Our Alumni Ambassadors
We have alumni from almost every country. And so, to help us keep in touch with graduates in nations outside the UK, and to help us represent the University in countries around the world, we have appointed our International Alumni Ambassadors.
Our ambassadors are active and responsive volunteers, whose key objective is to increase the engagement with Westminster in their respective country or region. They support our reputation, increase international student recruitment and dedicate their time to enhancing the student experience with their global perspectives.
As well as engaging with the various programmes we run – such as mentoring and Westminster Working Cultures – our ambassadors volunteer at international recruitment fairs, share their experiences with prospective students and are always on-hand to provide us with quotes or videos for university content.
In each ‘Ambassador Bulletin’, we celebrate the dedication of our ambassadors by highlighting some of the work they are doing to support the University.
Célia Kitenge (English and Spanish BA, 2015 and International Liaison and Communications MA, 2018) – Brussels, Belgium
Since graduating with her second Westminster degree, Célia has volunteered as both the Alumni Ambassador for Belgium, and as our first ambassador for Westminster Connect.
Westminster Connect is an online networking platform, exclusive to Westminster graduates. When the platform first launched, Célia helped encourage more alumni to sign-up to the platform by creating posting engaging content.
We spoke to Célia about her ambassador roles and how her experiences as an alumni volunteer have helped her secure her dream job.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am Célia Kitenge. I was born in Kinshasa (DR Congo), I grew up in Belgium and I was educated in the UK.
I went to Brussels when I was five, then moved to London when I was 24 to do my studies. When I arrived in London in 2010, I started working as a customer service agent for the French market of a call center. The next year, my application as a student for a BA English and Spanish was accepted at the University of Westminster. I graduated in July 2015.
After graduating, I worked in Girona, Spain as a translation project manager. Then, I moved to Brussels to work as a switchboard operator for the American Embassy. I knew I wanted to work for international organizations. That is why I decided to go back to the University of Westminster in 2017 in order to do a master’s in International Liaison and Communication.
Why did you chose to volunteer as Westminster Connect ambassador?
COVID-19 broke out in early 2020, so all other potential alumni activities in Belgium had to be cancelled. That is why I started my role as a Westminster Connect Ambassador, interviewing graduates worldwide. My first interview was with Wajiha Choudry, the alumni ambassador for Pakistan. She shared how she developed a tourism business in Pakistan. My second and third interviews were with two graduates: David (from Hungary) and Ali, who did an internship in Mexico. I interviewed as well graduates who are currently working at the University of Westminster, such as Laurene Eymere (Communications Officer).
Why should graduates join Westminster Connect?
Honestly, for those with looking to improve leadership skills, with no online event organisation skills and for those seeking international skills ( and connection with the UK while you are back to your home country), Westminster Connect it is the right place to start.
Describe the journey you have had to achieving your current job
In order to gain experience in international relations, I went to Barcelona to work as an Assistant in Peace and Disarmament. This was a fixed-term contract for six months, but it was perfect for me because it had something to do with my master’s degree. Then, I went back to Belgium and started working as a social interpreter.
When COVID-19 broke out, I lost my job. I focused instead on gaining new skills as a Westminster Connect Ambassador. I started organising meetings using Zoom for my interviews, recruiting students worldwide for the alumni platform, and sharing my pictures and videos on the platform, to tell successful graduate stories. I also created a LinkedIn page for Belgian graduates. As an Alumni Ambassador, I took part in the University EU Campaign and the University’s Christmas video too.
I got my job back as an interpreter, but only part-time and working remotely, due to Coronavirus rules.
In January 2021, I saw that a UN agency was looking for a Cross-Cultural Facilitator with skills such as languages, intercultural communication, but also online event organisation. Thanks to my experience as a Westminster Connect Ambassador, I could prove during the job interview that I gained leadership skills by leading a Belgian team online, by liaising with the University in the UK while being in Belgium and by interviewing alumni online. All these skills gained from my studies, my past job and Westminster Connect, led me to get the job as a Cross-Cultural Facilitator. I love this job because I constantly present the history of my home country, Congo DRC. I give presentations on the country, I do research and work within a team. It is my dream job!
What advice can you give new graduates, hoping to also achieve their dream career?
- Do not hesitate to book sessions through Engage with the Career and Employability team. Career advisers are there to help you.
- If there’s a dream job that you don’t have the experience for, start by volunteering to gain experience in your area of studies. As explained earlier, I got my dream job thanks to my new skills gained as a Westminster Connect and Alumni Ambassador for Belgium.