Ulster alumni lend support to University-wide campaigns

We are delighted to have worked closely with our alumni over the past few months to strengthen relationships and create unique and meaningful ways to involve them in Ulster University campaigns.

   7 September 2020

In the six months since lockdown was announced and working from home became our new norm, the University has had to adapt and think of new ways in which to work. For us, engaging with our graduates, creating opportunities for them to remain involved with Ulster life and maintaining relationships with our key stakeholders all became challenging in the absence of face-to-face meetings, travel and event opportunities. So much of what we knew and relied on was gone and we had to embrace a virtual world like never before.

With a global network of alumni and supporters, we are well versed in communicating in an online space, however, with new objectives and changed times, the entire University staff had to become more creative and look for new ways and opportunities to meet the needs of our graduates, students and prospective students.

It is thanks to our alumni and supporters that we were able to provide expert opinions, thought leadership, support and advice during the last six months and we want to sincerely thank all those who have played a role in any way in helping us with our work. We’ve already brought you coverage of some of the ways in which our alumni have lent their support to date, from graduation well wishes to getting involved in employability and careers talks through the UnLockU campaign and since then, we’re delighted to share even more great examples with you.

A big thank-you to alumni Gareth Neil, Shona Jago-Curtis, Gary McLaughlin, Yvonne Mitchell, Maria Arguelles, Lydia McClelland and Sarah McAnallen who recently shared their experiences and expertise with our student and graduate entrepreneurs on a range of topics including the importance of understanding the financial elements of your business, using the ABC 100 Concept to provide clarity during a crisis, adapting your Communications strategy and the importance of content marketing during the present time. Thank-you to all for taking the time to record video messages and take part in these webinars - they provided some hugely valuable lessons that we can all learn from.

Ulster University Business School recently launched its new podcast series, The Business of Possibility, hosted by former BBC journalist and presenter and honorary Ulster graduate, Wendy Austin. The series takes a deep dive into the world of business in Northern Ireland, exploring how local business leaders have turned adversity into advantage. Thank-you to Wendy and a number of our other graduates including Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, Ciaran Doherty, General Manager of Huhtamaki Foodservice UK and Gareth Irvine, founder of Copeland Gin Distillery for taking part and sharing their stories.

Finally, some of our best-known graduates have recently lent their support to the University’s student recruitment campaigns, helping us promote our campuses as great places to study. Thanks to TV presenter Joe Lyndsay, Cool FM Breakfast presenter and DJ, Pete Snodden and Head of Digital Catapult NI, Dr Adrian Johnston for sharing their experiences of their time studying at our Coleraine and Magee campuses. Pete and his colleague Rebecca McKinney, also an Ulster alumna, recently took part in our first ever Virtual Open Day aimed at equipping new and prospective students with all the information about studying at Ulster.

We look forward to continuing to work with our alumni and sharing more stories of their support across the University. If you would like to get involved with one of our campaigns or volunteer your time to offer support or advice to our students or graduates, please contact the Alumni Relations team and we will be delighted to work with you.