Alumnus Kyle Frank tells us about his studies and setting up on his own!

Kyle Frank studied a BA Hons in Applied Psychology and Sociology and graduated in 2015. He has since set up his own vegan skincare company. He shares his story with us:

What you have got up to since leaving the university?

After leaving university I believe I was in bit of a panic mode – I was not certain on what I wanted to do. I had the opportunity to be an English teacher, but after careful consideration I felt it was not the right career for me. I took some time out – travelled to different countries, and experienced diverse cultures and attitudes. What I learnt along my journey was truly a pivotal moment, and allowed me to free myself from the eurocentric understanding of career and work.

I worked part-time in fashion, while studying closely alongside The Prince’s Trust and completed their business enterprise programme.

I had the opportunity to work with amazing people in business who are specialists in their field, and was learning the key fundamentals of business. I also volunteered with amazing local community projects.

What you are doing now?

I am a entrepreneur – I launched my own self-funded vegan skincare company, FRANK’S REMEDIES. After having acne for several years, and not seeing permanent results, I made it my quest to create a natural solution. Through my own means of study in antiquated literature, and absorbing information on how different cultures deal with acne. I created and formulated my own natural skincare range that finally cleared my skin. A highlight has been being featured in ELLE and Vegan Life as a top ethical brand!

https://www.franksremedies.com

@franksremedies

How your degree helped you with your career?

Studying for my degree, gave me a great deal of understanding of society in the ways of which we work together as a collective. Other than knowledge on theories, and theoretical perspectives, it has equipped me with skills that I use on a daily basis, and has enriched my understanding of how business works in a commercial & corporate world.

Any tips for students or recent graduates?

Don’t overthink the future, focus on the moment – its all going to be OK. Also have a friendship group that you can work on projects/assignment(s) with together – I think it’s important to smile and laugh during your experience! It doesn’t need to be so serious all the time.

For the graduates, focus on your passion/message, and see how you can help the world & make sure to network. Feel free to take some time out if you need to, there is no pressure to have it all together! 😊

What is your standout memory from your time at Brighton?

There are many, but I believe a standout memory was being with my friends. We all supported each other, and spent many fun nights in the library together completing assignments! I think it was helpful and important to have that. As as a student, you can easily burn yourself out, so it was great to have friends around you who knew when one of us needed a change of scenery. In hindsight, I would say that memory alone was an essential stage in my university journey were I felt confident, calm and relaxed with my studies/assignments & this positively reflected in my grades.

Thanks for sharing your story Kyle. Don’t forget to check out his skincare range and follow him on Twitter (@franksremedies). If you have a story to share with us, please get in touch alumni@brighton.ac.uk.

25 for 25 – a year of celebrations

The academic year 2017-2018 saw the University of Brighton celebrated 25 years of achieving university status. We decided to mark the occasion by facilitating 25 gatherings of alumni or other events to mark the occasion.

We had gatherings in New York, Kenya, China, Hong Kong, Eastbourne, Melbourne, Thailand as well as many other activities including an alumni book launch, Brighton Festival events and alumni reunions happening in Brighton. Alumni, students and staff came together to contribute to a year of exciting celebrations.

We kicked off by teaming up with alumnus Gavin George (BA Hons Business Studies) who owns the Laine Pub Company. We helped brew Polygon (geddit?) our own special beer to mark the celebration with the help of one of our PhD students. Alumni, students and staff all attended and enjoyed the sounds of DJ, MC Cashback (partner college graduate in FDA Music Production) who played songs from 1992-3.

After a jam packed year of activities, we rounded off the year with an evening at the i360 including a talk by honorary graduate and chief engineer John Roberts and an exclusive sunset flight. We raised £200 towards the university’s student support fund at this event.

A special anniversary edition of The Brighton Effect, our magazine for alumni and friends will be published next month, celebrating the last 25 years and looking to the future. Sign up for our blog updates to make sure you don’t miss any sneak peaks…..

 

 

 

Dr Chaudhary Nazar tells his story

International alumnus Chaudhary tells his story about his studies at the University of Brighton….

I graduated with a MSc in Nephrology from University of Brighton in 2012. I currently work as Overseas Research Supervisor with University of Brighton as well as a Registrar Nephrologist in private health sector of Pakistan.

