Investing in Others

Richard George (MSc Management Consultancy and Organisational Change, 2020) reflects on the value of a Birkbeck education and how it helped inspire him to find new ways to give back to his community.  

Throughout his life, Richard has always considered himself ‘a proud investor in people’. Beginning his career as a Trainee Management Consultant in Nigeria inspired Richard to think about other peoples’ needs first and consider how his work could help create a positive impact for local communities. Following his move to the UK, Richard dedicated himself to a career spanning over 25 years at Transport for London (TfL) where he is now responsible for the training and management of a diverse team of frontline staff.  

His decision to study at Birkbeck was in part motivated by his desire to provide the best possible training and development for his team. During his master’s degree, Richard studied the most recent developments in management theory and believes he has incorporated these into his work to become a more effective and resilient change manager.  

However, Richard soon recognised that the skills and theories he came across during his studies could also benefit the wider community, which encouraged him to start volunteering as a training facilitator at BEAM Agile (Black Excellence Accelerating Momentum). As a social enterprise, BEAM provides free training and workshops for members to help develop professional skills for people looking to enter the world of business and technology. Richard now acts as a Lead Consultant at BEAM, delivering interactive and accessible sessions to help further the BEAM vision: to develop the skills and performance of Black professionals and thereby increase their visibility and influence across the sector.

“From day one at Birkbeck, community has been a key part of my experience… Both as a student and as an alumnus, I’ve always felt like I’m part of something bigger.”

Richard describes himself as a “living testament to the value of a Birkbeck education”, championing the value of continuous learning across his life, career and volunteering. His path through education has been a “journey of growth and self-discovery” — one which has endured as he has reached many professional and personal milestones, including starting a family with his wife and supporting his three children to thrive in their education. 

From his time at Birkbeck, Richard values above all the sense of community embedded across the University: “From day one at Birkbeck, community has been a key part of my experience. I know ‘community’ is now a business buzzword, but Birkbeck has supported the development of community as a unique and powerful part of its identity for nearly 200 years. Both as a student and as an alumnus, I’ve always felt like I’m part of something bigger.”  

Richard continues to connect socially with his lecturers and classmates from Birkbeck, as well as volunteering for the Get Talking programme which supports and inspires prospective students to start their studies at Birkbeck. For Richard, his passion in investing in other people is ‘non-negotiable’ and continues to be a part of all areas of his life, particularly as a member of the Birkbeck community.