After working for multiple universities as recruitment manager for North America, Jackie Christopher, originally from Pennsylvania, decided to branch out in 2020. Inspired by her own experience studying abroad at the University of Roehampton in London, she created The UK Study Expert.
What do you like most about your job?
Being able to get students out of the US, and expand their knowledge and understanding of other cultures.
If you had a magic wand, what would you change?
Get more universal access, and allow everyone in the US to understand the UK application process and how easy it is to actually apply to study there.
Tell us about a defining moment in your international education career.
When I was studying my masters at the University of Roehampton, I was an international student ambassador. My international officer while there, whose name was Martin, managed the ambassador program, and it’s how I was exposed to the whole idea of study abroad and this whole industry of international education and supporting students in that experience. That exposure allowed me to understand the international office, and it’s why I do what I do now.
What was your first proper job in the industry?
My time as an international student ambassador drove me to look at international education positions and I got a job six months prior to graduating with an agency that was looking to support students who are looking to study in the UK. And I’ve now come back around to that, obviously!
Best industry conference you’ve attended?
The International ACAC Conference. There were so many events going on at once, and I met so many international officers, some of whom are now my best friends, so it was an amazing experience.
“I want to reach across the US, to students and counsellors alike about the benefits of studying in the UK”
What makes you get up in the morning?
Mostly the tasks that I need to get done for the company… but really, it’s wanting to make sure I can provide that information for students who want to study in the UK. I just want to reach across the US, to students and counsellors alike, about the benefits of studying in the country.
Most inspiring international student you’ve helped?
There’s so many inspiring students, but there’s one in particular whom I helped get into the University of Cambridge. She just landed in my email – she didn’t even realise she had the means to get into Cambridge, it wasn’t part of her plan – but then she went on to study archaeology.
Cheerleader of the industry we should all follow and why?
Akil Bello, who leads FairTest. He knows all his statistics on US admissions, will call out bad actors, and get into the nitty-gritty on what’s really going on. He appeared on the Netflix show Operation Varsity Blues, surrounding the US college admissions scandal, as an expert.