Celebrating some of Aston’s successful Black students and graduates

JodieFinal Year, First Year, Graduates, Postgraduate, Second Year

Venandah taking part in a moot court and wearing court dress

Here in Careers and Placements, we love to shout about the successes of our students and graduates. Today we thought we’d shine the spotlight on just some of Aston’s successful Black students and graduates. Sit back and feel inspired by these superstars!

Venandah Madanhi

Venandah (LLB Law, 2018) is the founder of Talk About, which provides engagement solutions that connect young people and professionals. She’s also a Trainee Solicitor and Engagement Consultant, was the youngest person on Birmingham’s inaugural Top 30 Under 30 list, was ranked 6 in the Future Leaders annual publication and is an accredited Youth Voice Award winner.

Read more about her success.

Jamelia Donaldson

Jamelia (Business and International Relations, 2013) is the founder of TreasureTress, a subscription box that’s redefining haircare for Black women. It’s Europe and the Middle East’s first monthly product discovery box for women and girls with textured hair and has fast become a force to be reckoned with within the beauty industry – it’s been featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Buzzfeed, Black Beauty and Hair Magazine, Good Housekeeping, The Voice Newspaper and many other prominent publications.

Jamelia was also a Black British Business Awards Entrepreneur Rising Star Winner in 2019 and was named an AdAge Woman to Watch in 2019.

Read more about her success.

Dr. Nelson Ogunshakin OBE

Dr. Nelson (BSc Civil Engineering, 1985 and MBA in Strategic Management & Product Finance, 1994) is an accomplished and passionate civil engineer, an effective, charismatic business leader, strategic negotiator, and specialist infrastructure investment finance and procurement expert. He is currently chief executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE).

His notable successes include:

  • Being awarded an Officer of the Order of British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s 2010 Birthday honours for his contribution to the engineering and construction industry.
  • Being granted an honorary doctorate of science and engineering by Aston University in 2011 for his services to engineering.
  • Winning a Trade Association Forum award for leadership in 2013.
  • Being named one of Britain’s 100 most influential Black people in 2010.

Regina Meleji

Regina is a current law student and the winner of the 2020 Stowe Family Law Prize. Regina was the top achieving student this year in the final year Family Law module, demonstrating a high standard of work and commitment to her studies.

In recognition of Regina’s outstanding performance, she has been offered work experience at Stowe’s new office in Birmingham. Stowe aims to give Regina a taste of what it is like to work in a family law firm, what the work entails and to help her to expand her network.

Arese Ugwu

Arese (Business and Management, 2006) is the author of the bestselling and ground-breaking The Smart Money Woman, the financial-chick-lit novel that has taken Africa by storm. She is helping young Africans discover their power to build their future and make smarter money decisions through Smart Money Africa, a personal finance platform for the African millennial, engaging young Africans on the importance of financial literacy and the impact it has on helping them get money, keep money, and grow money.

Read an interview with her in Aston’s InTouch magazine (flick to pages 8 and 9).

Olayemi Cardoso

Olayemi (Managerial and Administrative Studies, 1980) is a financial sector and development policy expert with over thirty years’ experience in the private, public and non-for-profit sectors. He is appointed to the Cities Alliance Think Tank which aims to shape and influence policy and decision making on urban development in Africa.

He received an honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from Aston University in 2017 for his outstanding contribution to business and society.

Kiki Osinbajo

Kiki (Law with Management) is a Nigerian entrepreneur and the founder of two companies – Glam’d Africa and Konyin Skincare.

Glam’d Africa is a one-stop beauty and fashion store that was created to promote, guide and grow Nigerian-owned brands. Their aim is to help businesses meet up with business best practices, give them access to a physical location at an affordable price and also expose them to the international market through exhibitions, media and activations. The Konyin Skincare line is a 100% plant-based skincare line that sources and manufactures all its products in Nigeria. Konyin Skincare was created to promote beauty in all shades.

Kiki won a Nigeria Entrepreneurs Award for Most Promising Female Entrepreneur of the Year 2018.

Read an interview with her.