Michael joined the British Council Future Leaders Scheme in 2012 and has worked on projects in China and Eygpt
"It has given me the opportunity to work on important and complex projects"
I graduated in 2008 with a degree in History from the University of York. After graduating, I went to China to teach English as a British Council Language Assistant. I had no background in China and was only planning on staying for one year, but I really took the country and became fascinated with learning Chinese, so I ended up extending my stay for another year and then another year, teaching English and studying Chinese. I then came back to the UK to do an MSc in International Politics, after which I joined the British Council graduate scheme.
My first role was working on vocational education projects in Beijing. I gained a lot of varied and valuable work experience - planning and running high level conferences and study tours, writing briefing notes for cabinet ministers and speeches for our Chief Executive, and overseeing the introduction for the first time of the UK apprenticeship model to China.
After two years in Beijing, I moved to Cairo where I now live and work, managing a £4m a year science, research and innovation partnership. I am responsible for planning, implementing and monitoring the large portfolio of projects under this partnership, and am entrusted to meet and negotiate with high ranking members of the Egyptian government and education sector.
Being on the British Council graduate scheme has been an amazing experience - it has given me the opportunity to work on important and complex projects with two vitally important countries to the UK, while consistently presenting me with new responsibilities, new challenges and new opportunities to develop.