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Natalie Scarlett

Natalie Scarlett Q&A

Being at Coventry University triggered something in me; It opened up a number of opportunities and forced me to challenge the status quo.

British Red Cross Anti-Racism Project Manager, company owner, activist, and Coventry University alumni; it’s safe to say Natalie Scarlett has many strings to her bow. As a Communications, Culture and Media graduate, Natalie credits the array of skills learnt during her time studying at Coventry University for the varied roles she holds today. We caught up with Natalie to discuss what it’s like working for one of the biggest humanitarian charities and the advice she’d offer to students keen to get involved in social change.

Tell us about your time at Coventry University – how did your studies support your career today?

I studied my undergraduate degree in Communications, Culture and Media, then came back in 2016 to study a master’s in Corporate and Political communications. I applied for my master’s while working as a Youth Manager at Red Cross. The role opened my eyes to different sectors and made me aware of the different global humanitarian crises. I wanted to expand my knowledge so I could make a bigger impact. Studying my master’s empowered me to apply for my current role as Anti-Racism Project Manager.

Did you take part in any of Coventry University’s enrichment activities?

Coventry University provided so many opportunities for me to gain experience, learn new skills and get a taste for the kind of career I’d like to go into once I’d graduated. I took part in the ParliaMentors programme, a UN award-winning initiative, which focuses on developing a social action project. My project focused on supporting isolated students dealing with mental health issues. I got to work alongside a local MP and even got to go to parliament. It was a great way to explore how you can influence and make change in the community.

Tell us about your current role and any other projects you’re working on.

I’m currently the Anti-Racism Project Manager at British Red Cross. The role is a huge task, with my main focus being how to stop organisations being racist. The ParliaMentors and my time studying at Coventry University gave me the confidence to apply for this role. I’ve always been interested in social justice and having a background in race and class has also helped, but the experiences gained during my studies have been invaluable and have helped me thrive in this role.

Alongside my role at British Red Cross, I also run my own community interest company The Black Heritage Support service. It’s an advocacy service, committed to supporting the black community through crises. If I hadn’t been so empowered during my time at university, I probably wouldn’t be running my own company today.

What advice would you give to students who want to make social change?

I’d say identify your passions and focus on making change in these areas. Do your research and find out how you can make an impact, whether big or small. Volunteering at local organisations and charities is also a great way to make an impact, while also finding out what interests you.

It’s also important to take advantage of the opportunities offered to you during your studies. Being at Coventry University triggered something in me; it opened up a number of opportunities and forced me to challenge the status quo. Get involved with as many enrichment activities as you can and start making a change.

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