A visit from alumnus Ray Jones 60 years after graduating!

Ray points to himself in a picture from uni!

Raymond (Ray) Jones paid a visit to the University of Brighton – 60 years after graduating.

The 81-year-old contacted the UoB Students Union out of the blue and they responded by inviting him for a tour of the campuses during which Raymond declared: “My years in Brighton were the best of my life.”

Ray graduated from what was then Brighton Technical College near The Level in 1958 with a Diploma in Engineering, and OND in Mechanical Engineering and a First Class Intermediate and Second Class Final City and Guilds Machine Shop Engineering.

Ray chose Brighton to study because “it was the best in the world” but the driving force for him gaining a college education came from his parents – he was ashamed at failing his

Ray (bottom right) with Brighton Students’ Association colleagues 

school exams and wanted to make his mother and father proud. His head teacher helped him win a place at college by writing a testimonial to the college principal – and he was accepted.

He said: “I was determined – I did not want to let my parents down again and I knew I had something in me.”

Ray dedicated himself to his studies: “I’d wake at 6am every day and study for two hours and as soon as I came home from college I’d study for another two hours. I wanted my parents to be proud of me and, in the end, they were.”

Throughout his time in Brighton Ray was supported by his parents. They paid his term fees of £127 and sent him four £1 notes and a ten shilling note for his keep every week for the four years, from their home in Llanelli, Wales.

In those days students wore ties and jackets and as for his highlights, he said: “That’s easy, it was the lunchtime dances in the college’s main hall. They had a record player, speakers and a DJ. It was a penny to get in and that would buy you a record choice – something by Johnny Mathis, Perry Como or those new fellas, Bill Haley and Elvis-someone-or-another.” Ray met his wife at an evening dance in the college hall and the couple later married and had three children.

It wasn’t an entirely study-focused time for Ray and during one evening out with friends, he was accused of defacing the statue of Queen Victoria near the Royal Pavilion in Brighton. He insists female friends were responsible but it was he who was forced to clean up.

Recreation of Ray’s photograph with the current sabbatical officers

Ray was Secretary of what was then Brighton Students’ Association, now the Students’ Union, and he still meets with surviving colleagues to this day. “The main thing I remember is the people, friends for life, and it’s a very strange feeling coming back after all these years – I can still see myself amongst my friends here 60 years ago.”

Ray said of today’s Students’ Union officers: “They’re fantastic, wonderful people.” Ray was contacted by Amy Jaiteh, the Students’ Union Vice-President Welfare and Campaigns, who said: “We were really excited to meet Ray and to hear some of his memories of when he was here.”

Ray played rugby for the college, as does Students’ Union President Calum McNally. Calum said: “Speaking with Ray, it’s incredible how much has changed as far as the fabric of buildings is concerned, and yet, how little has changed regarding student life. I listen to Ray and think ‘that’s like me all those years ago’. It’s a lovely story.”

After graduating Ray, who now lives near Dorking, Surrey, enjoyed a successful career. His final job before retiring in 2002 was Project Manager for the British Standards Institute, which he joined in 1992.  He was responsible for the production and publication of the ‘Knowledge Management – a guide to good practice’ for the Institute’s predecessor, the National Standards Body.

Previously, he spent 20 years covering projects in aviation, mining and general engineering, and was responsible for the introduction of the first batch of Boeing 747 – 400 Full Flight Simulators and of heavy duty tunnelling machines for the British Mining and Civil Engineering industries.

Ray shares memories from his time as a student

He conducted research for Bristol Siddely Engines and worked with Sir Frank Whittle on the ‘Turbo Drill’ project, and obtained four engineering patents during his career.

During his tour Ray met the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Chris Pole, and was impressed by the vastly improved and expanded buildings and facilities the University offers today.

But would he come back and study again? He said: “I often have dreams about things in the past and my time in Brighton, but being a student again? No way.”

That said, he would definitely be welcomed back in a flash. In the alumni department, we found a report card from Ray’s head of department all those years ago.

It read: “Lively, pleasant; worked reasonably well.

“Conduct – excellent.”

Health and Management Alumna Preeta Varghese tells us about her career in healthcare

I graduated with a MSc. in Health and Management earlier this year. I currently work for the Surrey and Sussex NHS Healthcare Trust as a Team Leader in the Outpatients Department.

Prior to this, I worked for a private healthcare group in Belfast, which is where I’m originally from. I wanted to further my education and advance my career hence, I decided to resign my job and do Master’s full-time. My Master’s degree helped me develop management knowledge and skills around areas such as leading and transforming services, leadership roles, managing people in the public sector and health law and ethics and my dissertation topic was based on NHS performance targets. The research I did around various topics as part of my modules and dissertation gave me a good insight into various subjects such as how to manage people and about National Standards with regard to waiting times, in great detail. The latter greatly helped me in my current role to understand the consequences of breaching waiting time targets and how to manage waiting time lists to provide patients with appointments within appropriate timescales.

When I decided to relocate to Surrey to begin my career in the NHS, not only that I had to get adjusted to a new city, but I also had the challenge of learning about the new job, hospital work environment and culture. It was the exact same feeling I had when I moved to Brighton for the first time- it was both nerve wrecking and exciting at the same time!

Although I always wanted to work for the public health sector, it was quite a challenge to take up the job as I had no previous experience of working in the NHS or managing a team. However, when I got to know that my Master’s degree was the deciding factor for the interview panel to offer me the role, I felt confident that I could manage a team on my own.

My Master’s degree along with the work experience and skills I gained over the years, significantly helped me find my feet in the new work environment. I have been able to successfully apply a few management theories and concepts at my workplace, in the span of just six months, particularly on ways to motivate my team and to adapt different management styles according to the context.

