University of Brighton Alumni Association

Picture of Millie Reed

The Brighton Effect shaped my life in so many ways

Chemistry graduate Millie tells us how her time at the University of Brighton instilled a new lease of confidence in her and how she met her now fiancée.

The Brighton Effect isn’t just about professional growth, it’s about personal growth. Millie Reed, who graduated with a degree in Chemistry in 2022, credits her time at Brighton with helping her gain confidence, both as a person and in a way that would translate into her professional career.

Now working as Research and Development Analyst for Reckitt, she tells us how her time in Brighton also helped hone her communication skills, sparked a passion for community work and how she met her now fiancée Callum!

How Brighton shaped me

“Attending the University of Brighton, as well as living in the city, changed my life completely. I started in 2019 as a very anxious student and slowly came alive; with the support of my professors, university staff, my peers and the city’s personality – I developed inside and outside of my degree.

“I am now so enthusiastic about the future, love meeting and talking to new people and am instilled with the confidence to take opportunities that come my way.

“On my first day on campus I met Callum – we were placed in the same initial introduction groups, since then we have been inseparable. Through lockdown craziness, graduation and now moving out of the city to pursue careers, we have remained the same way – and earlier this year Callum proposed!

“He taught me how to ride a bicycle in the fields just north of the Moulsecoomb campus. I will never forget how much we laughed until I was able to figure it out.”

How my course helped my confidence and communication skills

“I think my confidence grew so much at the University of Brighton due to the respect I was shown by the professors, teaching and laboratory staff; I was always treated as a complete equal, listened to and always felt part of the ‘team’.

“The individuals at Brighton truly made me feel like I belonged there, that I was able to succeed and that I could push myself to do better; this belief ‘brushed off’ on me and led to installing a level of confidence in myself that I had never previously had.

“In parallel, for the first time I felt like I could ask questions, explore possibilities and be wrong BUT learn from it, this has developed such a growth mindset within me that I never thought I could have.  I am confident now to try new things and take chances and risks with the safety of knowing if it does not work out the way that I planned, that things will be okay. I will always leave that situation knowing more than if I had not gone for it.

“Brighton, and my course, was such a collaborative space and encouraged me out of my comfort zone to not just work with others but enjoy working with others.”

Her volunteering, charity and community work

“Since graduating, I have tried to give as much of my time to volunteering. I am so grateful for every opportunity I have been given and fully recognise how much privilege I carry with me. Therefore, I have been partaking in community events like soup kitchens, community event support and  sponsored runs and races.

“I think my desire for charity work began with my time at the University of Brighton due to the connection the university holds with the city itself; the city really felt like home (and I know it did for a lot of my peers) and it never felt like living there was temporary.

“I actually felt part of a community bigger than just my course and wanted to be involved and help out. I think this runs completely next to the growth in confidence, because I would never have had the self assurance to put myself forward for certain situations before Brighton.”

Her professional journey so far

“I currently work for Reckitt and support the development of new disinfectant products under the brand Dettol. This includes formulation development, quality testing and understanding the consumer and market share.

“Some notable professional success in the last six months saw me leading a large scale consumer study in China to understand attitudes to hygiene, wellbeing and health. This required strong international communication and a lot of confidence – so you can definitely see how this has followed on from degree!”

What success means to Millie and advice for students

“Before university, I saw success as simply how high your salary could become; now I see that life is so much more than that. Success is how much happiness you can bring to others and yourself, it’s about being able to enjoy all of life even when things don’t seem to be going perfectly.

“In life, not everything is going to go as you planned… but it will be okay! You are so much more resilient than you know, and have the capacity to overcome the circumstances. Believe in yourself truly and fully, and things will become a lot easier.”

Alumnibrighton effectchemistrygraduateUniversity of Brighton

Alex Petrovic • March 7, 2024

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