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Meet your hosts

 
 
 
 A six-week virtual festival of live streamed events, interactive content and online resources.
 

Meet your hosts

Who better to guide you through Gradfest2021 than students who understand exactly what challenges you are facing?

Our student hosts will be putting your questions directly to the employers on your behalf.

Here are some of the friendly faces who will be popping up on our Instagram feed. Follow us @QUBCAREERS to join in our live streams.

Lauren Watt

Gradfest2021 host Lauren is a third year Film Studies student at Queen’s.

When she is not performing hosting duties, she is working on a documentary for her end of year project and participating in the Cinemagic Creative and Digital Technologies Academy (2021).

Mike Stevenson

Mike is one of Europe’s most exciting and persuasive speakers.

His journey from rough sleeper to multi award-winning entrepreneur is a real tour-de-force and how he turns that learning into life-changing messages makes him a truly compelling speaker.

He is founder of Thinktastic, an innovations agency, voted Scottish Small Company of Year and acclaimed for its unique approaches to stretching people and organisations beyond the ‘apparently’ possible.

Claire Mulligan

Claire Mulligan is a final year Film Studies & Production student at Queen's. She enjoys watching films, painting and reading.

After graduation, she will be returning to Queen's to do a Master’s in Marketing and she’s excited to learn a new subject.

While she doesn't know for certain where she will be after my Master’s, her dream role would be something to do with film directing, producing, or a marketer for a production company.

Róise Pelan

Law student Róise is part of our Film Industry Uncovered programme and organised a recent industry panel on broadcast journalism.

In her chosen career path, getting to grips with workplace tech is essential so she’ll be grilling the employers on how you can prove you are tech-savvy. 

Pallavi Parab

Pallavi Parab is an MBA student from India. She likes to visit different places, interact with people from different cultures, read, dance and listen to music to lighten her mood.

She wants to make a positive impact in society as a leader and is passionate about sustainable business.

Edward Ferrin

Edward Ferrin is 19 and studies History and Politics at Queen’s.

He likes walking, hiking, reading and trainspotting and is a fan of Liverpool FC and TV comedies. He is interested in pursuing a career in journalism.

Rebecca Dillon

Rebecca Dillon is a 21-year-old Drama student and budding entrepreneur.

Through the global philanthropic network The Ireland Funds she is developing mental wellbeing software for universities. She’s a gym goer, film extra and theatre buff and hopes to find a career that will fuel her inner creativity, such as a Branding Manager or Marketing Assistant.

Francesca Morelli

International Business with French graduate Francesca Morelli is a start-up entrepreneur and founder of VAVA INFLUENCE, a social media marketing agency.

She also works at Enterprise SU helping other budding entrepreneurs make their dream happen.

John Maguire

John is the North West Talent Partner at regtech firm FinTrU.

He works closely with new joiners to the business, helping to guide them as they take their first steps on their career journey. He has this advice for graduates: “It is okay not to know exactly where you want to be in your career. The career landscape is ever-changing. The most important thing is to be able to recognise a great opportunity when it comes your way!”

He adds: Everybody you meet will have something that they can teach you. Nobody is the best and brightest at everything! Always be willing to learn from your colleagues. And don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone. You will learn so much just by being able to converse with and listen to others.”

Viktorija Mikalauskaite

Viktorija is a Senior Associate in the Legal Department at regtech firm FinTrU where she leads a team of six.

She is a Law graduate from Queen’s with vast experience in the field of contract management, having worked with highly demanding clients ranging from consulting firms to investment managers and banks since graduating.

She joined FinTrU in October 2020, embracing the challenge of working in a financial firm with a strong commercial sense. She has this advice for graduates: “Never be afraid to challenge yourself, to go out of your comfort zone and to seek opportunities that help your career development and personal growth.”

Declan Lupari

Declan is a VR/AR Developer within the Digital Construction Team at GRAHAM

He recently completed a KTP Project with Queen's University Belfast and GRAHAM which has propelled him into his current role. He is passionate about immersive technologies and believes they have amazing potential, not only in the construction sector but everywhere.

