An Accounting and Economics student believes the opportunities available at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) will help give him the edge over other job applicants.
Uzayr Ashraf is getting himself interview-ready for graduate roles and credits his placement year with giving him vital experience.
He is also giving something back by mentoring second years applying for their 12 months in industry.
"My placement has been the highlight of my university career," said Uzayr.
"The support I received from the placement team to even get the role was brilliant."
Uzayr spent 12 months at Boots UK head office in Nottingham working in both commercial and project finance.
"It was really hands-on," he said. "The experience I gained is invaluable and I now have an advantage over other graduates applying for roles. You have to do things to differentiate yourself.
"I have a couple of final interviews, having been through six or seven stages to get this far, and then I want to qualify as an accountant and progress from there."
This is a long way from Uzayr's original career plan - to be a pharmacist.
The 22-year-old said: "I applied to study Pharmacy at university. However, I did work experience in a pharmacy and decided it wasn't for me.
"I'd picked Economics A-level to leave my options open. As DMU was one of my choices, I had visited for an Open Day and already liked it.
"I read up on the reputation of the course and faculty and it looked really good.
Placement puts Accounting and Economics student in the driving seat
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Himansh hopes array of DMU experiences will give him the edge
"I spoke to someone on the Clearing line, who talked me through what steps to take and gave me a verbal offer on the day, and it was all sorted in a day or two.
"I felt stressed because it's one of the biggest days of your life, but I had a lot of support from DMU helping me with my options.
"After that I was calm and collected and knew what the next steps were."
Uzayr, who grew up in London, joined DMU in September 2014 - and hasn't looked back.
"The course is fantastic," he said. "Plus DMU offers exemptions from professional accounting body exams.
"I have a really good relationship with lecturers. They're always there for you.
"The support available is impressive be it modules, placements or extracurricular activities."
Uzayr has taken advantage of any down time to enjoy membership of several societies, while his role as a Brand Ambassador has brought many benefits.
"I speak to prospective students about my experiences at events such as Open Days. It helps with a lot of soft skills, which are transferrable to any career role, and allows me to reflect on my own experience. I can see what I've done and how DMU has nurtured me."
Posted on Monday 28th May 2018