Real-life
success stories

WhatALUMNIsay provides a unique insight into the lives of inspirational alumni from around the world and the institutions that played a key role in their journey.

We’ve spoken to some truly amazing and inspiring people about the journey they took and how their education contributed to their lives. Visitors to the site can connect the alumni’s stories with the institutions that helped define them. Each story is unique, but they all share a common theme – being the best one can be.

We hope you find them as inspiring as we do.

Abbie’s Newcastle University

Abbie is the owner of Cooper King Distillery which she established and runs with her partner, Chris. She went to Newcastle University from where she graduated with a First Class Honours in her BSc. in Biomedical Science in 2008. The yin and yang of decisions: art or science? My first choice of career was medicine, specifically pathology and I’m now a distiller of fine gin! At school, I was excellent at art and science. In everything else...

Chris and Abbie’s Cooper King Distillery

‘In the spirit of adventure, we left our jobs in the UK and set off for the freedom of travel in Australia. We returned a year later with a big idea – to build and run our own whisky distillery.’ Distilling gin and whisky from awe-inspiring ideas and adventures Cooper King Distillery is a self-built, family-owned gin and whisky distillery in the heart of Yorkshire. Crowd-funded and self-built on the site of an old stable, the...

Christopher’s Newcastle University

Christopher Jaume is the owner of Cooper-King Distillery which he set up and runs with his partner, Abbie. He went to Newcastle University from where he graduated in Architectural Studies in 2008 with a BA Hons. Heading to uni (in the driver’s seat) I chose Newcastle University after looking at the uni league tables: it was one of the top in the UK: in the top five for Architecture at the time. Another reason was the...

Ligia’s Western Sydney University

Ligia is living in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and working full time for MCI Solutions as a Marketing Manager. She did her masters at Western Sydney University, graduating with an MBA in April 2018. Western Sydney University MBA: add to basket I studied Communication – Advertising and Marketing in Brazil and came to Australia for a year to study English, which I did for four months before doing a diploma in business. After that, if...

Hermann’s Western Sydney University

Hermann is in the final year of his degree at the University of Applied Sciences in Ulm, Germany. He is studying International Energy Economics, and spent a semester at Western Sydney University, in Australia, studying business. Getting the show on the road (and abroad) At Western Sydney University, Australia, I studied at the Parramatta Campus where I took mostly business classes: modules such as ‘Creating Change and Innovation’, ‘Business, Society and Policy’ and ‘Psychology: Human Behaviour’....

Dominic’s Oxford Brookes

Dominic studied at Oxford Brookes University in the early 1980s where he did a joint honours degree in English and History on their famous modular degree programme. My Oxford Brookes Modular Degree I had a great time in Oxford Brookes, where I studied at the Gipsy Lane, Headington Campus. I loved the modular nature of the course (which they still do) as it allowed me to select areas of study I fancied; this included options to...

Dominic’s Bath Spa University

After his degree, Dominic spent many years travelling and working abroad. Eventually, he left his life in Granada, Spain, and returned to England to study a post-graduate teaching course at Bath Spa University. This is how it all started I applied to Bath Spa University while in Spain and was invited to an interview with the leader of the PGCE Secondary English course, Barbara Imrie, who had a lifetime of experience as a secondary English teacher...

Charlotte’s Anglia Ruskin University

Charlotte did a Diploma in Nursing and qualified with a Certificate in Applied Health Studies after a three year course in the Department for Health and Medical Sciences at Anglia Ruskin University. Family first: going to universityMeeting interesting people. That’s what I love about education: you meet so many different people from different walks of life...When I first went to Anglia Ruskin I was 18, fresh faced and eager to start. Both my parents are...

Charlotte’s University of Essex

Charlotte did a BA in English Literature and United States Literature in the Department for Literature, Film and Theatre Studies. She graduated in 2014 with a first class honours degree and currently works as an English teacher in a secondary school in Essex, England. My first impressions of Essex Uni Essex has an amazing campus – modern, vibrant and unique. The extensive grounds and the lake are perfect for outdoor study and relaxing.My first impression was...

Charlotte’s Travel Story

My Travels Charlotte got the travel bug as soon as she started earning enough to get away. I started off probably how most young people do, travelling to places where English is the first language. Then I did a few trips into Europe and stayed in little boutique hotels and explored. But over the last two or three years I’ve improved my travel style: meeting people and learning their experiences.Over the last two or three years...

Huong’s Swinburne University of Technology

Huong finished at Box Hill in late 2014, but she was still dreaming about her BA. Read on to see what happens when you have your heart set on something. I remember one time, Rosemary, my teacher, told me that I could get a scholarship to do a Master’s Degree in Research at Swinburne University of Technology. I wasn’t sure about that though. My goal was to do my MA in a different country. One...

Huong’s Box Hill Institute of Tafe

Huong went to Box Hill Institute of Tafe in early 2012 to study Business Management. And she really managed to pull out all the stops to start her life: her first uni experience. It was the first time I’ve ever been on a plane and my first time going to Australia. I was very nervous. I didn’t know how to fasten my seatbelt, where the toilets were… My heart was beating so fast. Luckily, I...

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