Meet Our Trainees


A highlight of the AF programme for me has been the opportunity to travel and work outside of the walls of ‘the office’. At Warwick, I attended a number of conferences and events spanning from London to Leeds, and also Brussels. Whilst at the Open University, the nature of my placement lead to me visiting OU National and Regional offices in Nottingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast and Dublin. Working with a range of different people across the country in this way is something I have really valued as part of my AF experience. The overall breadth of the course has developed my communication and networking skills, and also given me an insight into the range of opportunities available within the HE sector.

Laura, Open University & University of Warwick, 2018-20


The Ambitious Futures scheme attracted me because of the exposure I felt it would (and has) given me to the HE sector. It was a great way to explore a range of projects across different departments within two Universities. 

The scheme has given me the opportunity to work on tangible and meaningful projects within a HE environment, which will help me to progress my career within the sector. I have been able to learn more about what happens in particular departments such as Research and a School of Modern Languages and Culture. This has helped me to realise where my interests lie and which types of roles best suit my skills and can develop further. It’s also given me the opportunity to build strong relationships with colleagues and develop my network too. 

Rochelle, UAL & University of Warwick, 2018-20


The highlight of my Ambitious Futures experience has been the chance to live in a different city for six months! My host institution is the University of Manchester, I completed my degree there and stayed to work in the city as a graduate for a few years after. Through Ambitious Futures I have had the opportunity to live in Sheffield for six months - it has been really refreshing to experience a completely new city, and a completely different type of institution.   Taking yourself out of your comfort zone like that really puts your own skills into perspective, as you aren’t relying on familiarity, and builds your confidence in being able to adapt to any situation.

The scheme has provided me with countless opportunities to grow – my skills, my professional network and my career goals.

Kelly, University of Manchester and Sheffield Hallam University, 2018-20


Meet Our Alumni


When I graduated I wasn’t set on any particular path – I just wanted a varied, impactful career in the public sector.  I found that Higher Education ticked all of the boxes.

The scheme helped my career massively!  I started off as a Project Administrator for a single research project and I then moved to several Project Manager roles.  Three years later I’m now a Department Manager, responsible for an 11-person team, over 150 academic staff and RD students, and over £30 million in research grants. Ambitious Futures is jet fuel for careers in Higher Education.

Jack, University of Cambridge and London School of Hygiene &Tropical Medicine, 2016/17


I have recently been appointed as Research Project Manager at Aston University. I will be responsible for the management of 3 EU Projects in Bio-Energy with partners all over Europe. This role will involve managing a small team of Administrators and a lot of travelling around Europe to meet with the various partners.

None of this would be possible if it weren’t for the extensive training I received on the Ambitious Futures programme and the amazing networks created with my fellow Ambitious Futures trainees.

Alanna, Birmingham City University & University of Nottingham, 2017/18


I really enjoyed the Ambitious Futures scheme, it gave me a taste of multiple areas in a short space of time.  For one of my placements I was based in the International Alumni Relations team where I organised two alumni events in Beijing and Shanghai.

I simply would not be doing what I do now without the scheme.  I found my niche (student experience) which is where I work still!

Max, University of Hull, 2015-16

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