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Farhanah Raza (BSc Chemistry 2007)


I studied Chemistry at Reading and the skills and knowledge I acquired have been extremely useful in my career path. Although I did not pursue a career in Chemistry, I continued teaching Chemistry as a private tutor. My professional career began with the Guardian Media Group where I joined their graduate scheme. I relocated to Scotland as an Area Manager and after 18 months was promoted to the Marketing team, based in London. 2 years ago, I moved to Dubai and am currently head of marketing and student recruitment at Murdoch University. My studies and experiences provided me with a confidence that has positioned me well for numerous senior roles. Since I was born and bred in Reading, it will always be close to my heart and I would recommend Reading for future students.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

I was undecided about my choice of degree. I didn't quite makes the grades I needed but Reading was accommodating and close to home. I was able to live at home, work and finance my degree and build a network of friends that helped me excel in my studies. The facilities were fantastic and the support, unrivaled.

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

The people. They say you meet your best friends at University, and for me, that holds true. I graduated 7 years ago and I am pleased that my tutors still support me with references and career advise. The people make the experience and I would happily revisit that part of life again if I had the chance.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

Think with an open mind and have no pre-conceived ideas. University life is about having fun, growing up and the best thing is, everyone is in the same boat so don't worry about asking questions. Just be open and participate in as many activities as you possibly can. make yourself known and benefit from the world class faculty.

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

I head up a Marketing and Student Recruitment Department at an Australian university in Dubai. I am at a senior position at a very young age and have been lucky to have availed of some fantastic opportunities. This position came by as a result of my work with the Guardian, where my professional career began.

What would be your top tips for students interested in working in this sector?

Become a professional socialite. Networking is key in marketing and make sure you are at the forefront of the media industry. My experience in publishing has really helped me as I am now on the other side of the publishing end. I am outspoken and confident and love meeting and travelling. It's important to be innovative and simply talk to people. It's important to know the big player in the media, and that's the first tip to being a good marketer.

How has the University of Reading and the Careers Centre helped in your chosen career path?

Reading prepared me with the right attitude and equipped me with the skill set that helped me think outside the box and not feel like I was limited to pursuing a career in chemistry. Furthermore, my professors are still in touch with me and have provided me with the support I need whenever I am crossroads.

What are your top tips for students graduating this year? What should they be doing to secure the job they want?

1. Start looking early

2. Gain voluntary experience whilst you study

3. Participate in clubs and societies and develop an all-round personality


What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?

I have many fond memories, particularly the times spent in the union enjoying hot chocolates and cookies with my friends. Nights out and labs were always good fun. above all, results day still remains the happiest day of my life. I got a 2.1 and I had not expected this. Graduation was one of the most beautiful ceremony's I had been to and sharing the success with fellow graduates was indeed an honor. I had a sense of pride. I hope my university is as proud of me as I am of being a graduate from it.

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