Global Graduates student thanks alumni mentors for helping to shape her future

Third year Geography student Jess Hamilton reflects on last year’s Global Graduates trip to Singapore and its lasting impact on her future career. Thanks to alumni volunteers and donors, the Global Graduates Programme continues to grow in numbers and support, as it completes its fifth summer of international mentoring.

Participating in the Global Graduates programme in Singapore last summer sits as one of the my best experiences during my time at Manchester. There are so many things that I gained from the programme like learning about Singaporean culture and the working environment, talking to experts about different career paths, practice my networking, and make some invaluable contacts and lifelong friends.

It was so useful to hear about the different career paths from Manchester alumni and to get the opportunity to ask questions in a casual and friendly environment. It was wonderful to see how much our alumni wanted to help us with our career paths, and were willing to answer all of our (many!) questions. Everyone we met offered us their contact details and encouraged us to get in contact with them after we left. As someone who knew they were interested in a career in finance but not entirely sure what I wanted to do within Finance, this trip was really useful because it allowed me to put questions to alumni and use their advice to guide my career decisions.

When the programme finished and we were back at Manchester, one of the mentors we met who works within investment banking kindly helped guide and support me throughout my applications to investment banks. I am so grateful for this help, and with this guidance I was able to secure a position at an investment bank this summer.

Visiting another city and culture from a professional viewpoint was also really interesting and we were able to learn of differences between the working culture of the UK and Singapore, something that you wouldn’t necessarily get to know otherwise. For instance, how working hours in Singapore are generally longer but lunch breaks are nearly always taken away from the desk and are an important part of the day – something I think the UK could benefit from! Singapore is also a really interesting blend of cultures and in our short time there the alumni helped us explore this and learn more about the history of this booming city.

Being part of the Global Graduates has not only given me an edge for my future career and something interesting to talk about when applying for jobs, but it also encouraged me to really get my head down and start thinking about my future plans. I think it’s fair to say that all four of us returned to England really eager and enthusiastic to start researching jobs and careers and even the possibility of working overseas. The support and guidance we received was truly invaluable help and I am so thankful to have been given this opportunity.