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York Business School

York Business School Alumni Advisory Board

Get to know our alumni representatives.

Students outside York Minster at graduation.

The York Business School Alumni Advisory Board (AAB) is made up of representatives from our graduate community.

Our representatives work on the behalf of the York Business School student population. They engage in ongoing dialogues to support the continuous relevance of courses and the wider delivery of the YBS strategy, and they are advocates for current students and graduates.

A dynamic global environment requires business and management education that critically considers its delivery to make sure learners' needs are met in personal, engaging, and impactful ways.

The AAB works in an advisory capacity to critically support and shape our courses. The outcome is a critical and responsive lens on business and management education. We prioritise employability and skills through a commitment to social justice and sustainability. Board members are advocates for York Business School and represent continued conversations between business students, alumni, and wider stakeholders.

Board members

Orla at graduation at York Minster.

Orla Nally

  • Studied at York St John from 2019 to 2023
  • Undergraduate (2022): Economics and Finance BSc (Hons First Class), Undergraduate Business Dissertation Award, Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) Award for Academic Achievement, founding member of the York St John Business Society.
  • Masters (2023): International Business MSc

Since graduating from my Masters in September 2023, I have been working as an Agricultural Business Consultant for a Chartered Surveyors based in South and West Yorkshire. I work with farmers, land owners and agri-Businesses, giving guidance on government grants, Natural England schemes, sourcing funding and providing general business advice. My goal is training as a Rural Surveyor and achieving my RICS and CAAV certifications in the future.

During my study I worked abroad during the summers of 2022 and 2023, as a Youth Leadership Director for Girl Scouts in Washington DC, USA. Managing the Youth Staff team, creating and carrying out training programs for 14 to 18 year olds, on topics such as youth leadership, mentoring and safeguarding in an outdoor summer camp setting. During my Masters I held information sessions for undergraduate students at York St John on working abroad, summer internships and volunteering as a student.

Throughout my time at York St John University, I was presented with so many opportunities, both academic and social – that not only benefitted my CV but my personal growth too. I entered the world of higher education with no clear idea of what I wanted to pursue when I was finished. Everything I learned during my undergraduate and masters degree at York St John has given me a really strong foundation, that is now helping me shape my professional life as a graduate.

Profile image of Kora Habinakova

Kora Habinakova

  • Studied at York St John from 2008 to 2011
  • Business Management: Marketing BA (Hons)
  • Semester abroad: Baldwin-Wallace College, Ohio

I got my first ever professional job thanks to a York St John job fair and thus started my career in digital marketing and e-commerce. To broaden my expertise, I also worked at Visit York as part of my placement, which helped me get my first full time job after graduating from my Masters in Durham. York St John and my tutors played a pivotal role in my career development and I would love to help pay it forward to the next generations.

James Sullivan

  • Studied at York St John from 2014 to 2017
  • Accounting and Finance BA (Hons)

During my time at York St John I worked as a junior commercial underwriter at NFU Mutual during my summers, took on a 3 month placement as a financial reporting analyst at York NHS Trust, and worked for Selby District Council as a planning assistant for 3 months. I also worked as a student researcher in my first year, a global guide helping international students and a careers ambassador in my final year.

After university I joined FDM as a Risk, Regulation and Compliance Consultant for 2 years where I was deployed at the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG). After this I joined LSEG permanently as a Buyer in their Group Procurement function and over the last 4 years promoted to Senior Buyer and Category Manger. I am currently the Category Manager for Cloud managing a category of £220m spend per year.

York St John positively impacted my career by helping me to gain the roles I had during my university career with the help from the careers team and my lecturers. Although my career is not in accounting, a huge takeaway from doing an undergraduate in Accounting and Finance is that it allows me to communicate and understand easily with my Finance department.

Profile image of Jay Goddard

Jay Goddard

  • Studied at York St John from 2012 to 2016
  • Business Management BA (Hons)

Since graduating from York St John in 2016 I have worked in supply chain in a variety of roles. I first joined DHL Supply Chain as a graduate on their 2 year placement scheme where I worked in a central 'Centre of Excellence' that involved a lot of data analysis, solution design and supplier contract negotiation. I then progressed from there in to operational roles to 'learn the do' starting as a junior warehouse FLM (First Line Manager) looking after both inbound and outbound warehouse departments. Very quickly I was promoted to Shift Manager and occupied roles on a number of different customer contracts at this level for around 3 years. I was then promoted to Operations Manager and were ultimately responsible for the safety, performance and motivation of a Warehouse Management team, working on the TK Maxx eCommerce contract.

I was also involved in a number of large IT projects during these years which led to a sidestep opportunity into a Warehouse Management System IT Manager role. This was a great opportunity, and my last at DHL before moving in to my current position of Senior Systems Development Manager at GXO. This role is a senior and strategic role within GXO supporting a single customer account (Virgin Media O2) where I am ultimately responsible for the systems estate and the WMS development pipeline.

In terms of career aspirations I hope to progress down the non-technical IT route in to a director position (IT Projects Director, WMS Development Director etc) within the next 5 to 7 years and I am actively working towards that in my current role that involves a lot of stakeholder management with the current board on both GXO's and our customers' side.

York St John was fundamental in leading me here as doors began to open very quickly as a result of a successful graduate scheme with DHL. I will always be thankful for my time at YSJ and the support offered to me.