Get to know the Global Opportunities Team and find out what has inspired us to travel the world and help students to do the same! We also find out why the GO Team love Queen Mary and their top picks to visit in East London.
This week we sat down with Global Opportunities Marketing Manager, Gemma Murphy, to talk about her role at Queen Mary, her favourite places in the world and why she would study abroad with our partners in Australia…
What’s your role at QMUL?
I’m really lucky because my role at QMUL is so diverse! I am the Global Opportunities Marketing Manager, which means I oversee the marketing for all of our incoming and outgoing programmes. I frequently travel to the US to meet with our partners and students interesting in studying abroad with us. I have to say the best part of my job is working with students, both before they arrive and once they’re here with us on campus, this is the most rewarding part of my role!
What attracted you to London?
I am originally from Cardiff and although I spent time travelling all over the world, both in my personal life and for work, I studied and worked in Cardiff until my mid-twenties. I’d always thought about living in London, but have to say that I always found it so hectic and exhausting when I would visit friends who lived here. But, when I finally took the plunge to move here three years ago, it was the best decision I ever made. The City is so dynamic, exciting and diverse – but it can also be peaceful and there are so many places where you can have a break from the hustle and bustle of central London. Moving here was one of the best decisions I’ve made.
If you were to ever leave London, what would you miss the most?
I would miss all of the things you can do here! You can never be bored in London, there is always something unique to do.
If you were to attend QMUL as an associate, what’s the first thing you’d do/place to go? (aside from attend the Welcome Programme obviously)
It would depend on where I was from and whether I’d been to London before! I guess if I hadn’t I would want to cross all of the tourist attractions off my list first, but I’d say one of the best things to see is Columbia Road Flower Market or Brick Lane – they’re a couple of my favourites and you can walk there from campus!
You’re given a 1 minute ad during the Super Bowl to promote study abroad. What would you say?
If I had a space at the Super Bowl, I would of course have access to a range of famous faces to help me out! So, I would take Bruce Dickenson (lead singer of Iron Maiden and one of our most famous alum from Queen Mary) along with me and I’d ask him to rave about QM for 30 seconds. Then I’d use the remaining thirty to say how I don’t think there is a better experience as a student – it challenges you, teaches you about yourself and others and opens your eyes to the rest of the world. I honestly think it has a profoundly positive impact on our students!
Did you study abroad?
I didn’t study abroad, and it is something I would have loved to do! I did a History degree and at the time studying abroad wasn’t promoted to us – outside of students who did language degrees. If I’d known about studying abroad back then I would have jumped at the chance since I’ve always been obsessed with travel. I 100% would have packed my bags for University of Sydney given half the chance. I did work abroad for a little while in Spain in the summer of my first year of University – it was a great opportunity to practice my Spanish. I also worked in Australia for a few months in my gap year which was a brilliant experience. I’d encourage students to take every opportunity to study/work abroad as you learn so much from other cultures and countries!
Favourite place you’ve ever traveled to?
It’s a toss-up between Bali and The Philippines. Bali is hands down my favourite place in the world and somewhere I’ve spent quite a bit of time, but I travelled around The Philippines for a month a couple of years ago and it was incredible. The history, the culture and the breath-taking scenery are so unique and the people are probably the friendliest I’ve ever met. Give me another couple of years, when hopefully I’ll have made it to some more places on my travel bucket list (mainly South America!) and who knows what will be my favourite.
If you could live somewhere else in the world where would it be?
Bali – no question. Or, a ranch in California.
If you could study at one of our IEP partners which would you choose?
University of Sydney or Melbourne – I love Australia!