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Newcastle University London students forge links at alumni event

The brand new Newcastle University London campus is fast becoming a hub of alumni activity, providing current students with access to expertise and support from both former Newcastle University students and local employers. Claire Rose Twyman, Marketing Coordinator at Newcastle University London, reports back on our GOLD Network: Entrepreneur Nation event.

The Graduates Of The Last Decade (GOLD) network, in particular, organises events and talks aimed at boosting the knowledge and career prospects of GOLD members, including students who are taking preparatory and degree programmes at the London campus on Middlesex Street.

On Wednesday 15 July, CEO of b2b social network provider Communitize and Newcastle University alumnus Graham Ruddick was invited to a GOLD event, where he shared his views on modern marketing techniques.

"In the past 20 years the business world has absolutely changed," the marketing mogul told the audience, adding that it is no longer acceptable to send spam emails to thousands of potential customers in the hope that a handful will respond. What is much more effective, he said, is to build relationships with your customer base and add value to their lives. "Humans only like being sold to when they’ve decided themselves that they are going to buy," he said.

He should know, having had an impressive career including top positions at UK media companies such as Centaur, Emap and Reed Business Information. And the feedback on his talk was good, with delegates commenting that he was an honest and engaging speaker.

The graduates also took part in a networking session. "Although everybody studied different subjects, we were all united in that we were interested in starting or developing a business, and we all had unique perspectives and experiences, which was useful," said one alumnus delegate.

"The London location was good as many of us moved here to find a job after graduating from the main campus in the north, and I am interested in mingling with current students once they arrive and imparting some of my knowledge."

Leigh Venus, Alumni and Supporter Engagement Manager at Newcastle University’s Alumni Association, said that this event is the precisely the point of the GOLD network. "It can be quite intimidating to leave university without a ready-built network there for you," he said.

"One of the things we hope to do with the alumni network is to help those students at the London campus to feel an integral part of what we do in Newcastle. To encourage current students to go to alumni who have offered advice in order to build experiences together, and further each other's careers."

There is certainly a rich seam of knowledge there for the taking, as proved by the fact that Newcastle University alumni students have scooped awards for their entrepreneurialism.

"Just recently a company called Mediwikis won the Santander Graduate prize for best postgraduate enterprise… we've had a lot of success stories and businesses through and lots of enterprising individuals who have been able to benefit from access to support from the university," said Steve Bowden, entrepreneurial development officer at Rise Up, Newcastle University’s award-winning department for developing enterprising skills.

"We are based in the career services department at Newcastle Upon Tyne, but obviously now, with the opening of the London campus, are planning to spend some time down here in order to open that opportunity up to London-based Newcastle University students and graduates," he added.

For more about programmes at Newcastle University London, please click here.

To ensure you take advantage of all the benefits of being a Newcastle graduate, please take a moment to update your details with us. By doing so we can keep you informed about future GOLD events and career development opportunities.

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published on: 3 August 2015