Alumni interviews: Lauren Rosegreen

For the first of our series of conversations with University of Manchester alumni volunteers, we chatted to Lauren Rosegreen about why she wants to inspire our current students – and exactly what she gets out of it as a volunteer.

Lauren Rosegreen graduated from The University of Manchester in 2016 with a Law degree and has been a powerhouse in the charity sector ever since.

She currently works as Policy and Influence Manager at Macc – a charity that supports voluntary, community and social enterprises organisations in Manchester. She’s also the Social Media Manager at Invisible Cities (Manchester), a social enterprise that trains people who have experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city. Lauren is a trustee for the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity, a volunteer at Manchester Refugee Support Network, and was named as the ‘Ultimate Gamechanger’ in last year’s Northern Gamechanger awards.

She has volunteered with The University of Manchester at events which connect students with graduates who have gone on to a diverse range of careers. Alumni are there to talk to students about their experience, offer advice and answer their questions.

“University was a really defining moment for me in my life,” says Lauren.

“I spent four years at The University of Manchester and it really framed my whole life. I almost feel like I owe the University so much because I had such an incredible experience. I wanted to give back to the place that I love so much.”

Diversity in leadership

As a woman of dual heritage from a working-class background, representation matters to Lauren. In the Fawcett Society’s ‘2022 Sex and Power Index’, the data shows that women of colour are under-represented at the highest levels in many sectors.

It isn’t surprising that they are missing altogether from senior roles such as Supreme Court Justices, Metro Mayors, Police and Crime Commissioners and FTSE 100 chief executives. Lauren is breaking down barriers and showing that there is room for diversity in leadership. She is someone that other young people can see in management positions and know it’s possible to succeed.

‘I love to see it click in people’s heads, you can just see it. You can do it, so I can do it.’

Next steps

“After University, nobody told me what my next step would be. But I want to show people that it’s ok and that it’s actually really exciting.”

Lauren explained that she didn’t go down the law path, but that her degree taught her that her passion is to help people. She moved into the charity sector where she could support people and use her skills. This is a message that she is keen to share with students who may be worried about going into a career not directly related to their degree:

“If [your degree] isn’t for you, it really isn’t a waste of your time – the stuff you’ve learned is relevant and employers will love you.”

The benefits of volunteering for Lauren

Volunteering can provide numerous benefits to students, but also to alumni – both in terms of personal development and future career prospects. It can also be a great way to make a positive impact on the world as well and give back to the University.

Volunteering at The University of Manchester meant that Lauren got to attend a celebration event where Lemn Sissay was in attendance. She was empowered to approach him knowing she was there as an alumni volunteer, and had the opportunity to share the work she is doing in the city.

Volunteering with the University has also helped Lauren in her career not just professionally but pastorally as a manager. It gave her the confidence to work with her team on their personal development and goals.

“I’m a manager now, we’ve just been doing self-development plans and I love it! I love helping people think about what they want to achieve. I think I’ve really gotten that from the volunteering work I’ve done with the uni. I think I approach things differently to managers I’ve had in the past because I have had this direct volunteering experience with young people. Through volunteering I’ve learnt how to tease out what they’re interested in.”

Encouraging others to volunteer

And does Lauren have any words of advice for alumni considering volunteering with the University?

“Just do it… make those connections with other professionals, the alumni team, meet new people and be part of their journey.” If you’re considering it already, you’re already halfway there, so go ahead and give it a go!”

2 thoughts on “Alumni interviews: Lauren Rosegreen

  1. Hello!
    I’m an alumni of the University of Manchester. I graduated in 2020 and for so long I was thinking how I could take part in university activities and be part of the university again.

    Having read this article about Lauren I would love to join the alumni volunteering team. I no longer leave in Manchester anymore, but would love to join any online event and support current students.

    I look forward to hearing back from you and see how I can get involved.

    Thank you for everything


  2. I found that my High School motto “non scholae sed vitae”, “not for school but for life” was equally, if not more, applicable in my University experience. This article exemplifies that. The accumulated knowledge and experience that we gain, especially if in many different roles, defines us in later life. This is not only true for our working lives but in volunteer activities. Helping others has been a central part of my life and there is no greater personal reward. It wasn’t done for any special recognition. It just felt natural for me. We tend to think that helping others is solely a volunteer activity but there are many opportunities to help others in our working lives, if we are willing to see the opportunities and devote the time. Knowledge/experience should never be seen as “personal” but readily imparted to others for the greater good!

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