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Alumni Profile

Name: Ivana Shantilal '13

Course studied: Foundation Art & Design

Current position: Marketing Director of NOQ Group

"There is always room for growth, and always something to learn from every experience, no matter how smallecause you and the world deserve to see and experience everything you have to offer."

Ivana lives in Portugal and you can connect with her on LinkedIn

Ivana Shantilal

What made you choose Brookes as a place to study?

My decision was based on a combination of the course, the University’s reputation and the location. During my research for foundation courses, Oxford Brookes was constantly referred to as a great school with an excellent course journey, and the town of Oxford was the cherry on top.

What is your best memory of your time at Oxford Brookes?

I have fond memories of punting in the summer months, exploring the local markets and my first introduction to Ben’s Cookies! Brookes also gave me a great set of friends who made being away from home a lot easier.

After graduating from Brookes what were the next steps for your career?

After my Foundation course, I went on to do a Fashion degree at Kingston University where I further explored my creative side, utilizing many of the skills I garnered from my Brookes foundation.

What was your inspiration to move into your current profession?

The journey wasn’t mapped out from the start, it was a culmination of my experiences to date. During my education, I came to the realisation that I wished to work in a field that allowed me to continue utilizing my creative side, while being able to explore a more analytical aspect. I began this journey in the hospitality industry which then led me to my current role in a tech startup, where my role truly encompasses a variety of responsibilities.

What success stories/achievements have you had in your role?

NOQ Group is a small company that launched in the midst of a pandemic and has had increasing growth. Being part of a very small team who has managed to drive this growth and shown continuous success, is definitely my greatest achievement.

What is the best advice someone has given you?

My parents have always been the source of the best advice I’ve received. They have instilled in me that there is always room for growth, and always something to learn from every experience, no matter how small.

What advice would you give to others?

I would tell others to not be afraid of ‘not knowing’. That thought can trigger the best decisions, as it allows you to keep exploring and taking chances and the pieces will fall into place.