Class Notes 2020

Alan Calzada

(MSc International Business 2009)

After my time in Leeds I returned to Mexico and started my career at Kellogg Company. I also worked at BNSF Logistics as an Account Manager for a couple of years and travelled to South East Asia, Europe and of course throughout my beloved Mexico. My current role is as a Mexico Branch Manager for Nationwide Logistics based in California. I’m very proud to belong to the alumni of such a prestigious institution.

Amir Abbas Darbanibasmanj

(MSc International Marketing Management 2012)

Although 2020 will not be remembered as the happiest year, for my wife and me it started with moving to Toronto to work at a leading Canadian wealth management company. My position covers the intersection of marketing, data science, and digital transformation, which is a novel and rapidly growing field in the modern digital era. I always carry the experiences and knowledge that I gained from living and studying at Leeds. I am looking forward to contributing as an alumnus.

Androniki Kameri

(MSc International Marketing Management 2006)

After graduating from the University in 2006, I joined NetU Consultants Ltd, one of the largest Information Technology enterprises in Cyprus. I now work as a Bid Manager, responsible for the preparation of proposals for public organisations in Cyprus and abroad. Throughout the years, I always miss my time in Leeds! Thank-you Leeds, for the knowledge I obtained, the great experiences, the unforgettable memories and the precious friends!

Brenelia Tedra Kirby

(MA Corporate Communications, Marketing and Public Relations 2019)

After graduating I returned to my small multi-island nation nestled in the heart of the Caribbean. I left these shores as a lecturer at a community college, and returned equipped with the competence to propel my career and a sense of confidence and purpose. Immediately I submitted a proposal to create a Marketing and Communications department. A year later, I am proud to be the new and first of its kind: Communications and Marketing Manager of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College.

Eliana Vanekova

(International Business and Marketing 2019)

I met my partner James at our very first lecture! Since graduating, we’ve gone through a few big life events together – from moving to London, and now Valencia, to starting a new environmental business: Zero Smart. It’s a subscription service which offsets your carbon footprint by planting trees and funding accredited climate projects. We aim to plant 144,000 trees and retire 13,400 tonnes of CO2 by April 2021, and hopefully many more soon after.

Emma Watson

(MSc IB 2018)

After graduation, I joined my family business in the luxury yachting and helicopter aviation industries. We specialise in VIP helicopter operations on globally cruising superyachts. I’ve been moving between our various bases in the UK, Isle of Man, South of France, and most recently the Caribbean island of Saint Martin – where I’ve been working toward my private pilot’s license and have overseen the opening of a new subsidiary, now successfully in its second year.

Mabel D Costa

(MSc Accounting and Finance 2011)

I taught as a part-time lecturer at Leeds Beckett University for two years after graduating. I then went back to Bangladesh where I taught at North South University for almost four years. In 2017, I made the big move to ’Middle-Earth’ (New Zealand) to pursue a PhD in Accountancy. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic I submitted my thesis, which I then successfully defended in August 2020. Currently I am working at Massey University as a lecturer.

Mohammad Razib Hossain

(MSc Economics 2018)

After I graduated, I came back to Bangladesh. I have been serving as faculty in a top-ranked public university of Bangladesh, a pioneering institution in agriculture. Since my journey to Leeds, I always find myself more motivated and dedicated to research that significantly impacts my community. I have penned two research articles, which are published in reputed scholarly journals. Now, I am looking forward to starting my next academic journey, PhD.

Nariba J. P Edwards

(MSc Organizational Psychology 2018)

I was Trinidad and Tobago’s top model in 2011 and former model at Boss Models New York. Moving to Leeds facilitated my dream of becoming a human resource specialist and advocate for justice and wellbeing. This was life changing! After my Masters, I migrated to Zambia and then to South Africa. Recently, I was awarded a scholarship to study for my PhD. Special thanks to the amazing lecturers at Leeds for the wonderful experience!

Olayiwola Akinlade

(Management 2018)

It has been a very interesting year. I decided to leave my job as a Search Engine Optimisation Strategist and start a design business (BVL Designs). Low and behold six months in I’ve had the luxury of working and designing for some amazing brands and people. Some of which include EA (Fifa 2021), Microsoft, LADbible, Size, Reebok, and celebs like Ian Wright and Jamie Oliver.

Rangel Koldanov

(International Business and Econimic 2014)

In February I was made redundant. With businesses moving to a work from home and massive uncertainty everywhere since March, I believe I made the best out of it. I did some online courses, spent some quality time with family and landed the perfect job. I am now a Product Manager in a vibrant industry leader and am here to tell you – make the most out of any challenge you face! Take care!

Roi Barreira

(MSc Financial Mathematics 2015)

After graduating, I started working for the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) within the Economics and Risks Analysis department in Paris. I’m happy to say that I contributed to strengthening the European financial system. After that, I moved to Malta. I returned to Spain in 2019 to work for Alvarez & Marsal at its Madrid office, where I currently help banks and financial institutions to deal with regulatory and risk issues.

Simon Williams

(PhD 2019)

Since 2019 I’ve developed my research consultancy, Service Insights Ltd, into a full-time business. I’ve worked with clients in social housing, charities and the environment. Larger projects involved exploring the impact of home working during the pandemic; the role of the ‘Internet of Things’ in housing for older people; and researching expectations for the future of farming after Brexit. It’s been an exciting and diverse time, often being able to apply the learning gained during my PhD.

Sneha Bose

(MSc International Business 2014)

This year gave us a chance to pause and reflect. I have been pondering on the idea of being a part of an NGO that caters to women empowerment and also education of the children who either have been internally displaced or else have suffered a grave personal tragedy. I am proud to introduce The Widows Foundation and The Orphans-Free School, situated in Kaduna (Nigeria) We do skills acquisition and empowerment programmes for the widows of the Badiko community, who are slowly blooming into entrepreneurs. In addition, we also provide schooling, food and clothing of the orphans from that community.

Stuart Manley

(Economics and Management 2000)

During the pandemic I have been working on a travel start-up called LYOS. It is an automated travel journal and trip planner for backpackers, long term travellers, and digital nomads. The LYOS app covers the full life cycle of the travel experience, and will be launching in 2021. Details can be found at and our social media handle is @lyosapp. Live Your Own Story.

Syazril Anmar

(Accounting and Finance 2016)

It has been a remarkable journey after my time in Leeds. I landed my first ever job in Dubai in 2018. Fast forward to 2020, I’ve acted in a senior role for some of the biggest clients in the UAE and have travelled to Singapore and Saudi Arabia. Quality is a culture built into the fabric in any firm and it is realised through continuous learning with superiors who set the right examples, as well as an excellent institution that acts as a stepping-stone to a sweet career.

Weiting Li

(MSc International Business 2015)

After graduation I returned to China, working as a lecturer in international schools in Beijing for five years. I achieved my PGCEi from the University of Nottingham and recently was promoted as the Head of Humanities in a famous K12 education centre in Beijing. I am committed to being the best educator to ensure all students perform at their best and become caring individuals for people and society around them.

Zakki Effendi

(MSc International Business 2017)

After graduating, I moved to the Netherlands and pursued a career in the Health Tech industry. It was a new experience for me, having previously worked in bank, retail, and airline companies in Indonesia and Turkey. I’m currently working with Philips HQ as ‘Global Productivity Performance Manager’ operating in over 100 countries. I enjoy developing data-driven business strategies and innovations that improve billions of people’s quality of life. Thanks, LUBS, for all the lessons and the experience!