Mary-Ann Ooi Suan Kim

Postgraduate Diploma in Professional and Legal Skills, 2007

Mary-Ann Ooi Suan Kim is the winner of the 2017 British Council Entrepreneurial Award, which celebrates the outstanding achievements of alumni and the impact of UK higher education. Currently a practising lawyer and head of her Kuala Lumpur-based law firm, OS Kim & Associates, Mary-Ann is also the founder of Builders Biomass, an environmentally friendly business which aims to alleviate global warming by incorporating protection strategies into business models and providing renewable sources of energy.

“Winning this award was a humbling experience and inspired me to aim higher for excellence in my professional life. The award also gave me visibility and recognition, which helped me expand the growth of my professional network,” she says.

Mary-Ann graduated in 2007 from The City Law School with a Postgraduate Diploma in Professional and Legal Skills. She was then admitted to the Bar and developed a passion for trade, sustainability, climate change, renewable energy and innovation.

Mary-Ann recently joined City’s Strategic South East Asia delegation, which visited Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia to host alumni reunions but also foster collaboration with the Faculty of Law at the University of Malaya.

Peter Greedy

BSc Optometry, 1987

Peter is a practising optometrist and the inventor of Greeper Laces, which are award-winning shoelaces with fasteners designed
to prevent tied shoes becoming untied.

Born and raised in Newport, Peter studied and worked in optics for over three decades. After graduating, he worked in high-street practice and later joined the healthcare company Bausch & Lomb.

In 2001, Peter’s life changed after he took inspiration from the frustration of his children’s shoelaces constantly becoming untied. Equipped with a pair of trainers and an idea in his mind, he went into his shed and invented a prototype of Greeper Laces. After getting a patent for his invention, Peter travelled to China to find a suitable manufacturer and launched the product in 2009. The innovative laces quickly received endorsements from successful athletes in triathlon and other endurance sports.

“The original concept was all about preventing shoelaces from untying,” says Peter. “But discovering that my product has become the choice of several world champion athletes has been brilliant.”

Greeper Laces also quickly found a significant application in assistive technology. The invention is now heavily used among people who living with conditions such as autism spectrum disorder, dyspraxia, Asperger syndrome and Down’s syndrome.

“It is very rewarding to receive emails and letters from parents and customers who tell me how much the product has helped them and their family members to be independent.”

In the future, Peter hopes Greeper Laces will become the standard lace system in the footwear industry.

Nashwa Hassanaly

MEng Civil Engineering, 2015

As part of her Civil Engineering degree, Nashwa undertook an industrial placement, which allows students to gain professional experience, develop industry-specific technical skills and gain a competitive edge before entering the job market.

Arranged with the help of City’s Careers Service, she spent a year working as a Student Engineer at the civil engineering services specialists Dyer & Butler in Heathrow.

“The year out experiencing the industry made my first steps in construction very smooth,” Nashwa says. “My degree taught me all the theory I needed to practise my trade. I sharpened my logical thinking and gained an understanding of how to approach engineering issues and communicate effectively on site.”

Nashwa has worked as a Project and Construction Planner for two major engineering contractors: Laing O’Rourke and Mount Anvil.
She has been involved in various construction projects, including the redevelopment of the Royal Docks West development, Hampstead Manor and a £160 million cancer research centre at Guy’s Hospital.

“My job is very exciting,” she says, “because I get involved at all levels of projects, from design programmes and procurement orders to site construction and technicalities on site.”

Nashwa is currently working towards becoming an accredited project manager, which will enable her to advise leadership teams on how to approach site projects. She also dreams of working in the western coast of Africa.

Nancy O’Hare

Executive MBA, 2014

Nancy O’Hare is a Canadian travel writer fascinated by foreign culture. She previously spent nearly two decades working in the oil and gas industry, culminating in roles at companies such as Encana and Addax Petroleum, based across five continents, in countries including Nigeria and Oman.

After completing her Executive MBA at Cass Business School, Nancy decided to give up  the corporate world and refocus her energy on travelling and writing. Last year, she published her first book, Dust in My Pack, capturing her favourite travel experiences in lesser-known destinations.

Covering adventures such as hiking and white-rafting, Dust in My Pack is based on the experiences Nancy and her husband have had across five continents over 20 years, providing readers with personal insights and advice on how to devise their own trip.

“I hope to inspire readers’ inner traveller, build their interest in visiting places they have typically disregarded and spark their cultural curiosity,” says Nancy.

Looking back at her time at Cass, Nancy believes the best lesson was the value of tapping into a wider range of strategies and experience. “I was lucky to be part of a dynamic class with people from incredibly diverse backgrounds,” she says. “The MBA revealed an additional level of perspective.”

Nancy is just about to publish her second travel book, which will capture unique places such as Bhutan’s protected Sakteng Valley and Iceland’s isolated Lónsöræfi region. Together with her husband, she is also planning a 1,700km, five-month expedition across Nepal to collect stories for a potential third book.

Ian Murray

MSc Behavioural Economics, 2017

Ian Murray is a co-founder and partner of house51, a new consultancy specialising in brand, advertising, media and social research.

Ian’s idea was to provide an alternative to the traditional agency model and connect global brands with senior consultants across marketing, academia and the creative sector. Brands working with house51 include LinkedIn, ITV, Trinity Mirror and Cancer Research UK.

Before founding house51, Ian held leadership roles in several leading marketing consultancies. He enrolled on a master’s degree at City to learn how to apply psychological insights to human behaviour in the real world.

Ian says that house51 is driven by groundbreaking academic thinking: “Everything we do is inspired by the work I did on the course. ‘Behavioural science’ has become a buzzword in market research and the hype threatens to dilute its power to transform. By immersing our business in rigorous academic research, I have given our startup a vital point of difference and competitive edge.”

This approach is bearing fruit, with house51 shortlisted for Research Agency Team of the Year at Mediatel’s 2018 Media Research Awards.

Ian has some high-profile collaborations in the pipeline. “We are working with clients who have embraced behavioural science and are keen to use it to address the biggest questions facing the marketing and media industries,” he says.