Layla Mohamed has always wanted to work in the medical industry - and studying at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has helped her achieve her dream.
The Healthcare Science (Audiology) graduate is now working at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth as a qualified clinical audiologist, a role she describes as "enjoyable and rewarding".
Layla was offered the job, which involves assessing and treating hearing, balance and other associated disorders in both children and adults, towards the end of her placement in the hospital's audiology department.
She said: "I enjoyed working with my colleagues, I knew the department very well and it just made sense.
"The job itself is very rewarding, as it mainly revolves around enhancing quality of life.
"It is the greatest feeling when a patient comes back to me saying how much their life has improved and how much they have benefited from the treatment you have provided."
Born in the Netherlands and living in Birmingham, Layla chose to study at DMU after hearing good things about the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences from previous students.
"The location of the university was great and one of the things I admired most was the diversity on campus," she said.
"The DMU Audiology course ticked a lot of boxes for me in terms of working in the health sector, and job prospects were high.
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"Back in my family's home country of origin - Somalia - audiology professionals are scarce. I wanted to be able to learn enough to take audiology there.
"Hearing is one of the blessings we tend to take for granted and I've learnt to appreciate it even more in this environment."
The DMU course provided her with "essential knowledge" as well as placement opportunities, with her 40 weeks in Portsmouth the highlight.
Layla said: "This was a more hands-on experience and I had to pass my clinical assessments to qualify. As intense as it sounds, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
"It wrapped up my three years very well. All the theory I had learnt in lectures was put into action and it was incredible."
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Her hard work led to Layla being shortlisted for the 2016 British Academy of Audiology's Lisa Bayliss Award, given to the student judged to have performed the best during their BSc placement.
"It felt incredible being nominated and in the top three," said Layla.
However, graduating in 2016 was her "proudest moment".
"I remember it like it was yesterday," added Layla, who is grateful for the support she's received from her parents, DMU lecturers Wendy Stevens and Rob Frost and her supervisor - now colleague - Michael Gilbert at Portsmouth.
"I was also awarded 'most dedicated student'. Hearing my family and friends roar in the background was absolutely phenomenal."
Posted on Thursday 19th October 2017