Alaana Woods - alumna profile
When UWE Bristol alumna Alaana Woods graduated in English Literature in 2007, she never imagined that in just three short years she would become the International Director of BMI Healthcare.
Read your way to the top
"Studying English Literature was invaluable for getting me to where I am now," says Alaana, "because it helped me to be able to form and articulate strong arguments, analyse behaviours and think laterally." Alaana went on to emphasise that, without UWE Bristol's education, she would never have realised her potential. "My time at university gave me confidence and strength of character to understand what I am capable of achieving. It taught me to be self-sufficient, to set personal goals. I believe it teaches everyone life skills, how to interact socially and that in life you get back what you put in."
When Alaana finished her studies she enrolled on a graduate training program before being employed by a healthcare marketing and business development company, and then in her role for BMI Healthcare. When talking about her job role Alaana explains, "as head of International Business I had the strategic and operational responsibility for international development, with the overall aim to grow the BMI Healthcare's presence in the well-established overseas healthcare market and promote BMI as an obvious choice to those seeking treatment abroad."
Her future does not stop there though, as Alaana has recently moved to Nuffield Health and plans to work in healthcare for a few more years before opening her own consultancy company. Whenever Alaana talks about her success she always reflects on her positive experience as a UWE Bristol student, "I love reading, so English Literature was an ideal course for me. The lecturers were fantastic, engaging and passionate which inspired me. The modules were interesting and varied, the best module was American literature which enabled me to explore and discuss some of my favourite novels and authors".
What makes you get out of bed in the morning?
"Unless you want to do something vocational, I strongly believe that a degree is to demonstrate that you are able to learn to a certain level, that you can commit and you are tenacious", says Alaana. When I asked if she has any advice for others who studied a non-vocational degree, "I think everyone has the ability to be whatever they want to be. The key is finding something that you love, that inspires you and makes you want to get out of bed in the morning and then to pursue it relentlessly. Believe in yourself and your ability and other people will believe in you too."