As part of International Women’s week, we’re shining the spotlight on the inspiring women at Teesside University London. We sat down with our Graduate Talents Lead and Teesside University Graduate, Alecia Cotterell, who shared an insight into her story.

Introduce yourself

My name is Alecia and I’m the Graduate Talents Lead at TU London. I’m responsible for supporting students in gaining the employability skills and industry experience needed to set them up for success upon graduating.

What did you study at uni?

I’m actually a very proud graduate of Teesside University. I completed a degree in Youth Studies. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Teesside due to the course content, the student activities, work experience opportunities and the brilliant staff.

How did you get to where you are now?

I’ve always been passionate about working with young people and in education. Not only is this reflected in my degree, but my first job as a teenager was working as an after-school tutor and as youth leader in my local community. My graduate role was working in enterprise education and was a direct result of leading Teesside’s first Enterprise Society. I’ve had a range of roles within curriculum development, teaching and educational leadership, both in the UK and abroad.

What advice would give to women? 

Learn the attributes that make you likeable, successful and proud of yourself and the work that you do – whatever that may be. There are lots of positives and opportunities in being a woman in 2024 – seek these out and again, lean into them. Get connected with like-minded women. This could be through attending events, joining industry-specific groups, or general hobbies. Find mentors who are happy to support, advise and invest in you, and if relevant, recognise your challenges as a woman in your industry, these mentors could be women or men. There are people out in the world who are keen to support you if you seek them out.