Gratitude and relief - these were among the emotions felt by Hamza Zaheer on hearing he had landed a graduate job while still studying at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
The final year Business Management and Economics student will take up his people and talent consultant role in London in September.
He can now focus on his exams without having to worry about applying for jobs.
"I feel good and can enjoy one last long summer before I start at PA Consulting," said Hamza.
"I feel grateful, because of the support I've received, and relieved."
The 21-year-old credits #DMUworks, the university's careers programme, with helping him clinch the job at the innovation and transformation consultancy.
"The careers team helped me create a graduate CV and cover letter. Associate Professor David Gordon also worked alongside me as a mentor and gave me tips on how to help tackle assessment centres and interviews.
"It did take a lot of hard work to get the position. Having applied to countless firms and failed, it can dampen one's spirit, but just taking it on the chin and persevering is what will pull you through."
This is the second time Hamza has benefited from careers help.
"Zul Muhammad and Rebekah Watson from the faculty placement team worked closely with me in securing a placement, giving constant feedback and also setting up networking events to help me gain an insight into different companies," he said.
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Hamza worked as an assistant economist at the Government Economic Service. His role, in the labour market team, included looking at unemployment figures and retirement rates as well as presenting his findings.
"The placement definitely helped build my confidence," said Hamza, who designs and creates his own clothes in his spare time.
"I learnt various skills but, more importantly, broadened my horizons on different cultures, languages and networks.
"When applying for graduate jobs I had examples to use. One hundred per cent it contributed to me landing my role."
The chance to do a sandwich year was among the reasons Hamza chose DMU.
"I also liked the way the course was taught and variety of modules," he said.
"The best element I have learnt on my programme is the ability to absorb and analyse information in a critical manner, looking at things from more than one perspective."
Birmingham-born Hamza's highlight is a business-themed trip to New York with #DMUglobal, the university's international experience scheme, led by Dr Chris Odindo.
"I had the opportunity to visit iconic places like Times Square, Madison Square Garden and have a moment of fame at NBC Studios," added Hamza, who plans to show his appreciation for DMU by coming back for events designed to help other students achieve their ambitions.
Posted on Friday 12th April 2019