Finding True North
Sharing the pivotal lessons and moments that can help you navigate your career.
What is Finding True North?
Finding True North is a virtual series of inspiring career stories delivered through interactive YouTube Live sessions. Students and early professionals are all welcome to join! If you are trying to figure out what career path is for you, what to study at university, or want to change careers...then this series is for you!
Every Wednesday at 5:00pm (UK time).
May 6th 2020 | 3:30pm (UK time)
Sanaya Khambatta | Digital Strategy and iX Consultant | IBM
More about Sanaya
Sanaya currently works at IBM as a Technical consultant, however, she has undertaken a variety of roles, both business and technically orientated, that have enabled her to understand technical feasibility and discussions, whilst applying business acumen and processes within a project.
Sanaya has also worked with IBM at Wimbledon for 4 years as part of the technology deployment and support team. She also undertook her placement year at IBM where she sat in business operations across multiple industries, whilst studying Information Technology Management for Business at university.
May 13th 2020 | 3:30pm (UK time)
Matthew Carver | Technology Engineer | GSK
More about Matthew
Matthew is a Technology Engineer at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), where he builds technical solutions that support the research and delivery of cell and gene therapies to patients.
Matthew joined GSK straight out of school almost 5 years ago as a Degree Apprentice, and graduated from Queen Mary University, London in July 2019. He’s a real computer nerd who loves any technical challenge that is thrown at him.
May 20th 2020 | 3:30pm (UK time)
Hannah Forbes | Founder and Consultant | The Funding Crowd
More about Hannah
Hannah is the Founder and CEO of The Funding Crowd, a consultancy helping start-ups get funding via alternative routes such as crowdfunding. After studying Mechanical Engineering at University, Hannah found an interest in working with and in technology start-ups. This initially led to her starting her career as a Software Developer at Sky before deciding to start her business in October of 2018.
As well as supporting businesses, as part of her PhD studies Hannah also conducts research into crowdfunding at Cambridge Judge Business School at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance.
May 27th 2020 | 3:30pm (UK time)
Sina Haghighat | Team Lead | Shell
More about Sina
Sina started working for Shell in 2013 as a graduate and has had exposure to different areas of the business (Exploration, Production, Retail), which included international assignments in Norway and Canada. He then went on to lead a global team of Business Analysts; delivering projects for Shell Canada in the retail space.
In his spare time, he enjoys playing sports, keeping fit and volunteering at student events.
Bonus Guest | May 2020
Beate Müller | Technology Consultant | Plextek
More about Beate
Beate is a Technology Consultant at Plextek in Cambridge, where she uses data analysis and machine learning techniques for research in fields like radar imaging. She joined Plextek in October 2018 after her MSc in Systems, Control and Signal Processing at University. Before moving to the UK for her Master’s degree, Beate worked within industry in Munich, Germany, as a Radar Systems Engineer for Hensoldt (previously belonging to Airbus Defence and Space). She did her undergraduate in Communications Engineering as a dual degree, part-time working at Airbus whilst completing her studies. Beate is an avid baker, spending most of her free time in the kitchen, but also loves to craft.
June 3rd 2020 | 5:00pm (UK time)
Jessica Dowdall | Data Operations Manager | Dyson
More about Jessica
Jessica currently works at Dyson as their Data Operations Manager. Jessica studied a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Social Science at University, yet it was when she worked for Apple during her studies where she realised her real passion for technology innovation. After graduating University, Jessica went on an around-the-world trip before she moved to London to start her technology career without a Computer Science degree. With lots of resilience, new skills, and support from technology networks, she successfully landed jobs in Cybersecurity, SAP, Emerging Technologies, and Cloud. Jessica’s Global Innovation role at Capgemini was based in Wales, yet gave her opportunities to work and travel to India, Spain, France, and more. Jessica has since navigated herself to undertake a new challenge - working on Global Data Services at Dyson.
June 10th 2020 | 5:00pm (UK time)
Emma Cheshire | Senior Account Executive | Propeller Group
More about Emma
Emma is a Senior Account Executive at PR agency Propeller Group, where she works with multiple B2B clients across the technology, retail and media industries. She graduated from the University of Southampton with a Bachelor's degree in English Literature in 2015.
After graduation she completed an MA in English and American Literature at the University of Kent, studying part of her degree in France at its Paris School of Arts and Culture. Prior to Propeller Group, she interned at various consumer PR agencies, a film office and the Times Educational Supplement.
June 17th 2020 | 5:00pm (UK time)
Maheeen Choonara | Diversity and Inclusion Advisor | Cancer Research UK
More about Maheen
Maheen is a Diversity and Inclusion Advisor at Cancer Research UK (CRUK). As part of this role, she is responsible for communicating the organisation’s diversity agenda and strategically supports 7 employee resource groups and 40 inclusion champions across CRUK. Before becoming a Diversity and Inclusion Advisor, Maheen previously managed the communication channels for CRUK’s Early Diagnosis Programme run in partnership with the NHS and Macmillan Cancer Support.
