26 July 2023

WWC International provides short-term mobility opportunities to Westminster undergraduate students, giving them a chance to experience work insights and employment culture in some of the world’s major cities.

Five separate groups of between 16 and 20 students each visited Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Paris, Milan and Singapore where they met over 100 Westminster alumni and partners. Across more than 70 sessions they heard about a range of professional journeys unique to the local working environment. The students explored different sectors such as entrepreneurship, sustainability, photography, journalism, media, consulting and tech.

Karolina Zarębska, a Psychology BSc Honours student, said about her experience with WWC Barcelona: “Their [the speakers] insights were invaluable, but what stood out to me the most was the realisation that I am not alone in my way of thinking. The people I admire were once in my shoes, lacking confidence and resources or feeling lost. But what they all had in common was a willingness to explore, challenge themselves, and not give up. They also shared their thoughts about travelling and finding one's own space to live, which was something I had been struggling with. Most of them were foreign to Spain and had lived abroad before, so they understood what it was like to be a citizen of the world. This made me feel more grounded in that it is okay to be confused about where we want to stay for life, and we should not limit ourselves to exploring that.”

With visits from esteemed alumni and partners, trips to corporate offices and cultural excursions including exploring the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, students were able to find strength outside of their comfort zones and meet both local and expat role models that reflected their challenges and life experiences.

Some of the alumni who spoke to the students included Gundula Cöllen-Sorger, Founder at BECYCLE & BEYOND in Berlin; Orna Rosenfeld, Global Advisor on Housing, research scientist, author and speaker in Paris; Neil Jacobs, CEO at Six Senses in Singapore; Sofia Castellaccio, Creative Producer at Condé Nast Italia in Italy; and Carlota Estera, Co-Director at ESEI International Business School in Barcelona. Speakers also showcased the working cultures of, and routes into, organisations like L’Oréal, European Parliament, UNESCO, Amazon, Kraft Heinz, IBM, Sony Interactive Entertainment (PlayStation) and Tik Tok. Participants also heard from speakers who have started their own business, learning about what it takes to thrive as an entrepreneur.

Julienne Loh, Marketing Management MA graduate and Executive and Leadership Coach, said: “It is not every day one gets to host her alma mater from over two decades ago, in her own home country, sharing about current trends and challenges in Asia. And so it was with great joy that I was able to welcome and engage with the undergraduates from University of Westminster as part of Westminster Working Cultures here in Singapore, in partnership with the extraordinary folks from Mastercard Experience Center and Junior Achievement Singapore. While I shared my E.A.T journey as part of my own leadership mindset and the others covered opportunities in Asia Pacific related to innovation, sustainability and community, I left feeling super reenergized and exuberant by what I received from everyone that day - their ideas and ideals of the future. It is certainly not based on what they can take but what they can give so as to make this world a bit better and kinder.”

This programme was made possible by the generous funding support from the Quintin Hogg Trust and was organised by the Westminster Working Cultures team within the Alumni Relations Office.

WWC International is part of a wider programme of activity, including WWC UK and WWC Professional, and is designed to support the employability skills development and global outlook of Westminster students. WWC International has hosted 20 trips all over the world since its launch in 2017, which have all featured a range of successful alumni and partner organisations with over 350 Westminster students participating. Upcoming WWC International trips are to Dubai, Hong Kong and Washington DC and will take place in September 2023.

Learn more about Westminster Working Cultures International or email the Westminster Working Cultures team.