School of Business

Gary Izunwa

After graduating Gary started my career at LinkedIn as one of nine Associates on their Business Leadership Programme. He worked there for three and a half years across varying functions such as Recruitment, Operations and Sales:


"LinkedIn was amazing and I loved working there but my desire to develop an impact led career motivated me to leave and join the British Council where I led social mobility programmes. Whilst at the British Council, I launched my social mobility podcast Climbing the Rungs. This developed my personal brand in the social mobility space to the point where I am now regularly contacted to deliver keynote talks on the topic with companies such as Barclays, the Office for National Statistics and KPMG."


Some of his career highlights to date include:

  • Raising over $60,000 for a LinkedIn volunteering project to Tanzania.
  • Being recognised as a Future Ethnic Minority Leader by the FT for his role in leading an Employee Resource Group at LinkedIn.
  • Winning the McKinsey & Company Achievement Award for his social mobility podcast.

Recently he was selected as one of 70 people to take up a place on Zinc VC's 12-month Venture Builder programme.  This programme finds and funds professionals to build new social impact companies from scratch.  At the 6-month mark Zinc selects a small number of companies to join their portfolio and to receive initial investment and Gary's company was one of these.  He is currently building his own start-up focused on boosting social mobility in the UK and beyond, and has just raised £75,000 from Zinc.


Gary looks back at his time here fondly:


"I had a great three years at Leicester and would do it all again if I could!  Studying in both the Management and Politics departments was really enjoyable. This allowed me to develop a deeper understanding of topics I was studying as I was able to interpret them through different perspectives. It also allowed me to make friends from the different courses which wouldn’t have happened if I studied just one of the subjects".


During his time at Leicester he was also the President of the Management Society and he believes this was a great developmental experience that allowed him to get real leadership experience and develop skills such as communication, teamwork and creativity.  In interviews Gary spoke about his experience and it was always well received.


In addition, Gary noted that Leicester really highlighted the importance of getting involved on campus and taking part in extracurricular activities:


"As a student, employers won’t expect you to have a lot of work experience but they will want to see that you have gained and developed some fundamental skills through other means. Leicester encouraging students to take part in activities outside of our studies motivated me to gain the experiences I needed to stand out amongst the crowd to employers."


As part of our alumni community Gary believes it is important that he pays it forward to current students and help them in their career development:


"None of us have got to where we are in isolation of others so it’s only right that we give our time to students who are where we once were. Taking the time to engage with current students also allows us to develop our skills such as management and coaching. Moreover, taking part in events offers the opportunity for us to meet other alumni and grow our network with former students that we haven’t had the chance to meet yet. You really can’t lose!".




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