Prior to this, I worked in Nephrology Department Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad, Pakistan, as a senior medical officer for 3 years. My Master’s degree in Nephrology helped me in retaining that job. The research I did around various topics as part of my modules and dissertation gave me a good insight into various subjects of kidney diseases. The latter greatly helped me in my current clinical role to understand the importance of research in keeping myself uptodate with kidney diseases such as a nephrologist. This also helps to boost my interest in research and due to that interest I have published more than 70 articles with peer reviewed journals relating to different areas of renal specialties involving diabetes, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, hemodialysis and transplant. Furthermore, due to my strong research basis and concepts build up at University of Brighton I became editor of different peer reviewed journal including Journal of Renal Injury, Journal of Nephropharamacology and many more. I presented my research paper to different international conferences and as well as national conferences in Pakistan. I also spread the concept of research at Shifa Research Clinical Center by taking lectures and thus guiding many medical doctors too.

I still remember when I moved to Brighton for the first time to complete my studies- it was both nerve wrecking and exciting at the same time! It was a tough time but learning experience too. Today I remember Brighton city as the vibrant place where I build great memories and friendships. It was a reason I applied for overseas research supervisor job at University of Brighton to help students from Asians countries in their various research module and dissertation in completing them. I believe myself lucky to graduate from University of Brighton, then I become an alumni and a supervisor, thus, a chance to return  to the university and live again great memories I build in the city of Brighton.

Recently, I accepted a new job offer, as a Assistant Professor Medicine from one of recognized and privileged institution in Saudi Arabia which will be on a higher pay band 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. My time at University of Brighton motivated me to complete my further postgraduate study from United Kingdom. Later I completed MD Internal Medicine from University of Buckingham, UK in 2015, Master in Public Health from University of Bedfordshire, and Fellow of Royal Society of Public from Royal Society of Public Health.

A tip for students currently pursuing their degree is to stay focused and to seek help from your professors and colleagues. Moreover, remember to make good memories too so that when you remember them in sad times they bring smile on face.

If you would like to tell your story in one of our blogs, please do get in touch by emailing  us at alumni@brighton.ac.uk.

Be Fabulous!

Work hard, follow your passion and “be fabulous – just like me” was the advice given to University of Brighton graduates.

Photograph by Simon Dack

Alison Lapper MBE, artist and author, was keynote speaker on 31 July, the first day of the University’s summer graduation ceremonies at the Brighton Centre.

Born without arms and with shortened legs, a condition called phocomelia, Alison is a full member of Foot Painting Artists of the World.

She graduated with a first class degree in Fine Art from the University of Brighton in 1993 and in 2014 she was further honoured with a Doctor of Arts from the University in recognition of her major contribution to the arts and as an ambassador for people with disabilities.

Alison told graduates: “This is a really special day and I hope you’ll cherish it as much I still do mine all these years later.

“You will all be going onto your new careers – enjoy it, make the most of it, don’t let anybody talk you out of what you want to do. If you’ve got a goal, go for it and enjoy it – this is really just the beginning.”

Alison advised graduates to work hard and said: “If you follow your passion as I have done I hope you will get to where you want to be.

“Congratulations to all of you. This is a new beginning for you and I hope you have an amazing career, time, whatever you do with your life.

“And one thing to remember – be fabulous, just like me!”

Welcome Britney!

A video welcoming Britney Spears to Brighton and Hove Pride has been produced with dancers led by a University of Brighton graduate.

The U.S. superstar will be headlining the main stage at Pride on August 4, performing her complete Las Vegas show Piece of me.

Brighton-based 201 Dance Company, who launch a nationwide tour of their acclaimed show SKIN in Brighton in September, and choreographer Andrea Walker assembled the city’s best talent to create a dance video to the 2007 track Gimme More! as a welcome to Britney.

Included were dancers from Brighton’s Streetfunk school run by JP Omari, the multi-award-winning Hip Hop dancer and choreographer who graduated with a BA(Hons) in International Business with French in 2003.

He said: “It was fantastic to be involved in such a great project. I run Brighton’s most successful streetdance school and it was a brilliant opportunity for my dancers.

“To be able to help and facilitate Andrea Walker in his dream to create a ‘welcome to Brighton’ video for Britney was an absolute pleasure. I have been a Britney fan right from the beginning and have seen her in concert three times.

