(OE 1996-1998)

Ursula joined Emanuel in 1996, which was only the school’s second year in centuries as a co-educational school. She is currently pursuing a successful career in the civil service, currently working as a Disaster Resilience, Preparedness and Political Champions Senior Policy Advisor at the Department for International Development.

She reflects on her first memories of Emanuel as one of the only girls in what was formerly an all boys’ school. Her enduring memory, despite the shock of the new environment, was the camaraderie between herself and the other girls – they formed strong friendships with the boys in the sixth form, which helped them to settle in and feel accepted. She credits the wonderful and dedicated teachers who taught her English and Psychology.

Emanuel taught us to have a great deal of resilience. You have to take knocks and there will be things that don’t go right. You need to be able to pick yourself up to achieve your aims. Enjoy and use your time that you have at Emanuel because it goes by incredibly quickly; it will be a part of your life that you don’t forget.

Following Emanuel, Ursula went on to study History at UCL (despite her initial intentions to study Law). She credits the History curriculum at Emanuel for widening her horizons. After leaving UCL, she joined the Civil Service and completed a master’s degree at the LSE. She later joined the Foreign Office as a leady policy adviser and the Home Office, where she worked in national security.

Ursula states that Emanuel taught her to have a great deal of resilience – to take knocks, pick yourself up and achieve your aims.