Two ambitious women on a mission
Meet the UM alumni who combine their work with an extracurricular activity such as a special hobby, a creative project, and so on. Today we lift the curtain on the successful movement Unleash Today, empowering young women leaving university and entering their first workplace. It was founded by alumni Kate Surala and Sarah Wagner. Kate tells you more about it.
Kate: ‘‘After graduation, when Sarah and I worked as junior professionals and started to climb our career ladders, we identified similar setbacks, struggles and barriers. For instance, it was hard to realise that (young) women are still treated differently at the workplace due to dominant gender biases in our society. When we were looking for advice on how to deal with this, we could not find any tips, mentoring or books by women in the earlier stages of their career. That is why we eventually founded Unleash Today next to our jobs – we feel accountable to share our career advice, personal stories and lessons learned so that other young and ambitious women do not have to go through the same experiences in their first job.’’
Confidence and growth
‘‘Currently, our international team consists of 17 persons, including 6 Maastricht University alumni – Denise, Liselotte and Alexandra studied at the Faculty of Law, Henry graduated from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and Sarah and I are alumni of both UM faculties. We have set a goal to publish our first book in the autumn of 2020. In the book, called ‘Unleash Today’ as well, we focus on first impressions, confidence, networking, professional growth and other topics that help readers to live up to their full potential at the workplace. Sarah and I are so proud of the entire team, helping us collect inspiring stories from experts and professionals (men and women) in different industries across the globe that contribute to the book.’’
Kate Surala (LAW, FASoS) works full-time in London as a Partner and Chief Compliance Officer at a growing investment equity research firm in London.
Sarah Wagner (LAW, FASoS) is a full-time Project Manager for the development agency GIZ in Beijing.
‘The sky is the limit’
‘‘I would describe Sarah and myself as ‘two career-driven millennials under 30’. Sarah works in Beijing as a Project Manager, I work in London as a Partner and Chief Compliance Officer at a growing investment equity research firm. Who knows what our lives will be like in 10 years? The sky is the limit! Regarding the future of Unleash Today, we hope that we will be able to address topics related to juggling your career and family life. For instance, how do you return to work after having children, and how can you keep growing your career in your 30s? For now, we would like to say to all young women and graduates of Maastricht University: unleash today and be yourself. Always. Do not change so people like you. The right people will appreciate, uplift and celebrate the real you!’’
Text: Milou Schreuders
Do you want to learn more about Kate and Sarah? They will give an online lecture on Saturday 5 September 2020, at 14.00 CEST, during the online UM Alumni Week! For more information and registration, go to the UM Alumni Week web page.