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Alumni Profile

Michael Mordey

Michael Mordey

BA American Studies and Politics 2007

Michael is the Labour Councillor for Hendon Ward and Cabinet Member for City Services on Sunderland City Council. He joined the Labour Party in 2003 and since then has worked his way up to his current position.

In 2008 there was a vacancy to be the candidate for Hendon where he was selected by the local Labour Party and then elected by the residents of Hendon. In 2012 he was re-elected again.

The 28-year-old says: “As a councillor, I represent the people of Hendon ward; I am the link between the residents and the City Council. The best part of this job is being able to represent the area where I was born and raised.

“Being appointed to the Cabinet is one of my greatest achievements. The Cabinet is the body that oversees the city politically and having a seat at that table enables me to influence decisions that affect not just people in Hendon Ward but the city as a whole.

“The hardest part of the job is managing the central government cuts and the effect they have on local communities like Hendon.”

Even though he was born in Sunderland and has lived here all his life, Michael had a 10 month stint where he went to California as an exchange student. Michael studied his second year at the San Diego State University where he loved the American history and politics modules.

The Sunderland graduate says: “It was the first time I have ever lived away from home for a long period of time. However I was pleased when I came back as I’m proud of where I come from. I had opportunities to apply for jobs in London and abroad but I always ended up stopping here. I think at some point I could envisage retiring in the States as the weather is better than here but I am a Sunderland lad.

Having been involved in politics even before he graduated, Michael's advice is clear: “It’s about widening the contacts as far as possible. Network! You never know when a relationship you might have will come in handy.

“I would advise students who do politics to join a political party and become as active as possible. It  opens up opportunities to you and gives you the chance to connect with councillors, Members of Parliament, MEPs, etc. You don’t go anywhere on your own in politics, you need to make coalitions, friends and allies.”

He adds: “Election time is always a good time to meet people, make friends and get involved in the campaigns. But I also recommend studying abroad for a year to anyone who has the opportunity. Personally and professionally it is something you will highly benefit from doing.”

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