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Case Study: Making Your Contribution

Alumni volunteering 4

I had something of an ‘ah ha!’ moment at UCL. I suddenly realised just how much I didn’t know,” says Mark Howard (UCL Social Studies 1983). When Mark arrived at UCL in 1983 as a study abroad student for the third year of his Economics degree, it was his first taste of life abroad, his first experience of a large university, and his first glimpse of such a dynamic, diverse city. “As well as my academic achievement, UCL changed the direction of my life, it was such a positive experience,” he says.

After completing an MBA at New York University, Mark built a successful career in investment banking at Lehman Brothers, Barclays Capital and BNP Paribas, where he is now Head of US Credit Strategy. And despite – or perhaps because of – the fact that he works in a high pressure environment, three years ago he reconnected with UCL through UCL FAA by volunteering to host a high-profile event in the city. 

Now Chairman of the board of UCL FAA, Mark believes that he gains as much as he contributes to his voluntary role. “I don’t live to work, I work to live, and some of the most enjoyable things I’ve done in the past decade have come from supporting organisations that have little to do with my day job,” says Mark. He believes most alumni have skills and experience that could benefit UCL – and that alumni will also enjoy the connection. “There are so many really exciting things going on at UCL that alumni are unaware of, and so many opportunities to contribute aside from providing money that are rewarding and enriching.

“UCL is a global university that is doing exciting and important work, not just for students but for society. Many people want to be smarter about issues ranging from neuroscience to ecology – areas where UCL leads the world and which are vital for us and future generations.”