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Last week I was excited to attend our one year anniversary event. It was great to reconnect with other members as well as connecting with new ones.

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I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Angie Greaves who is one of the radio presenters on Magic FM and Norman Vaughan who works at British Telecoms (BT) as the BT Global Services business development manager.

As always it was an inspiring and uplifting evening. I speak to a lot of students to inspire them on their journeys but events like this often inspire me as I too need inspiring whilst on my own journey in life. I am so proud of how far we have come as a network and I hope more people join and engage with us throughout the coming years.

There were some important points raised throughout the evening:

  • believe in yourself and have confidence

A recurring theme among our events and discussions is the lack of confidence we often have in ourselves. Angie touched on this nicely:

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No one else is going to put themselves on hold to believe in you- believe in yourself!

You have to exude confidence, look at all your achievements and believe you can do whatever it is you set your mind to. Surround yourself with positive, like minded individuals with common goals. Of course, building confidence is a process and so it is imperative to make sure you keep moving forward and reinforce positive words and messages continuously to yourself and others.

  • Make connections and more importantly don't give up

Norman explained that it was only when he went to America that he realised how good they were at networking and creating contacts.

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He explained:

Don't be afraid to reach out to people. Don't be shy. Don't be afraid to fail.

He said that he honestly did not care about people saying "No" to him because he would just move on to the next person who could potentially say yes to him. This could be in terms of a business idea for example. Angie reiterated this point; when people say no to you or your idea it simply opens up the way for someone else, who is right for you:

Don't be disappointed when someone says "No"

Rejection can be so hard to bounce back from but it is important you persevere and believe in your vision whatever that may be. Angie pointed to J.K Rowling- if she stopped trying to get her work out there and gave up she would almost certainly not be where she is today. You just have to keep going and develop a thick skin!!

The remainder of the evening was spent networking and sharing experiences and opinions- I thoroughly enjoyed this part too!

Overall the evening went well. I am proud to know all the committee members who continue to work hard at making the UCL BME alumni organisation a success. A special thanks to Natalie Clue, our chair who recommended our guest speakers.

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