Birmingham student scores sought-after role in São Paulo

A University of Birmingham student is joining the British diplomatic team in Brazil after securing a sought-after internship with the UK’s representatives in São Paulo.

International relations student Arash Hussain won the opportunity to spend 12 weeks with the Consulate-General, as part of the University’s Global Challenge Internship Programme.

Run by Birmingham’s Careers Network, the scheme provides students with once-in-a-lifetime international experience and an opportunity to intern in top global organisations.

This year’s partnership sees the University partner with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) to offer the opportunity to work in Brazil in a deal brokered by UKTI West Midlands.

Arash, 22, from Bristol, joins the Consulate-General team dealing with UK Government priorities in the Education sector in Brazil. He is working for the First Secretary for Education and helping take forward the UK’s prosperity Education agenda throughout Brazil.

He said:

“This is an incredible opportunity to work in a challenging environment in order to implement real change and strengthen ties between the UK and our Brazilian counterparts.

I will do all I can to enrich not only educational ties, but social, political and diplomatic relations between our two countries by supporting the Education team and providing incisive and fresh insight.

“I look forward to beginning this journey, learning a great deal from my superiors and hope the experience will provide further impetus in my pursuit of a long-term career within the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.”

He will spend his time in Brazil helping his colleagues in the Consulate-General to maintain and develop the important and long-standing relationship between the UK and Brazil, with the team working across a range of political, commercial, security and economic areas.

Arash’s duties include producing reports and papers covering key Education issues that will further the policy debate in Brazil and the UK. He will also support the Education Policy Team preparing for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

He will help to develop the relationship between Brazilian academic institutions and their British counterparts, as well as working with a network of former UK University students from the Brazilian scholarship programme Science without Borders.

Mark Sankey, head of the UKTI international trade team in the West Midlands, said:

“This is an innovative and exciting scheme that we have helped to launch with the University of Birmingham – just one aspect of the support we provide to the institution in Brazil.

“We have introduced key University staff to partners and identified many commercial and academic opportunities in Brazil, including in sectors such as oil and gas, cancer studies and energy storage.

We’re delighted our work with the University is bearing fruit and hope Arash takes full advantage of his time with our colleagues in São Paolo.”

The Global Challenge Internship Programme is a unique scheme in the UK and 30 students have undertaken challenging and varied internships in cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, New York and Melbourne since the scheme was set up in 2011.

University of Birmingham Deputy Director of External Engagement Sue Welland said:

“The University of Birmingham developed this programme as part of our strategic investment into the employability of our students.

It provides them with unique international work experience without financial constraints and builds on partnerships we have in key regions such as Brazil.”

Working on projects such as promoting urban cycling in India, working with the Deputy Consul General of the British Consulate in Chicago to support the enhancement of the UK’s reputation and producing high quality reporting on political and economic developments in the US Midwest, and helping to establish new and grow existing micro-consignment supported businesses in Guatemala.

The University developed the programme as part of its strategic investment into the employability of its students to provide unique international work experience without financial constraints. It builds on partnerships the University has in key regions such as Brazil and the USA.

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