Thank you to our alumni volunteers

Goldsmiths alumni are incredible. You routinely return to campus to speak to students at panels, talks, workshops or lectures, you organise events and attend recruitment fairs and open days – and so much more. Even when the Covid-19 pandemic seemed to stop everything else, you continued to deliver by sharing your experience and time online.

National Volunteers’ Week is all about thanking our alumni volunteers for your dedication – so thank you, from all of us at Goldsmiths.

As an institution, as a community, and as individuals, we value and appreciate your support more than we can express. Goldsmiths wouldn’t be the same without you – so whatever your contribution, thank you.

Here is what you made possible recently:

You doubled the Goldsmiths Mentoring Scheme from 30 mentorships to 70

Last year, over 130 alumni applied to serve as mentors for the 30 mentorship places that we were able to facilitate – and that was only in year one! This year over 170 of you applied to support not only Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students, but now also disabled and Gold Award students – and as a result, 70 students benefited from alumni mentors this year.

This year’s online training session for mentors

Here is what Savannah, now in her third year, had to say about her experience last year:

“I found the mentoring scheme very helpful and enlightening. I was able to broaden my understanding of different fields related to psychology as I was able to meet with experts in different fields. I would recommend this scheme to future students.”

In case you’re considering joining us as a mentor next year, on why they become a mentor:

“It was immensely gratifying. Firstly, getting to know a smart and good person trying to navigate through post undergraduate life. Also, to get the opportunity almost revisit similar ideas/issues I had at the age of my mentee but in today’s context.” –Curtis (alumni mentor)

“We were really well matched which was a credit to the scheme. For me it inspired self-confidence and also some warm nostalgia to connect to someone his age with many opportunities at his feet. For me it has been a pleasure to get to know my mentee and see him achieve things, and also to feel that I can be of assistance or inspiration. I also loved being back at Goldsmiths and being involved with the University again.” -Ella (alumni mentor)

Curtis (mentor), Savannah (mentee), Ella (mentor)

You shared your time and expertise as speakers and panellists for some incredible events

Alumni have contributed their knowledge, expertise and candidness in a range of talks, panels and events. We’ve hosted two Goldsmiths Connect Presents livestreams, the first discussing the challenges and delights of creating art during a crisis, featuring alumna Nabilah. The second event was a panel discussion on representation in children’s literature, featuring alumni Dean, Nadine and Soheir, all of whom made thought-provoking and inspiring contributions – each from a distinct perspective. The quote of the day came from Nadine:

“Representation starts with the bookshelf.”

Dean, Nadine, Vicky (facilitator) and Soheir

Alumni also contributed to a huge number of career and industry-focused sessions for students of Music, English and Creative Writing, History, Computing and for aspiring writers:

You provided students with work experience through placements

There is nothing like a placement to help students who face that everlasting conundrum: how to get experience without first having experience. And every year, students need work placements as part of department based schemes.

Recently, alumni such as Richard, Selin, Matthias and Dean have worked with Goldsmiths staff to arrange placements, experience and in Richard’s case ,a teacher traineeship for our students.


You inspired the next generation of students from all backgrounds

It’s not only about current students – it’s also about potential and future university students, whether or not they come to Goldsmiths. Our Widening Participation team dedicates their time to making university accessible and inclusive for those from underrepresented groups and have increasingly included alumni in their activities.

As a follow on from the annual DE:CONSTRUCT conference for local sixth form students, the Widening Participation team invited alumni Laura and Kajal to have a livestreamed conversation facilitated by a student on the nature of change.

Also, screenwriter and alumnus Ryan joined a panel about studying in order to write for a living, and alumnus Carl spoke at two panels in less than three months: first with Goldsmiths History students and then to underrepresented young learners.


You even took the time to inform and entertain staff at Goldsmiths

In October 2020, Goldsmiths held our first ever online staff conference – with a keynote talk by alumnus Adrian on why when it comes to inclusion, hunting is better than farming (metaphorically speaking), and a virtual pub quiz (Goldsmiths-themed of course!) hosted by alumna Vic.

There are also alumni who support Goldsmiths in ways we may not be aware of until after the fact (if you’re reading this and that applies, email us and let us know – we want to acknowledge you!).

When Goldsmiths staff and students went into lockdown back in March 2020, we had no way of knowing what to expect or whether we could continue tapping into the talents of our alumni: thanks to your dedication, enthusiasm and versatility, we have seen support from alumni across a wider range of industries and from all across the world. We can’t thank you enough.

The volunteer programme is increasing thanks to your contributions and engagement. We hope you will continue express your interest and get involved, or simply reach out to other alumni, students and staff via Goldsmiths Connect.

Blog post by Sarah Khan, Alumni Relations Officer