He has this advice for graduates: “Communicating with all members involved in a project allows for everyone to be on the same page regarding the progress of work. It also allows for sticking points to be addressed and resolved before they can escalate into bigger problems.”

He adds: “You may not get your dream job straight away, but instead find roles that lead you in the right direction and equip you with the knowledge and capabilities to further your career.”

Rebecca Sinclair

Rebecca is a Student Talent Advisor at EY based in London. Her role involves offering students and their key influencers insight into the EY student programmes, as well as providing support with the application process. Rebecca joined EY as a Financial Services Technology Consultant on a Scholarship Programme in 2014 while still a student, graduating with a First Class Honours Degree in Economics. Rebecca has this advice for graduates: “Be open-minded to opportunities that come your way and keep an eye out for opportunities that you may find interesting or learn from.”

Jack McKeown

Jack is a Senior associate in Assurance in EY. He joined EY in September 2018, after graduating with an accounting degree from Queen’s. He has this advice for graduates: “Life is not a race. You don’t have to do everything all at once, the days fly by, and you may burn out. So slow down, make plans and set goals, but don’t be in a rush and enjoy the journey. The biggest lesson I have learned in my career is to manage your workload and to not take on more than you can handle - don’t try do it all on your own. There is a team there to support you and share the workload. This can be beneficial for your own work-life balance and the team’s success.”
He adds: “The skill that has benefitted me most in my career has been my organisation and communication skills. This has allowed me to keep a check on progress within jobs and manage projects effectively to meet deadlines.”

Courtney Ward

Courtney’s role within Randox is Quality Team Leader. The purpose of the Quality team is to ensure testing being carried out at Randox is of the highest standard and in line with all government and UKAS regulations. Courtney liaises with staff and managers to help with continuous process improvement and compliance. Her previous roles in Randox included Assay Design and PCR testing and training as part of the COVID-19 response. Courtney’s background is in structural biology and biochemistry. She completed her Undergraduate, Master’s and PhD at Imperial College London, which included placements at GlaxoSmithKline and Cancer Research UK. The experience she gained throughout her degree and various placements has given her insights and relevant skills across various aspects of scientific research, development and diagnostics which has been central to her career development. Courtney’s advice is always to get involved in different projects and experiences where you can as you never know what key skills you may pick up that will help you later in your career.

Chloe McKee

Chloe is currently employed with Randox Laboratories Ltd as a COVID-19 Laboratory Testing Manager. Her main role is to ensure the testing labs are running efficiently whilst enforcing quality and integrity. She is a driven and determined individual and this has helped her get to where she is today. Chloe’s main goal in her career is to be successful and strive to do the best job she can, no matter what the job may be. Chloe is a recent graduate herself and wants to show all new graduates that anything is possible if you put your mind to it!

 

Dermot Murray

Dermot is a Senior QA Engineer at Version 1, an Irish-owned tech company whose clients include the NHS, Facebook, Three mobile and Vodafone. Dermot specialises in Test Automation solutions. Having worked in the software quality assurance industry for over four years, he has worked on multitude of projects for a range of global clients. Dermot is currently working with a client in the public sector, leading performance / non-functional testing on their systems hosted on the cloud.

Kristen Guy
Kristen is a transgender woman who specialises in the development of training solutions for Deloitte in Belfast.
 
Not long after graduating from Queen’s University in 2013 with a BSc in Psychology, Kristen gained the confidence to become her authentic self and commenced her gender transition while simultaneously commencing her employment with Deloitte.
Leona McGirr

Leona has been supporting the fight against Covid-19 through her work with the company Fusion Antibodies. Leona joined Fusion Antibodies as a KTP Associate from Queen’s and was offered a permanent position at the end of the project. She has since been promoted to Team leader within the company.

Leona says: “The skill that has benefitted me most in my career is being able to solve problems and remain optimistic.”

She has this advice for graduates interested in research: “You don’t need to have everything figured out, your skills are transferrable and you will be able to work on loads of different research projects.”

Graham Ryan

Graham is UK&I Strategic Resourcing Manager at Version 1, he is an experienced Strategic Resourcing Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. He is skilled in Banking, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Technical Recruiting, Interpersonal Skills, and Management.