Recently, I accepted a new job offer, which will be on a higher pay band, within the same hospital and I believe the new role will enable me to make more use of my academic knowledge and skills to manage a bigger team and to handle more responsibilities.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Brighton, both my academic life and the city life. I was lucky to have had the most supportive lecturers who were always available to offer help and guidance, when needed. A tip for students currently pursuing their degree is to stay focused and to seek help from your lectures when necessary and to make the most of the resources provided by the University to ace your degree!

OSTC Brighton v Sussex Trading Challenge 2018

The OSTC Trading Challenge facilitated by alumni Sam Baker provides a unique opportunity for finance students to test their trading skills on a live simulated trading platform. The virtual environment allows students to trade financial derivatives across a range of products including; commodities, equities and fixed income.

The University’s OSTC trading room enables students to use virtual funds to invest in the market as they see fit. The markets and industry news are real; the positions, profits and losses are fictional.

The challenge teaches students to make decisions under pressure, take calculated risks and experience the excitement of the trading floor. The student with the largest profit at the end of the competition is invited to a week-long experience as a Junior Trader at the OSTC Brighton office. The top five traders from the event receive a trophy at the annual awards evening held in Brighton.

This year’s event was a close affair with Brighton taking the overall victory for the second year a row! This takes the overall series to 3-3 making the competition in 2019 even more exciting.

The event as always was very well received with over 40 students attending each of the launch events and continually asking questions throughout the game period. There was a huge range of skill bases involved, from first time traders to those that had traded before on their own.

The aim of the event is offer students a taster of life as a trader to allow them to make

an informed decision as to whether this is the career for them. It also enables OSTC to interact with students who have a passion for the financial markets and have implemented successful strategies over the course of the 5 week event.

OSTC Brighton have a number of alumni from both Brighton and Sussex universities, with previous winners still succeeding at the highest level within the OSTC group.

‘As an alumni of Brighton University, it gives me great pleasure to offer the same opportunity to others that I received when I left university. Working with OSTC not only gave be a great start to my career, but changed my life too’ – Sam Baker

In order to become a successful trader we look for graduates with good numerical and analytical skills; an entrepreneurial attitude; a disciplined approach to work; and the commitment and dedication to succeed.

Celebrating 25 years in Kenya!

A small group of graduates reunited in Nairobi, Kenya to mark 25 years of Brighton achieving university status. Angeline Elliott from the International Office facilitated this gathering at the hotel she was staying at during her travels.

She enjoyed the opportunity to meet with the graduates and described the evening as an intimate social event for alumni to gather and share stories about their experiences in Brighton and of the University.

The graduates updated Angeline and each other on their career successes.  All of them are employed in various interesting roles. Among them were two recent architecture graduates in work placements as part of the process to becoming fully qualified architects.

Also Mathew Muraya (International Hospitality Management, class of 2016) who is training to work in digital marketing and was due to attend a business meeting at 10pm that same night!

The event was a great opportunity for the graduates to connect with each other and share their stories of their time studying.

We are trying to hold 25 gatherings all over the world to mark 25 years of Brighton achieving university status. If you would like to host a gathering of graduates to mark 25 years, please get in touch by emailing alumni@brighton.ac.uk.

International award for Freya

A University of Brighton alumna has won an international award for design.

Freya Richmond is the only designer from the UK among the three winners of the Printeriors 2018 design competition, run by the

Federation of European Screen Printers Associations (FESPA), a global federation of 37 national associations for the screen printing, digital printing and textile printing community. Two other winners are from Sweden and Denmark.

The winning designs will feature in this year’s Printeriors Airport Lounge of the Future, at FESPA Global Print Expo, which takes place from 15 to 18 May 2018 at the Messe exhibition centre in Berlin.

The competition was run in conjunction with ARTS THREAD, a world-leading network for new creatives, received 180 entries.

Freya, who graduated from the University with a BA(Hons) in Printed Textiles with Business Studies last summer, is now working for Richard Quinn screen printing and sublimation printing on to fabrics.

She said: “Wow, this is hugely exciting and what an incredible opportunity for me as a print designer to see my prints come to life at FESPA. Arts Thread have been a huge support in emerging designers, welcoming them in to the industry. Thank you to Artsthread and FESPA for choosing my designs to be part of this amazing show. Very much looking forward to Berlin. ”

The winners were decided by competition judges: Christian Duyckaerts, FESPA President and owner of Retail Communicators; Christophe Aussenac, FESPA Vice President and director ATC Groupe; and Debbie McKeegan, textile ambassador for FESPA.

The brief was to design a pattern to be realised in every element of the Printeriors feature entitled ‘Airport Lounge of the Future 2030’. The final three designs will be used on furniture, walling, flooring, windows and soft furnishings.

Debbie McKeegan said: “The quality of entries for our first Printeriors competition was exemplary and a tribute to the talent of the next design generation. After careful consideration, and much deliberation, three designers offering a unique vision were selected.”

Christian Duyckaerts adds: “The number of good design entries made it very difficult to pick three winners. The winning designs reflect a perfect combination between design and colour selection within three totally different atmospheres and all of them very suitable for printed interior design. I’m looking forward to seeing how they are realised in Printeriors.”

The three winners have won a trip to FESPA 2018 in Berlin to see their designs come to life in Printeriors 2018. For more information on Printeriors and FESPA Global Print Expo visit: www.fespaglobalprintexpo.com.

To see all the winners and more information on ARTS THREAD, go to:  https://www.artsthread.com/fespa