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Friday 28 July 2017

Could you be the next Alumni Award winner?

You are part of an international alumni community of more than 36,000 people who live in 130 countries around the world. We feel it's important to celebrate your global impact.

The British Council's Alumni Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of alumni internationally and showcase the impact and value of a UK degree. This year, for the first time, the awards will be open to all alumni living in any country outside the UK and we would like you to consider applying.

Award winners and finalists are leaders in their fields who have used their experience of studying at a UK University or partner University to make a positive contribution to their communities, professions and countries.

Last year, Moneeza Burney, business and economics graduate, class of 2013 was named one of 148 Alumni Award finalists, chosen from more than 1,200 applications. In 2015 Moneeza launched a Community Service Initiative as part of Lahore Students' Union. This involved a structured six week social internship programme which connected students with volunteer opportunities in non-profit organisations based in Lahore.

We recently caught up with Moneeza after the awards ceremony to see how being involved with the Alumni Awards has had an impact on her work and what advice she would give to future applicants. 

Why did you decide to nominate yourself for the British Council Alumni Awards?

I felt that it was a great opportunity to gain recognition from the prestigious British Council for my efforts here in Pakistan. I also hoped to introduce my programme to a global network and beyond for possible collaborations.

What impact has taking part in the British Council Alumni Awards had on your work?

Before the Alumni Awards, I never had the chance to analyse the social impact of the programme and its success as I was busy trying to build the programme and cater to its growing needs. However, after I was shortlisted for the Alumni Awards and received recognition for my work, it felt really special. Now I have a direction. The programme is not just a passion project but it’s a life goal - to really be able to do something extraordinary with it, both nationally and internationally.

What opportunities have resulted from being a finalist in the British Council Alumni Awards?

I received recognition for my work at home in Pakistan. I got invited to various events as a panellist or speaker where I was able to talk about the programme and involve more young individuals and NGOs. I have been able to grow the programme and add more branches to it, like collaborations with schools and colleges who have approached us. The most special part was all the support I received from Sheffield Hallam. I received the Sheffield Business School Alumni Special Recognition Award and I was recognised on International Women's Day.
It genuinely made me proud of being a Sheffield Hallam alumna and motivated me to keep going.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to apply this year?

Go for it! To be honest, I never expected to be a finalist when I was filling out the application. However, all it took was a little bit of effort and courage and here I am! So don’t be shy of putting out the good work that you are doing and keep believing in yourself.

We wish Moneeza all the best for the future and we're very proud of her achievements.

Interested in applying?

If you have what it takes, please click here to apply for the awards. If you know a Sheffield Hallam graduate who has made a big impact in their community or their work, then please encourage them to apply.

The deadline for applications is 2 October 2017.

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