Dr Hanna Yakavenka's Story
Dr Hanna Yakavenka
Associate Dean of Internationalisation and Business Development
Associate Dean of Internationalisation and Business Development, Dr Hanna Yakavenka, joined Coventry University London in 2017, when all academic staff could fit on the 6th floor and the best conversations happened over a cup of tea! We caught up with Hanna to get an insight into what Coventry University London was like when she first joined, what she has seen change and what she hopes for the future.
What was Coventry University London like when you first arrived?
When I joined Coventry University London, it already had three academic departments. It is hard to believe now, but back then all academic staff could fit on the 6th floor! The whole space gave that welcoming feel. I still vividly remember a small seating area in the middle of the 6th floor where the best conversations happened over a cup of tea. There were a lot of students on site who studied a wide range of business related degrees. I joined as the head of a very diverse academic team teaching Marketing, Fashion, Hospitality and Tourism disciplines. It was such a joy to come to work, as not a single day was the same. In spite of often being stretched, every single member of the academic team strived to design and deliver an outstanding learning experience. Personal touch was in everything we did.
What have you seen change or evolve during your time working at Coventry University London?
Since then we have launched a brilliant modern learning space at Cutler's Exchange and set up dedicated Fashion, Hospitality, Media, and Finance areas for students to experience 'real business' set up. Most importantly, however, we have grown in our vision. Newly designed courses enable students to develop generic as well as niche skills. Employability has been further and more systematically ingrained into the taught curriculum. We are now firmly established internationally with partner education institutions delivering Coventry University London courses in France, Greece, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Can you share a standout moment - something which has made you proud to work here?
Attending and talking about our courses, learning experience, and future opportunities during the Education Fairs, Open Days and taster sessions are among my most cherished moments. However, representing Coventry University Group during the graduation ceremonies in Malaysia in 2019 filled my heart with pride. There is nothing more rewarding than shaking hands of fresh graduates and sharing those last moment words of wisdom. Having an opportunity to connect with Coventry University London courses' graduates abroad - this is true global reach!
What is it that makes Coventry University London so unique?
It will have to be the 'just get on and do it' attitude among the staff who I work with. We strive for excellence and we take it to the next level!
What would you like to see Coventry University London achieve in the future?
Without a doubt we shall grow in reach; that being staff, students, and countries!