Event Description: Alumni Careers Evening for LSE Urbanisation and Development, 4 November 2016
Contributed by Gabriel Torres, MSc Urbanisation and Development student, 2016-17

Under light rain and plenty of smiles, the second annual LSE Urbanisation and Development Alumni Careers Evening brought together the current cohort of MSc Urbanisation and Development students, past alumni from the inception of the programme to its most recent graduates, current PhD students and staff for a pleasant evening filled with shared insights, hearty reunions and new connections.

UD Careers
Liam Sollis, MSc Urbanisation and Development, 2013 (fourth from right) introduces the public engagement work he leads for Plan UK.

Current MSc Urbanisation and Development students were introduced to an impressive selection of past alumni who not only gave up time on a Friday night to relay their experiences but also lend a helping hand with academic and career aspirations. The alumni present included Etienne Cadestin, Managing Director, Longevity Partners Ltd; Femke Gubbels, Programme Manager, 100 Resilient Cities; Chloe Last, Project Manager, LoveCrafts; Dr Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed, Technical Specialist, Women’s Economic Empowerment, Social Development Direct; Pepe Monroy, Consultant, Urban Planning and International Development, ICF; Daniela Schofield, Research Assistant, Ecorys and Liam Sollis, Policy and Advocacy Adviser, Plan UK.   Additional inputs from Pablo Navarrete and Laura Antona, current PhDs in the Urbanisation, Planning and Development Cluster, provided a ‘bird’s eye view’ as to post-MSc academic progression!

Exchanging ideas and contact information.
Exchanging ideas and contact information.

Having the staff and past and present students together in one room demonstrated the ever-growing roots of the programme and presented a great bonding opportunity for members of this global community. In addition to the alumni and PhD students present, other alumni engaged in work across several continents extended their warm wishes to current students, adding more cheer to the event, and offering further opportunities for ‘career conversations’ via Maddie Smith (LSE Careers Consultant) in Lent 2017.

Lively discussion topics included the intricacies of public-private partnerships, emerging issues in the development field, positive steps to take before an interview and finding out if pursuing a PhD is the right path for you. It was evident that the programme had produced a mélange of interesting opportunities for the alumni. Moreover, alumni connected with staff about themes and research they learned in class. This included fascinating discussions about how their career involves issues such as women’s empowerment and gender equality, and ethical financing in urban projects.screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-14-41-10

Gabriel Torres is currently a MSc student in Urbanisation and Development