By: Louise (Luna) Gladman Class of: 2004 College: Van Mildert Subject: Economics Location: Currently in Vietnam, however, I'm a digital nomad and move frequently.
Your Durham Inspiration
Do you remember why you first chose to study at Durham?
At the time I really enjoyed economics, and Durham has great economics department!
Tell us about any sports, societies or clubs you were involved in at Durham.
I joined the Durham University Belly Dancing Troupe where we performed at University and local events, it was one of the most memorable activities of my life! On a more serious level I was also President of the Economics Society, partnering with Deloitte.
What work or moment were you most proud of at Durham?
Probably when I graduated? It felt like such a big deal!
What are your fondest memories from your time here?
The ‘formals’ and ‘bops’ (I’m showing my age now but are these still happening and do you even know what they are?!).
How has Durham inspired you to get to where you are today?
Durham helped to shape me as a person, I am forever grateful to the friends I made who accepted me exactly as I am. It also helped me to dream big and give me the confidence to believe I can lead my life in any direction I want.
What have you been up to since you left Durham?
I am writing my first bookThe Whole Human: Integrating Wellness in Modern Life, setting out a vision of what wellness actually means in everyday life, business and healthcare. I am partnered with a global wellness start-up with Founders who share a similar big vision to me: easy access to real wellness support for absolutely everyone. It took me a while to get here!
After leaving Durham I went into a corporate city life for 11 years, mostly in banking where I qualified as a chartered accountant and eventually moved into consulting in Financial Crime Compliance. Whilst I gained valuable skills and met some beautiful life-long friends there, I realised I really wanted to do something different with my life. In pursuing my career I had neglected my physical, mental and spiritual health and felt it was time to take this seriously. I took some time out, went travelling and volunteering around the world and studied the ancient Indian medicine of Ayurveda, even living at an Ayurveda clinic for 6 months in Tamil Nadu. It was an eye-opening experience where I started to understand what wellbeing really means. I then began studying, practicing and teaching holistic wellness activities. I eventually realised I wanted to use the brilliant skills gained in banking and apply them to support the wellness industry. The rest is history as they say!
What are you doing that is most meaningful to you now?
It has to be writing my first book! It is exciting, scary and I get to interview really interesting people approaching wellness in innovative ways.
Tell us about your latest news or developments.
My new book is available for pre-orders from 2 August 2021, if you are interested in wellness I would love your support along this journey!
Pass It On
What would be your top piece of advice for current students and/or recent graduates?
A degree is a truly amazing life experience however it does not pre-define your life path. Listen to your heart, trust your intuition and go for what you really want. If the path is clear, you might be following someone else’s path, not yours.
Is there anything that you know now that you wish you’d known when graduating?
Obtaining a degree is a (truly amazing!) life experience NOT a definition of who I am.