“It is exciting to have her in our beautiful city. My business partner Annelies and I were happy for Andrea to rehearse at our Marina Studios and we shared the information with our dancers to be part of this exciting project.

“Andrea really captured the beauty of our city as well as the world-class

dancers of all ages we have.

“I hope he gets to meet Britney – I’d love to meet her too!”

JP credited the University: “It made me who I am and my course has been integral to me as a successful entrepreneur.”

To watch the Britney dance video, go to: https://www.facebook.com/201DanceCompany/videos/1996149777062311

Lighting up London

A University of Brighton graduate has been lighting up London’s most iconic buildings with political slogans.

Jack Mills, who graduated with BA(Hons) in Humanities and is now Print Features Editor on the magazine Dazed and Confused, teamed up with New York activist group The Illuminator who travel the world projecting messages onto high-visibility buildings.

Jack, 31, said: “For our project #AddressTheNation we took issues that matter most to our readers and projected them into the skyline of London – specifically, onto the Houses of Parliament, the Ministry of Justice, The Royal Courts of Justice, and Nelson’s Column. Across nine projections, we addressed top topics including Brexit, Donald Trump’s visit, the NHS and the abuse of trans people at London Pride.

“It was a first for Dazed and all went well – although a warden did try to move us along while we were projecting onto Nelson’s Column. No disrespect was intended, but this was a way to get our readers’ messages across. Many young people feel they aren’t being listened to by our government, and with Trump’s helicopters flying over London – a visit that many Londoners didn’t want – it felt like the perfect moment to make a big statement.

 

“There have been no complaints and we’ve been swamped with compliments.”

The Illuminator’s Emily Andersen told Dazed their main aim was to: “Shine a light on the urgent issues of our time – we’ve done a great job of having a moment of intervention, but also involving the power of the audience.”

Jack Mills worked in collaboration with Dazed’s Head of Video Bec Evans who is launching a short film about the night tonight (18 July) on dazeddigital.com.

Architecture alumni make the grade!

University of Brighton architecture graduates have scooped a technical design award for renovation and extension of a Grade 2 listed building.

The team, from Cityzen, the architecture and engineering practice in Portslade, beat competition from across the region to win the Best Extension or Alteration category in this year’s Local Authority Building Control South East Awards. All winners progress to the Grand Finals to be held in London later this year.

Cityzen director John Smith said planning for the conversion at Ditchling took two years and there were 54 planning conditions to observe.

John started out as a building services engineer and re-trained in architectural technology at the University of Brighton back in 2003 so he could “deliver coordinated design solutions”.

He said: “This combination of creativity and technical know-how was just what this project needed. It took nearly 200 drawings and sketches to detail what was required to rebuild and restore the property.”

The Cityzen team, including four University of Brighton alumni from the Architectural Technology course, joined Nutshell Construction on the project, overseen by Lewes District Council building control.

John said: “This project threw curve balls at every turn, but the clients and entire project team were determined to reach the end goal. The new extension has given the property back its balance and symmetry yet we’ve kept its historic soul.”

For more information about Cityzen, go to: www.cityzendesign.co.uk

Brighton Voices: Are Rights Universal?

Our second Brighton Voices event took place on Tuesday 15th May, again at the Sallis Benney Theatre, this time focussing on the question: “are rights universal?”

In the current climate when the rights of some have started to be eroded, the impact of this potentially affects us all, regardless of circumstance, background or status.  Growing numbers of people are disadvantaged by complex rather than binary issues such as estranged adults, affected by issues of sexuality, ethnicity and so on. As our rights are interdependent and interrelated, it is vital now more than ever that we stand together.

Professor Katherine Johnson (Director of the University of Brighton’s Centre for Transforming Sexuality and Gender) was joined by our alumni panellists, Tony Kalume (Chair of Diversity Lewes), Becca Bland (CEO, Stand Alone) and Adam Pearson (actor, presenter and award winning disability rights campaigner) to share their perspectives on the topic of universal rights in today’s world, before opening up the discussion to the audience of students, staff, alumni and local community members.

A range of elements were discussed including the impact of culture and religion on rights and how different generations view rights in different ways.  There was a lot of emphasis on the importance of education when considering rights and ensuring information was available to all.  The audience asked the panel how they dealt with instances of ignorance and examples were shared by all the panellists about times when they simply couldn’t make a difference and had to walk away.  As visible spokespeople for their minorities, they felt they were in a privileged position in terms of trying to help individuals and groups change their mind, but admitted that at times, it wasn’t easy to reach everyone.  Adam Pearson summed up his views on this in simple terms: “Be the best you can be, don’t worry about trying to get people to be the best they can be.”