Maheen attended University where she graduated with a Bachelor’s English and a Master’s in English Literary Studies. During her Master’s, she completed a Communications internship at CRUK within their Corporate Partnerships Team. More recently, Maheen created @ourkeyworkers, an Instagram initiative to showcase the people, their stories, and efforts of ethnic minority key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
June 24th 2020 | 5:00pm (UK time)
Dr Sam Jellard | Co-founder and CTO | Mane Biotech
More about Sam
Sam completed his BEng Electronic Engineering degree at University, before continuing to do a PhD which investigated converting the kinetic impact energy of falling water droplets into electrical energy. He completed two years of his PhD in Singapore at the Institute for Materials Research and Engineering, A*STAR.
After returning to the UK and finishing his research, he was accepted into the leading talent investor, Entrepreneur First, which supported him in the creation of his first start-up company where he is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Sam co-founded Mane Biotech, a company which aims to unlock the natural regeneration potential of the human body in order to tackle different health issues -starting with the development of a unique solution to combat hair loss.
Bonus Guest | June 2020
Robbin van der Meer | Aerodynamic Engineer | BWT Racing Point Forumla 1
More about Robbin
Robbin is an Aerodynamic Engineer within F1. He uses analytical and creative skills to design new car shapes, improve airflow and ultimately make the car faster. He gathered a wealth of knowledge and fond memories at the Renault F1 team over the past three years. Recently, he moved to Racing Point as they prepare to bring the Aston Martin brand back to F1 in 2021.
Growing up in the Netherlands, Robbin decided to study abroad at age 18. A degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Southampton developed his engineering skills, while the wider study abroad experience gave him an independent and international mindset.
During his studies, he nurtured the passion for cars by reigniting the University’s involvement in Formula Student. He went on a placement year in the Vehicle Dynamics group of Williams F1 and got hooked to the industry’s intensity, with rapid design cycles, close collaboration between engineering disciplines and ultimate performance under public scrutiny. He balances intense work with fun activities to truly forget about everything work related, such as adventure sports and world travel.
July 1st 2020 | 5:00pm (UK time)
Megan Murray | Project Manager | IBM
More about Megan
Megan studied Computer Science and Business at Queen Mary University through a degree apprenticeship with IBM for 4 years, graduating last summer. She now still works for IBM, as a Project Manager, and has had previous roles in tech sales and marketing too. Megan’s Project Management role is European-based working with multiple clients to accelerate their adoption of cloud technology.
Outside of work, she loves travelling, taking a year out to travel before starting her degree, and is planning to take another sabbatical to travel more of the world when this is possible again! Megan is really interested in the 'eco movement' and aims to volunteer in some conservation projects around the world in her time off. In her spare time, she enjoys gigs, dancing and finding unusual or adrenaline-pumping things to do (like axe-throwing, a huge inflatable obstacle course or going on the fastest zipline in the world are some examples)!
July 8th 2020 | 5:00pm (UK time)
Sophie Van Eetvelt | Innovation Manager | Elrha Humanitarian Innovation Fund
More about Sophie
Sophie never had a career path in mind but chose to study Environmental Science at the University of Southampton as it offered an attractive combination of politics, geography, demographics, ecology and Earth sciences. She completed her Master’s with a research project in Southern Malawi, looking at the socio-cultural benefits of ecosystems. Eyes slightly widened to the world, she pursued a career in International Development and spent three years at the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Sophie now works at the Elrha Humanitarian Innovation Fund, where she leads the innovation portfolio to accelerate the inclusion of older people and people with disabilities in humanitarian responses around the world.
July 15th 2020 | 5:00pm (UK time)
Gopi Jayanthinathan | Partnerships & Business Development AVP | Barclays
More about Gopi
Gopi is a British Tamil who studied History at University of Exeter and EWHA South Korea University. Having experienced internships at P&G and Barclays, Gopi completed the graduate scheme at Barclays and is now a partnerships and business development AVP at the bank.
In his spare time he writes for the human rights paper, Tamil Guardian and loves to explore the world – recently doing his first solo trip!
July 22nd 2020 | 5:00pm (UK time)
Matt Long | Lean Agile Leader & Scrum Master | Swisscom
More about Matt
Matt has a passion for enabling and empowering people and teams do what they do best. 10 years ago, Matt kickstarted his Tech Industry Gold ITMB (IT Management for Business) Degree at the University of Greenwich - paving a career bridging the worlds of business and IT. Now, a Lean Agile Leader and Scrum Master at Swisscom, Matt looks back on the last decade discovering Agile ways of working, how to build high-performing teams and pursuing a move to Switzerland.
Outside of the (home) office, you'll find him up in the mountains (hiking or snowboarding), attending Meetups, swimming in the Swiss lakes and finding the best local craft beer and gin.
