DUBS Ambassador Testimonials

  • Alex Jordan, BA Business Administration (2011)

    My current role is focused on managing and growing Hyperlink Media, a digital agency I founded last year. Having worked in digital marketing and web development for over seven years, including as a freelancer during my time at Durham University, I really enjoy working closely with clients. My day-to-day activities are therefore split between managing the team and working directly with clients on their web projects.

    The most satisfying aspect of my career so far has been making the decision to jump in at the deep end and leave the security of full-time employment to pursue my own agency; it was scary, but incredibly satisfying. Every day brings new exciting challenges, but there’s a lot of hard work and a fair amount of stress. Despite this I thoroughly enjoy what I do especially completing projects and seeing how happy our clients are when we hand over.

    There are a number of personal traits that have played a key role in leading me to where I am today. I’m quite logical, thorough and determined with my approach to problems. I’m also keen to listen and learn new skills. I think this approach has been essential in pushing through the challenges I’ve faced, especially when working with clients with such a wide range of problems to be solved. Determination has probably been my main strength over the past few years as building a business is not easy. It’s important to remember why you are doing what you are doing and that perseverance will eventually pay off.

    The time I spent at Durham University Business School was filled with so many memorable experiences! Taking up archery and representing Team Durham without coming last is one. However, I must say that Durham is an amazing city. The people, atmosphere and restaurants are certainly missed now that I’m based in London as are the times I spent socialising in the college bars and playing snooker, pool and squash during my relatively care-free time as a student.

    My time at DUBS certainly helped me develop my way of thinking and approach to problems. It also allowed me to explore different methodologies and make use of resources I wouldn’t have otherwise known about. From that perspective, I believe my degree has helped me enhance many of the skills I put to use on a day-to-day basis. My connection to DUBS has also enabled me to make connections which have progressed my career and further developed thes skills I now use on a day-to-day basis.

    Since graduating I have had the opportunity to be part of some exciting things. One piece of advice that I can offer to current students and alumni is to always have goals and plans of how to achieve these goals. Life is tough. However, there are jobs available and there are so many opportunities to develop in the ‘real world’. As a Business School graduate of Durham University you do have an advantage, but don’t get comfortable relying on that to get you through life. It is essential that you seriously consider where you want to be in 5, 10 and even 20 years and then make sure you devise a realistic plan of action to achieve your goals.

    I continue to make many plans for my future and my main ambition is to develop and grow Hyperlink; I’m currently working to bring together specialised teams who can take on more challenging projects. In the shorter term, I am also working on several side-projects including the development and launch of a skateparks project in the UK.

  • Susan Zhu, MA Marketing (2009)

    I am currently employed as the Chairman and CEO of Shanghai Treasure Carbon. One of the most satisfying aspects of my career so far has been leading the company that possesses the most carbon assets in the Chinese carbon industry. The key attributes that have facilitated my success are maintaining a positive attitude, being optimistic, and never losing hope. This outlook has allowed me to overcome a myriad of obstacles in order to stay on the right track – both personally and professionally.

    The time I spent at Durham University Business School created some special and fond memories namely, enjoying weekends with friends and having endless conversations about our dreams, passions and goals. The "Durham Experience" has had a significant impact on my career. The success of my company is due in large to the academic preparation I received at Durham and the strong networks I forged. Joining Shanghai Treasure Carbon was a result of those networks and they continue to be an asset to my professional growth and success.

    Since graduating from DUBS I have had the opportunity to do some exciting things including having the privilege to give a presentation at the World Economic Forum and introducing a global audience to Shanghai Treasure Carbon and the Chinese carbon industry. It was an honour to have the opportunity to share my knowledge about an industry with so much potential to  impact so positively on society. One piece of advice that I like to offer to current students and alumni is to have a strong and unwavering belief in something that motivates you and to excel at a high level towards achieving your dreams.

    I have been fortunate to complete many of the goals I set for myself and my company, however I continue to make new plans for the future. I want to make Shanghai Treasure Carbon into an international corporation that will encourage more colleagues, both from DUBS and other institutions, to consider working in the carbon industry and, consequently, position Durham University Business School as a school of choice for prospective students and employers engaged in the carbon industry.