From 10 Downing Street to UK Space Agency - Inspirational alumni to return to university

Alumni who have forged impressive careers at 10 Downing Street and UK Space Agency will return to the University of Hull to share their inspirational journeys.

Beyond Hull: Destination Inspiration gives students at the university a chance to hear from recent graduates and pick up tips on finding the right career for them.

High-profile speakers at the event, taking place on Wednesday, March 4 in the university’s Canham Turner building, include Eden Barnes – who works behind the imposing door of Number 10 Downing Street – and Joshua Western, whose own career has taken off at the UK Space Agency.

Jeni Bird, alumni engagement officer at the University of Hull, said: “We’d like you to join us at our ‘Beyond Hull’ event to come and hear from our recent graduates as we hear them discuss their career path after university.

“We’d like to inspire you on just exactly where your degree could take you and how your subject of study does not have to restrict and define you.

“We want to demonstrate how you should be bold with your applications and not dwell on set-backs you may have faced.

“Our graduates are here for you and they want to hear any questions you may have about the different roles and sectors they have gone into and give you their best bits of advice for your future.”

Six graduates from the University will feature at the event, which starts at 2pm on March 4.

Here are the details of all of our returning speakers, and a short biography of their career history:

Eden Barnes, 10 Downing Street

Eden's sandwich year at Conservative Party HQ during her degree lead to some great opportunities. Her current role involves organising the Prime Minister's events, and working across teams to creatively communicate Government announcements.

Alex Dunn, Bank of England 

Alex Dunn is the private secretary to the Executive Director, Risk (CRO) at the Bank of England. He has worked at the Bank for five years in roles across risk, regulation and communications, and previously worked for two MPs in the House of Commons.

Joshua Western, Space Forge & UK Space Agency

In 2018 Joshua founded Space Forge with the ambition to save our planet. Space Forge develops technologies to significantly reduce the burden of humans on the environment. He also works at the UK Space Agency, assessing risks to the UK’s satellites and works across Europe to facilitate technology sharing and co-operation.

Heather Lacey, Eversheds LLP, and disability campaigner

Heather is an award-winning disability rights campaigner and activist, whose experience of being a young disabled woman with cerebral palsy has helped to inform her work. She is part of law firm Eversheds Sutherland’s Wellbeing and Ability network, and has represented the firm as a judge for the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative awards.

Rebekah Heaton, L'Oreal

Rebekah started at L'Oreal on a graduate scheme, working across the company to experience different functions and build core skills. After that, she moved into a national account role managing data and profit/loss on a daily basis. She is now a category manager.

Michael Foster, Humberside Police

Michael works at Humberside Police as a digital and marketing officer, having previously taken on further study through the Chartered Institute of Marketing whilst working as a marketing and sales coordinator for a manufacturing company.

Ms Bird said: “Come and hear from our enticing line up of speakers including Eden Barnes, who is now organising the Prime Minister’s events calendar at Number 10, to Josh Western who worked for the UK Space Agency and has now gone on to set up his own business; Spaceforge.”

The event will include an introduction from each speaker about their career journey so far and then move on to a panel discussion, chaired by current student Tom O’Neil.

There will also be an opportunity for students to ask one-to-one questions over coffee and cake after the panel discussion.

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