Bonus Guest | July 2020
Dr Danny Ramasawmy | Postdoctoral Research Fellow | UCL
More about Danny
Danny Ramasawmy is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at University College London using numerical methods to investigate ultrasound propagation in novel imaging devices. He previously studied an undergraduate masters in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Southampton and a postgraduate Masters and PhD in Medical Imaging and Medical Physics at University College London. Danny aims to always be involved in research and development whether in an academic or commercial setting. As long as, in his time off, he gets time to record and write music.
July 29th 2020 | 5:00pm (UK time)
Dr Jahnabi Basumatary | Materials Specialist | ASML
More about Jahnabi
Born and raised in India, Jahnabi originates from the lush, green, tea-plantation covered hills of Assam. She works as a Materials Specialist at ASML, Eindhoven since 2019 – specialising in the corrosion of materials and surface coatings. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in India, graduating with a BEng in Industrial and Production Engineering in 2011. Soon after that, she moved overseas to start her Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in the UK. She later graduated with a PhD at University of Southampton where she researched the tribological behaviour of marine propeller materials when subjected to cavitation erosion and corrosion. During her studies, she discovered her penchant for martial arts, going as far to acquiring her black belt in Kung Fu. She also had the amazing opportunity of travelling to 5 different continents both for business and leisure.
After her Doctoral studies, Jahnabi lived in Belgium for 2 years, where she explored different professions including Sales Engineering and R&D. In early 2019, she moved to Netherlands for a Business Management and High-Tech Engineering Traineeship – successfully passing this to start her current role at ASML. Apart from being an avid traveller and a martial artist, Jahnabi thoroughly enjoys a variety of other hobbies and activities including cooking, jive dancing, doodling, interior design, travelling, and photography.
August 4th 2020 | 5:00pm (UK time)
Zainab Kwaw-Swanzy | Digital Product Manager | Barclays
More about Zainab
After graduating with a Master’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Bristol in 2016, Zainab joined Barclays and underwent a two-year graduate programme. She completed placements in Strategy, Product Management and Transformation, and worked on a number of projects relating to digital adoption and innovation. Upon completion of the graduate programme, Zainab secured a role within the Digital Banking team.
Zainab is now a Digital Product Manager within the Barclays Global Digital & Platforms team, focusing on introducing new and innovative features into the Barclays app via Open Banking technology. Zainab helped to set up and shape the Diversity and Inclusion agenda within the Digital Banking Team, and leads the Multicultural pillar, which aims to raise awareness and support colleagues from different backgrounds.
Outside of work, Zainab is heavily involved in digital media. She was listed as one of the top 50 people She is also one of the founding members of gal-dem.com, an award-winning online magazine written by women and non-binary people of colour. gal-dem addresses inequality and misrepresentation in the media industry, providing a platform for creative and editorial work from people of colour. She is currently writing a book on Black British history, focused on afro hair, to be published in 2020/2021.
August 12th 2020 | 5:00pm (UK time)
Ishrath Priti | Senior Electrical Engineer | Cundall
More about Ishrath
Ishrath is a Senior Electrical Engineer working at Cundall, an international multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, where she specialises in designing the electrical services within a building.
Ishrath joined Cundall, straight out of University after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering, from Queen Mary, University of London in 2015. Before moving to the UK for her undergraduate, she lived in a small city in Bangladesh where she finished her GCSEs and A-levels.
In her spare time, she enjoys socialising and staying active.
August 19th 2020 | 5:00pm (UK time)
Sam Udoh | DevOps Engineer | Novastone
More about Sam
Sam is a DevOps Engineer at Novastone Media, where he designs and implements cloud native solutions. He graduated from Brunel university with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, 2016.
After graduating, he attended a coding bootcamp which sparked his interest in infrastructure as code and automation. Soon after, Sam worked at Cancer Research UK (CRUK) for two years as a Linux System Administrator, where he supported CRUK’s core (internal and external) web applications and Linux infrastructure. Sam is a fitness enthusiast and loves a challenge (in technology or fitness).
August 26th 2020 | 5:00pm (UK time)
Yasmin Ali | Energy Innovation Project Manager | UK Government BEIS Department
More about Yasmin
Yasmin is a chartered chemical engineer, passionate about the future of energy. She studied chemical engineering at the University of Nottingham before starting her engineering career at E.ON. Yasmin worked in conventional power generation as well as oil and gas exploration and production projects and operations. Yasmin now works as an Energy Innovation Project Manager at the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), where she supports technical solutions to reduce the UK's greenhouse gas emissions. Yasmin is an avid promoter of engineering, regularly visiting schools, presenting at events, and writing for mainstream media about the achievements of engineers. Yasmin was also named in the award list for Top 50 Women in Engineering: Sustainability 2020 and awarded Young Woman Engineer 2013 both by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), whilst shortlisted for numerous other industry awards.