The University’s global alumni have gone on to achieve great things in their careers and further study.

We encourage them to stay in touch with the University once they graduate, so that they can share with us news about the fantastic journeys they have been on and the opportunities they have been given.

Whatever path they have chosen, we are proud of each and every one of our alumni and are delighted to share some of their successes.

Portrait of actress Emily Vinnicombe
Emily Vinnicombe

Emily Vinnicombe

Theatre Arts graduate Emily Vinnicombe recently appeared in Yorgos Lanthimos’ Oscar-winning film ‘The Favourite’, which also starred Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.

She is a self-employed actor with the Ashrow Talent Management acting agency with much of her work in theatre.

She has also starred in productions such as, ‘Stinxville’ with the Arletty Theatre and ‘The Dinosaur who came for Christmas’ with the Babbling Vagabonds theatre company.

Commenting on being part of such a high-profile film, Emily said: “My career in the film world is only just beginning, so I feel incredibly lucky that I was able to work on such a great film so early on. ‘The Favourite’ taught me a lot about the work that goes into filmmaking. It was great to be in the same room as so many talented, accomplished creatives and to be able to see them at work.”

Jeanette Stevenson

Jeanette Stevenson

Jeanette Stevenson graduated in 2012 with a 2:1 in LL.B Law (Hons) with Criminology. Prior to studying Law, she worked at Derbyshire Constabulary, firstly as a Special Constable and then full time in the police control room. It was there that she realised her ambition to attend university and study law.

It wasn’t an easy road to success – after winning a scholarship and a place on the course, Jeanette found out that she was expecting her second child. She decided that with hard work and determination she could juggle family life and full-time study and continued with her dream. She enrolled as planned and never looked back.

Jeanette is now a barrister at Cornwall Street Barristers based in Birmingham. She practises mainly in criminal law, completing all manner of different cases, from drugs to private driving matters. She defends and prosecutes cases on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service and other bodies such as the Royal Mail and National Probation Service.

Marcus Peterson sitting in LA Chargers locker room
Marcus Peterson

Marcus Peterson

In December 2017, Marcus Peterson graduated with an MBA in Global Business from Derby and within 12 months achieved his dream of joining the NFL (National Football League in the USA) as a professional player in his home country – a dream reignited after becoming wide receiver for the University’s American Football team, Derby Braves.

As an undergrad in Pennsylvania, Marcus’ goal was the NFL, but he didn’t get drafted. He took another job but was confused about what he wanted to do next. It was then that Marcus became aware of Derby and the British Universities American Football League. He decided to take a risk and keep his NFL dream alive.

Despite having never lived abroad before, Marcus wasn’t fazed by adjusting to life in his new home and a different education system. He remained “focused on Plan A” – a phrase he now has emblazoned on a line of sports clothing he has created.

He used the opportunity he had at Derby to get footage of himself in action and to clock up some impressive stats: 1,000 yards, 71 catches and 15 touchdowns in around a dozen games for the Braves. It was enough to help secure try-outs for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Los Angeles Chargers, and within a matter of months, the Chargers called back and offered him a professional NFL contract.

On the news he’d been offered a contract, Marcus said: “I didn’t even read it. I just saw my name and signed it. It was disbelief. I had been training for this all this time, but to actually get it was like ‘I knew it was going to happen, but it really happened’. It was crazy. It just felt like a deep breath - a manifestation of everything you’ve worked for to finally happen.”

“Plan A” had been achieved, thanks to his time in Derby and his bold decision to grasp a golden opportunity with both hands, just as a good wide receiver should.