Mariama Balde Djaura

Mariama is an Account Manager within our Outreach team. She works with schools across the country to establish meaningful connections that help young people to see clear pathways for themselves in higher education.

Mariama is herself a graduate of LJMU, having studied business before becoming a member of staff. It was during her own studies that she was afforded what she describes as unlimited opportunities that would inspire her to seek out a career helping others, providing the chance for people from underprivileged and underrepresented backgrounds to study at university.

Her career aspirations were also influenced by her upbringing. She was born in Africa and moved to various countries across Europe before growing up in Northern Ireland and eventually moving to Liverpool to undertake her degree.

“As a child, leaving my homeland and relocating to Northern Ireland was a significant shift in my life as I was faced with the challenges of adapting to a new culture, one vastly different from my roots. This early experience instilled in me resilience, adaptability, and an appreciation for diversity that would become integral to my identity.

“Moving to Liverpool for university was another key moment in my life. Here, I pursued my education at LJMU, a place that not only broadened my horizons academically but also helped me understand the power of education in transforming lives. It was during my time at the university that I realised my passion for working with young people, particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds, and inspiring them to pursue higher education.

“This realisation inspired me to pursue a career within the LJMU student recruitment department, where I could use my journey as a source of motivation for young students facing their own challenges.”

– Mariama Balde Djaura

During four years of study, Mariama was provided with an unlimited number of opportunities, from putting theory learnt in lectures into practice during her yearlong industry placement, to work as a student ambassador and summers spent travelling abroad.

“The biggest highlights of my time as student for me were my travel abroad opportunities. During my third year of uni I had the amazing opportunity to be part of the summer school experience in Shanghai, China, with all expenses fully paid. We spent two weeks in Shanghai, had amazing lectures learning about the Chinese culture, languages, music and the difference between how they do business compared to the rest of the world. It was the most enriching experience I will never forget.

“Straight after this, I had the opportunity to do Camp America for three months in New York. I was working in an international leadership summer camp and had the opportunities to meet and learn from hundreds of people from all over the world. This experience increased my confidence as an individual and encouraged me to think about my leadership skills. This experience led me to undertake small leadership courses and roles at the university, all the way to now enrolling onto a master’s degree course in leadership practices which I am due to complete in 2025.

“Also, during my final year of university, I secured a curriculum enhancement internship with the Business School to work on a project to help develop Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) between LJMU and a number of international institutions. I was thrilled to work on this project, mainly because studying at John Moores gave me many opportunities to study and work abroad, and with my great passion for engaging with students, I wanted to work on a project that would help develop the international experience of other students. The outcome of the COIL project was a success and was widely recognised across the university and I was later invited to an international conference in West Virginia, USA, to present the project outcomes in front of many different international academics and students.”

Having had an incredible student experience at LJMU, Mariama landed her first official staff role at LJMU in June 2019, just a month before her graduation ceremony, and joined the Faculty of Health as an Admissions Officer.

“I chose to apply for a role at LJMU, because as student, LJMU provided me with unlimited number of opportunities. This then allowed me to work as a student ambassador to also engage with prospective students and share my enthusiasm for the university and help them navigate their educational journey.”

Since then, Mariama has moved across into the Outreach team and now travels to different schools across the Liverpool City Region, Northern Ireland, North Wales and the Midlands.

“What I love the most about my role is that every day is different, and it is all about inspiring and supporting students in their educational journeys. My job empowers me to create meaningful connections with diverse communities, helping young students realise their academic and personal potential. My current role reflects my passion for fostering inclusivity and allows me to act as a role model making a difference in the lives of the next generation.”