Following the success of our first two Brighton Voices events, we will be organising more in the coming months focussing on other important and timely topics.  If you have any suggestions for topics we should cover and/or if you would like to be a panel member for a future event, please contact alumni@brighton.ac.uk.

Brighton Voices: is free speech possible?

On the evening of 14th May, the Sallis Benney Theatre played host to the first edition of Brighton Voices – a new series of events allowing the University of Brighton to bring together our outstanding academic experts with some of our amazing former students who are working in important fields and making significant advances in their areas of passion and interest.

The objective of each event is to encourage discussion and debate on timely societal issues, demonstrating that the University of Brighton and its wider community of alumni and friends can provide constructive and meaningful contributions on matters we all care about.

This first Brighton Voices event focussed on the question: “is free speech still possible?”.

Freedom of speech and expression has a long history that predates modern international human rights instruments – as early as the late 5th century BC. 70 years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted and stated: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Today, freedom of speech is recognised in international and regional human rights law and also that this should include via any medium, including the internet or through art forms.

But with the prevalence of social media, has there been an increase in open intolerance and what are our responsibilities to reflect and resist? Also, is it acceptable for writers to tackle any topic today or are some now off-limits?

Dr Jess Moriarty (principal lecturer in Creative Writing) chaired the event and was joined by our alumni panellists, Munroe Bergdorf (model and activist), Graham Duff (scriptwriter, producer and comic actor) and Tanaka Mhishi (poet, playwright and performer) to share their perspectives on the topic of freedom of speech in today’s society, before opening up the discussion to the audience of students, staff, alumni and local community members.

A range of elements were addressed including the changing language used to describe different statuses and how sometimes language can divide as well as unite us, the importance of using the right sort of opportunities to address bigotry, how creating abhorrent characters within fiction can help raise awareness and eradicate discrimination and how although we have a legal right to free speech, we also have a moral obligation in the way we use our rights.  The audience asked the panel members for their thoughts about the future of free speech and also whether there are still challenging times to navigate before Utopia could be reached.

A thoroughly enjoyable evening of lively and insightful discussion with a few laughs along the way!

More Brighton Voices events will be organised in the coming months to showcase the impact and expertise of our academics and alumni.

Brighton Business School celebrates 25 years of university status!

On 28th April Brighton Business School hosted a 25th anniversary gathering. Over 100 staff, students and alumni attended the event which took place in Mithras House.  The day began with a keynote speech by Business Studies with Finance alumna Laura Carlton (Director of Commercial Credit Integration at American Express). Laura reflected on the changes and innovations in the business world. This was followed by a panel discussion. The panel was chaired by Peter McCullen (Deputy Head of Brighton Business School (Quality)).

The panel comprised of three graduates and one student. They were:

Laura Carlton (Director of Commercial Credit Integration at American Express)

Ranjeet Kaile (Director of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust – MBA Public Service Management, 2011)

Stefana Brown (Operational Risk Manager Legal & General. BA (Hons) International Business, 2003, MSc Business Process Management 2004.)

Audrey Charowa (Student, International Business)

They discussed important changes in different areas of business.  There was a focus on innovation in technology which now allows organisations to run more smoothly and internationally and also discussion about constantly learning and testing new ideas. Audrey was able to take part in the discussion from the perspective of a current student which created an interesting contrast with the graduates who are all working in industry.

After the panel discussion, guests had the opportunity to choose their next activity.

They could try their hand investing in the stock market in the trading room.

If they wanted some relaxation, they could attend Aroma Chillax with Zoe Swan (Law Course Leader) where they had the chance to support their well-being with pure oils, self-massage and guided relaxation.

For the beer enthusiasts there was Craft beer tasting from Bison Beer and Sussex cheese to compliment it.

The students who attended the event then had the opportunity to speed network with alumni for half an hour before everyone took a coach to Brighton Museum for the evening reception.  At this point guests had a quick introduction from museum staff and then the opportunity to explore the exhibits as they wished.

Alumni, staff and students had a great time at the event and there was a wonderful celebratory atmosphere to mark 25 years since Brighton achieved university status.