UCL Careers


Alumni Profiles: Veronique Porter

Interview with UCL Education, Gender and International Development Alum, Veronique Porter, she shares her career journey and encourages you to make use of UCL's Career service.

Close up of Veronique Porter

11 October 2022

Degree programme: Education, Gender and International Development
Graduation year: 2017
Current job role: Social Entrepreneur  

Please share a brief introduction to your career path, from graduation to where you are now.  

I spent almost a decade in International Development, focusing on health and education in West and Central Africa. I initially attended UCL to sharpen my skills, and increase my technical knowledge to continue on a more technical track within my field. After my time at UCL, I moved to France for a few years to learn French to support my professional development. 

However, the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and ultimately, I pivoted to entrepreneurship in a completely different realm. I shifted from international to US-centered work around anti-racism and gender inclusion. Even though my focus is domestic, my international lens from my time at UCL, and my experiences living abroad enhance my work, particularly with mutli-national organizations.  

Provide a brief summary of your core duties and describe what skills are important to your role?   

 As CEO/Founder and Lead Educator, I run all the operations of my organization at the moment. I create and implement trainings and workshops, and I facilitate multi-layered and complex conversations on progressive race and gender concepts. I manage client relationships, business development, finances, and social media.  

How did your time at UCL prepare you for the workplace?

 My time at UCL helped me to refine and recenter my strengths. While the focus of my UCL degree was my previous career track, my time at UCL helped me identify and deepen my strengths as a problem-solver, creator, and thought leader. All the insight I used toward development programming in other nations, I apply to a race and gender approach in the US. My education and experiences in my programme were pivotal in my journey to pivot from my previous career and start my business.

Were there any challenges in your job hunt?  

The job market is not easy and a global pandemic has not helped. I found it was useful to find a balance between strengthening my application materials (CV, cover letter, application), networking, and resources (like a career coach or using UCL Careers). 

Also, the job search isn’t personal. It’s easy to feel like there’s something wrong with the materials, or the need for more experience or education to be competitive. There are so many factors that influence employers and their decision, many of which have nothing to do with the strength of materials or candidacy.  

Top tips for current students: List up to 3 short quick tips that you would like to share with current students.

  • Figure out your skills from the angle of what you enjoy and what you are good at. It’ll help when reconciling what employers want, what you have to offer, and what sets you apart from all the other candidates.   

  • The only timeline you need to worry about is the one you create. Let yourself experience life and roll with how things develop.  

  • The world needs the skills and point of view you have to offer. Find the place that lets you showcase that while continuing to grow.  

Need help with your job applications or CV? 

Get free access to VMock - an online tool that can provide immediate tips and advice on how to improve your CV. After this, don’t forget, you can book a 1-2-1 appointment with our dedicated team of friendly Careers Consultants. Find out more here.