‘Be the best that you can be - don’t let others define you’

Posted by pt91 at Jan 29, 2018 10:42 AM |
Inspiring address by former Tomorrow’s World presenter at University of Leicester degree congregation

Issued by University of Leicester on 29 January 2018

CEO TeenTech and former Tomorrow’s World presenter Maggie Philbin urged graduating students from the University of Leicester to ‘be the best possible you – and don’t let others define you’ during an inspiring address at degree congregations.

She spoke of the potential of the students to inspire others and lead the way in innovation as she accepted an honorary degree of Doctor of Science from the University on 25 January, 2018.

She said: “It’s a real honour to accept this honorary degree in my home city. As a teenager I had some memorable nights out on the campus watching live bands. Later on, when working for Tomorrow’s World I felt especially proud when we covered stories featuring the work of scientists and engineers from the University. So this has a very real resonance for me. My sister will be watching and I know my lovely Mum and Dad would have been very, very proud too.”

Speaking of how thrilled she was to be honoured, she told the congregation: “As you prepare for the future, you have no idea what you are capable of and what you can go on to achieve.”

Maggie has worked in radio and television for over 30 years on a wide range of science, medical and technology programmes. She is President of the Institute of Engineering Designers and co-founder and CEO of TeenTech CIC, an award winning organisation helping young people, their parents and teachers understand more about the real opportunities in Science, Technology and Engineering.

In 2016 Maggie was named as the Most Influential Woman in UKIT by Computer Weekly Magazine and was also named as 2016 Digital Leader of the Year for her work with TeenTech.

Maggie is patron of the Daphne Jackson Trust which helps scientists, engineers and technologists return to their careers and she is also patron of the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing. Maggie supports the community where she grew up as patron of VASL (Voluntary Action South Leicestershire).

Maggie graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in English and Drama after which she responded to an advertisement in The Stage and was offered the job of co-presenter on Multi-Coloured Swap Shop. Her daughter, Rose, is named after the Swap Shop editor who gambled on a young student being able to handle the BBC’s first Saturday morning show.

Reflecting on her career, she spoke of the apprehension she had on hosting groundbreaking live science programme, Tomorrow’s World.  “I was absolutely terrified,” she admitted

But she urged people not to be afraid of making mistakes, to constantly learn and to be kind and help others.

“You will make mistakes, but learn from them,” she said. “Being the best possible you, being authentic, will take you a huge distance.  You all have your degrees - but you all have different things about your personality and it will be those things that really take you further.”

You can listen to her address here: https://youtu.be/lFPrFlE9OPI

Speaking after the ceremony, she said: “Today was very special and moving  - and a tremendous honour, especially in your home city. This is a University I feel a very special connection with, especially as in Tomorrow’s World, many times we reflected stories coming from this University.

“I feel so proud to come from Leicester – I’m proud of the diversity and the fact this this is a city with a lot of energy. I grew up surrounded by the Leicestershire countryside – which is a well-kept secret I think as it is absolutely stunning.

“The diversity of the city means there is potential for really innovative and groundbreaking ideas. You don’t get ideas from the same – you get ideas when people bring completely different thinking into the pot. That’s why this is such an exciting city and one with such massive potential.

“It is really good to see how both universities in the city are reaching out to young people in schools – because that is where the potential for creativity and innovation lies.”

More information here: https://www2.le.ac.uk/news/blog/2018-archive/january/honorary-graduates-january-2018-maggie-philbin


Share this page:

Older press releases

For press releases issued before 4 October 2010, please visit the old eBulletin site.

Get in touch

T: +44 (0)116 252 2160
E: press@le.ac.uk


The Press Office is open 9.00am-5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

For general enquiries about the University, contact the main switchboard on +44 (0)116 252 2522.