alumni network’s blog. I’m hoping to use this to keep you up to date with what we’re doing for you in the alumni office and what our alumni (ex Sussex students) are doing now. Did you know that Ian McEwan, author of Atonement, and Philippa Gregory, author of The Other Boleyn Girl are both Sussex alumni? Not to mention BBC presenter Dermot Murnaghan, comedian Bob Mortimer and fashion director Tanya Sarne, founder of the label Ghost. We’ve got some really inspiring alumni and this year we want to include them more than ever in the Sussex community and campus activities.


This week, I arranged a talk with Dan Higgins, USSU comms officer, with two alumni working in the media; Peter Robinson, editor of and writer for NME and the Guardian, and Richard Innes, features editor of Zoo magazine. They outlined their careers so far to a room packed with students keen to learn what working in the media is ‘really’ like. We weren’t disappointed, discovering that good contacts and work experience are vital to a journalist, while, surprisingly, decent writing skills are only optional!


Building on this, the alumni network is organising Alumni Careers Week later this term (10-14 November), where you’ll get the chance to meet recent graduates and established alumni working in the media, as well as in business and law. We’re also putting on a talk with alumna (that’s a female graduate to you and me) and Channel 4 Secret Millionaire Gill Fielding and we're sponsoring a gig in the Cube with alumni bands Two Spot Gobi and The Fox Cubs.


Leaving uni seems like ages away, but we’re here to help you make the most of the fantastic Sussex network while you’re here and keep you in touch with your friends and classmates when you leave. After all, as Peter and Richard would tell you, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know…



Alumni Officer

Alumni Careers Week: stand out from the crowd!



Are you unsure what you want to do after university? Do you have some idea but want to know what doing your dream job is really like? Where do you get started? And how do you make yourself stand out from the crowd?


Stand out from the crowd!


Leaving uni may seem like ages away but it will come round faster than you think. So it’s a good idea to get your thinking cap on now about what you might want to do after you graduate. Maybe you have some idea but want to know what doing your dream job is really like, both the good stuff and the bad. Maybe you’ve got no idea and would like someone to talk to about how you can use your skills and make the most of what you’ve learned at Sussex. Or maybe you’re just wondering how to make yourself stand out from the crowd and get a job in the first place?


If you’re interested in working in Law, Business, Finance, the Media or Communications, then come along to Alumni Careers Week (10-14 November) and get some answers.


You’ll be able to chat to former Sussex students (alumni) working for companies like Barclays, BBC News and Eversheds, who can share their knowledge and expertise and get that all important insider information to help you take your first step on the career ladder.


The week will culminate with an inspiring talk from Channel 4 Secret Millionaire and Sussex alumna Gill Fielding and a gig with up-and-coming Sussex Alumni band Fox Cubs at The Cube.


The full events programme is listed below. Please RSVP for all events to including your course name and year. You do not need to RSVP for the USSU gig - tickets are available from the usual outlets.


Best wishes,



Alumni Officer


P.S. Why not get ready for the Alumni Careers Week events by attending CDEC’s Prepare for Employer Events session on Monday 27 October? See the CDEC website for details.



Events programme


Mon 10 November, Chowen Lecture Theatre, BSMS, 6 to 8pm

Business and Finance

Meet former students from companies like Barclays Capital and Natixis Investment Bank


Tuesday 11 November, Chichester Lecture Theatre, 6 to 8pm

Media, Press and Communications

Meet former students from companies like BBC News, The Daily Mail and Midnight Communications as well as the Director of Dr Who and the Co-Creator of Life on Mars


Tuesday 11 November, The Meeting House, 6 to 8pm


Meet both Lawyers and Barristers, including former students working at Clifford Chance, Eversheds and Garden Court Chambers

Plus: USSU Introducing… Fox Cubs, The Cube, 7.30pm to 1am

Head down to the Cube after Tuesday’s events for a special USSU gig to celebrate Alumni Careers Week. Sussex graduate Tim Baggot and friends formed Fox Cubs in July 2007, and since then have recorded live sessions for both Radio One and XFM and performed at Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds festivals.

With discounted entry if you attend the careers talks beforehand.


Thursday 13 November, Chowen Lecture Theatre, BSMS, 6 to 8pm

Gill Fielding: Secret Millionaire

Hear about Gill's inspiring journey from Sussex student to business woman to philanthropist, culminating in her appearance on Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire last year. Gill will be sharing her thoughts and insights on how to make yourself distinctive to potential employers and will be giving an inspirational talk on how everyone has the possibility to be wealthy.