Clearing 2021

Well, it’s fair to say that volunteering has looked a little different over the past year. When we previously have been able to bring alumni together with each other, current students and applicants, the last year has been limited to online opportunities. We are so grateful that you’ve embraced this change and continued coming together as a community, showing the true Essex Spirit.  


 To celebrate National Volunteers’ Week, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anthony Forster, shares his message with you:  


This year, nearly 300 alumni volunteered to support the Essex community and we’re so grateful. When we’ve needed each other most, our alumni volunteers have been on hand to share their wisdom and advice, career insights, inspirational stories, and mentoring skills. We hope that next year might see a return of in-person volunteer opportunities, and in the meantime we will still have plenty of ways that you can continue to get involved online.  


Here’s a reminder of how you can get involved: 


  • featuring in our marketing materials 

  • speaking at events in-person or online 

  • contributing to our social media 

  • chatting to applicants about life at Essex 

  • providing career support 

  • mentoring  


If you’d like to know more about any of these opportunities, just register your interest and we’ll be in touch.


Why I volunteer with Essex


Mike Rose (MA Latin American Government and Politics, 1983) 


Spending many years working in journalism for the BBC covering the Tiananmen Square protests in China in 1989 and the capture of Saddam Hussein, Mike participated in a fascinating interview for a blog on his exciting career. 


“My time at Essex gave me invaluable tools to help me succeed as a journalist, researcher and Latin America specialist. For this, I will be eternally grateful. I volunteered to share my career story as part of a ‘Spotlight on… blog. I enjoyed reminiscing about my time at Essex and hope to inspire students with my advice.” 


Chantelle Bell (BSc Genetics, 2016)  


Graduating five years ago, Chantelle is transforming the future of women's health as co-founder of Syrona Health, a healthcare company focused on empowering women to monitor their gynaecological health at home. Chantelle has featured in marketing materials, spoken at a Women in STEM event in 2019 and has very recently spoken at our After Essex webinar inspiring other graduates with her story.  


“I volunteered for an ‘After Essex’ webinar to share my story on my career post-Essex. I volunteered to show the diversity in the career types that are out there and to share my path on creating a business within something I am passionate about, gynaecological health and closing the gender research gap. It meant a lot to share this with alumni, students and staff at Essex to help inspire others. Overall, I really enjoyed the event! 


Ian Duke (BA Economics, 1994) 


Having not heard from Essex for some time, we were delighted to be back in touch with Ian, Deputy Chief Executive at Crawley Borough Council, who saw a LinkedIn post looking for volunteers for an employability talkIan spoke virtually to 170 students about his role and the career opportunities available to an Economics graduate within the local government 


“It was great to give a little back to somewhere that still means a lot to me nearly 30 years on. The session was well facilitated and made this a really enjoyable experience. I hope to be able to do this again, but next time in person.”