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News > Alumni News > Harnessing the power of our alumni: Exciting launch of Allanian careers and mentoring programme

Harnessing the power of our alumni: Exciting launch of Allanian careers and mentoring programme

6 Feb 2023
Alumni News

The Allanian network has strengthened its alumni support framework with the launch of a Careers and Mentoring Programme. Here, entrepreneur Alice Hall and film producer Krishna Muthurangu explain why they’ve signed up to be mentors. 

Entrepreneur  Alice Hall recognises the huge importance of networking. The astute Allanian’s phenomenal success with online clothing venture Pink Boutique earned her a place on the Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list. 

As well as Pink Boutique, she has built another successful business from the ground up and has amassed an impressive social media following along the way. 

Alice describes her years at Dame Allan’s, from 2000 to 2006, as ‘transformational’, but admits she’s learnt a great deal since she left the Schools, knowledge which she’s keen to pass on.

“Moving school to Dame Allan's was transformational for me. I was lucky enough to be taught by some engaging and inspirational teachers who fuelled my passion; I don't know where I'd be now if I hadn't had the opportunity,” she says. “When I heard about the chance to give back to the school and be a mentor, I instantly signed up!”

Alice is not alone. She’s one of more than 65 Allanians who have pledged their commitment to the Careers and Mentoring Programme - a new scheme that aims to tap into the wealth of experience and expertise that exists among the Schools’ alumni. 

Like other mentors, Alice has chosen to give back to her alma mater by offering her time to provide career guidance and professional advice to those looking for support through The Allanian network. 

Alice famously turned a £90 investment in six dresses into a multi-million-pound fashion business operating from a 60,000 sq ft unit in Newcastle and employing some 70 members of staff. 

She exited Pink Boutique in 2019 and went on to set up luxury online home interiors store, Rowen Homes. With sales of £10m in its first two years of trading, and a combined social media following of more than 1.3m, Rowen Homes is set for similar success. 

“I’ve learnt a great deal over the last decade in business,” admits Alice. “Organically growing two retail companies has meant I’ve gained experience in almost every area of business, from HR and finance to sales and marketing, and everything in between! What I really love is the creative side of things, and having my own business allows me to focus on this.”

Alice, whose daughter Olivia attends Dame Allan’s Junior School, has signed up to the Careers and Mentoring Programme to share her knowledge and experience with those who might benefit. 

“As a parent, I appreciate that my daughter's education at Dame Allan's is about so much more than grades... it’s about learning good work ethics, instilling confidence, using your intuition, being enterprising, and engaging in co-curricular activities to learn skills and develop interests. I think the mentoring scheme is another great resource for Dame Allan’s,” she says. 

“It’s nice to be able to now give back to the school and be part of a network of Allanians who can mentor and support one another. If I can help others who are considering a future in enterprise or retail, then I’ll be thrilled.”

The Careers and Mentoring Programme aims to facilitate connections between Allanians. Mentors can sign up to offer support and volunteer their time, while users can search for mentors in chosen career fields and disciplines.  The resource bolsters Dame Allan’s’ already strong careers guidance offering by adding a new dimension open to those who have left school. 

Katherine Leonard, the Schools’ Development Officer, explains: “The programme will allow Allanians to connect with people in career fields of interest, be it to get some general advice, ask for more tailored support, or gain work experience, for example. I hope it will be a great resource for recent leavers and encourage them to stay in touch with the Allanian community after their school years. 

“Allanians possess a wealth of knowledge and experience in a broad range of industries and sectors, and we are incredibly lucky that so many have already pledged their commitment to this new scheme, and want to support, coach, advise and motivate others.”


Film producer Krishna Muthurangu (class of 2001) is no stranger to giving back to Dame Allan’s Schools, having attended Futures Fairs, and given career talks to pupils over recent years. He was one of the first to back the new mentoring programme. 

He says: “A scheme where Allanians can make use of connections, help empower others, and offer honest, sage advice, is a powerful tool. Dame Allan’s has always had a fantastic community spirit - a feeling that you were supported not only by staff, but by your peers – so, it makes sense to harness that fellowship beyond school.”

Krishna is the founder of the Deli Film Company, in Newcastle, and has made a name for himself in the industry creating high-end commercial content, as well as directing music videos and short films. 

His love of filming developed in his teenage years and Krishna won a national Red Bull photography competition when at Dame Allan’s. However, it wasn’t until some years later that he turned his passion into a career. 

“I became obsessed with skateboarding and filming when I was about 15 years old and I was part of a tight knit community of skaters, creating footage that was readily used in the skating world. Yet, I didn’t think at that point about carving a career in film,” he says. 

Krishna chose to study Politics at Newcastle University, having enjoyed the subject at school. Through his DAS connections he then moved to London and joined global social networking and video sharing website Bragster, working alongside Allanians Adam Perfect and Ken Lee. During his time there, Krishna was involved in filming several notorious publicity stunts and campaigns before the business was acquired by Guinness Book of Records. 

He says: “Bragster was such a great learning curve for me. I knew I wanted to be involved in film production, so I went on to take an MA in film theory at Newcastle University and a Masters in cinematography at the University of Sunderland. 

“When I finished my studies, it was hard to know where to go, what to do, or how best to establish myself in the industry. Getting my name out there was a very slow build. It was difficult to find  a network to tap into, or a pool of industry experts willing to offer advice.” 

Krishna hopes his experience in the film industry, and his solid portfolio of work across multiple disciplines, will be of value to other Allanians. Like Alice, he too recognises the importance of networking and feels strongly about empowering others.   

“I’m a huge advocate of seizing opportunities and of giving them to others. Finding success in a career we love isn’t just something we should want for ourselves, it’s something we should want for others,” he says. “Dame Allan’s was so inclusive when I was there, it stands to reason that same sense of inclusivity should be reflected in the Allanian network.”

The Careers and Mentoring Programme is open to all Allanians and can be accessed through The Allanian Society website. For more information and to get involved visit Careers and mentoring.

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