Charlotte House, graduated with a MA in Arts Policy and Management in 2005. Her work as a Grants Manager at the Paul Hamlyn Foundation focuses on enabling pupils, particularly those experiencing systemic inequality or disadvantage, to thrive through engagement with high quality, arts-based learning.

When Charlotte graduated from undergraduate degree she went into a full-time role at a classical music agency. She said ‘I felt incredibly lucky to have found my role in classical music and was thoroughly enjoying it. At the same time, I was increasingly aware that my understanding of the arts sector was rather narrow and that my own life-experiences were not very broad either. As my first few years of full-time work passed by, the feelings of wanting to learn more and develop my perspectives grew.’

The Masters degree helped Charlotte both practically and personally. She commented, “ten years after my degree at Birkbeck, I trained as a primary teacher with Teach First: a notoriously challenging and tough two-year experience. However, having combined full-time work with studying in the past gave me some confidence in myself. Undoubtedly, my degree at Birkbeck has helped me to develop my career. Without that learning and those experiences, I would not have had the skills and expertise – nor the awareness or confidence – to go on to roles in the arts at Arts Council England and at Paul Hamlyn Foundation.”

For Charlotte, the Birkbeck community is a source of pride ‘I love reading the BBK magazine whenever it drops on my doormat. I am always blown away by the breadth and quality of research coming out of Birkbeck. I certainly feel proud to have studied there. I always encourage anyone thinking of university study to consider Birkbeck, as my own experiences were so positive. The Birkbeck approach worked for me, as someone working full-time who still wanted to study. It was a privilege to be part of a community of students many of whom were also combining their studies with work (and other fascinating experiences). This mix contributed to the quality and richness of discussions in our classes.’


When Alexander Flint Mitchell was working in the City when he enrolled onto Birkbeck’s MSc Business Innovation with the vision to change career direction and develop the business idea that had been on his mind for the last five years.

Handing in his notice just one month later, you could say things had moved a little faster than expected. “Looking back on it, that was probably a bit naïve,” Alexander admits, “but if you want to achieve something big, you’ve sometimes got to take a leap into the unknown.”

Alexander’s business venture is Blind Cupid, a dating app using a never-before-used science to match people based on their fundamental values, giving users the chance to see bios and compatibility scores before they reveal pictures to potential matches. Alexander explains:
“A lot of dating apps claim to be all about personality, but it’s really just a slogan. In their questionnaires, they will ask about polarising issues like politics, which is valid, but simply agreeing on something doesn’t mean that you’re compatible. Take Brexit, for example: people voted Leave on both extremes of the political spectrum. It’s essential to understand the rationale behind the belief.

The questionnaire that we use for Blind Cupid goes right to basic principles. The greatest feedback we have received so far from users is that they could see the value in the product even from just filling out the questionnaire – before they’d received any matches. When we tested the product, 80% of the test group went on four or more dates with their matches – that’s way higher than anything else in the market.”

As Alexander worked through the masters and the Pioneer programme at Birkbeck, his business and networks grew, he commented, “the decision to do the master’s was a life-changing, life-affirming decision. It’s crazy to think that the idea that I had when I was 21 is now my full-time job.”
Alexander is currently fundraising for Blind Cupid, with the aim of getting the product on the market.


Eubert joined Haringey Council in 1988, with over thirty years’ experience working in his local authority he began his studies on the Central Saint Martins Birkbeck MBA. “I made my way up the local authority and picked up Diplomas in Environmental Health and Management Studies along the way,” explains Eubert, “but I always felt that not having a first degree would hinder me at some point.”

“When I first started the MBA, there was lots of gang activity and a spate of deaths in the community. I wanted to learn more about how violence was affecting young people in Haringey, so I commissioned a community group to speak to them and to people in prisons to figure out the drivers of criminality. Until you actually sit down with young people and hear from them, their teachers and their parents, you don’t really understand the challenges that they are facing. We need to engage with them and ensure that they are part of the solution.”

Eubert’s MBA dissertation was on Haringey’s public health approach to tackling serious youth violence, a combination of academic research and an in-depth evidence base that came from his experience in the local authority, which informed the young people at risk strategy.

“At Haringey, we want to co-produce strategies with the community,” he explains. “Now, we’re incorporating business principles into our local authority point of view and using action learning techniques to think issues through from beginning to end, predicting the challenges we might need to address along the way.”

The rapid unfolding of events in the COVID-19 pandemic has made an agile approach essential. Eubert, his team and the wider council are working on campaigns to bring the local community together to reduce the spread of COVID-19: “The approach we’re taking, trying to get right to the hearts and minds of people in the borough, is something I don’t think we would have attempted before. It just goes to show that with the right support and network in the workplace, you can be successful even through challenging times. I know that anything I set my mind to I will be able to achieve.”