We’re delighted to open registration and announce the programme for the first ever Sutton Trust Alumni Festival on 18-19 June 2021. 

Curated by our Alumni Leadership Board, this event is being made by alumni, for alumni. It will offer support to all those who have come through a Sutton Trust programme in their education and career journeys, and will celebrate this outstanding group. 

The digital Festival will feature a packed programme designed to provide alums with inspiring and practical content and skills for whatever stage of their career journey. Just like so many festivals, we’ll have multiple events running simultaneously so attendees can tailor their Festival experience to suit their own interests. 

Kicking off the weekend will be our dragon’s den-style policy discussion on Higher Education in a Post-Pandemic World. Alums and our expert panel will present their top recommendations for what needs to change in higher education, before pulling this together into a set of Sutton Trust Alumni priorities. We’re delighted to feature cross-sector experts on higher education and widening participation in this session, including Nick Hillman, Director of HEPI, Larissa Kennedy, President of the NUS, and Anne-Marie Canning, Sutton Trust alum and CEO of The Brilliant Club.

On Saturday afternoon, our Sector Insights will shed light on a wide range of industries through panel sessions that showcase hidden and unexpected roles in the corporate world, creative careers, and the public and third sectors. With panellists from Tortoise Media, the Department for Transport, Capital One and more, alums can learn how to ‘get in and get on’ in career paths ranging from journalism to CSR and everything in between. 

There will be sessions to suit alums whatever the stage in their journey. In our How to be your own Champion workshops, alums can engage in open, honest discussions on how to identify and build confidence. In our sessions on Navigating your Journey, alums who study can gain insight on how best to survive and thrive at university, and those working can learn how to design their career by engaging with sector-leading professionals, not least Vodafone’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Leanne Wood.

We’ll close the Festival with our annual Alumni Celebration, which will celebrate their achievements through our Alumni Awards, allow alums to connect one another, and hear from our ‘headliner’ – a very special guest alumni speaker we’re looking forward to announcing very soon. Until then, alums can nominate themselves or another wonderful alum for our alumni awards. 

We hope you’re excited as we are about this programme, and we cannot wait to be joined by alums old and new in June. If you’re an alum of the Sutton Trust, and even if you’ve never come along to our events before, sign up for sessions below! 

Friday 18th June 

5:30 – 7pm –  “Higher Education in a post-pandemic world: your wish list” policy discussion 

Saturday 19th June 

1:30 – 2:45pm – Sector insight sessions into: creative industries, public & third sector, unexpected roles in the corporate world  

3:00 – 4:00pm – How to be your own champion through: understanding your strengths and telling your story, or owning your space 

4:30 – 5:30pm – Navigating your journey by: Surviving and thriving at uni or designing your career  

6:30 – 8:30pm – Join us to round off the festival with our Celebration!  


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