A student from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is proving how rewarding hard work can be after setting up his own year-long placement in the House of Commons, writes Olivia Whaley.
Alieu Ceesay, who was born in The Gambia, moved to England after deciding he wanted to study at DMU. After applying through Clearing, he secured a place on the International Relations BA course.
Alieu Ceesay with Dick Newby, Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, and the Rt Hon Tom Brake MP
Yet, his placement didn't come easily. He said: "I applied for a lot of placements across different political parties and received negative responses. Then I finally heard back from Tom Brake, a Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington, and it went from there."
Now, the 36-year-old splits his time between Parliament and the constituency, while helping to plan campaigns, write up reports and help people's voices to be heard. He helped out with the Richmond Park by-elections, which the Lib Dems won.
He also thanks the placement team for supporting him throughout. He said: "From the very start even to now, the whole team have been fantastic and really helpful."
Alieu believes a placement year is vital to prepare you for the working world, as he has "learnt so many more practical skills".
He added: "Taking a placement may be hard but they are a phenomenal experience. University is a bit like being in a bubble and these opportunities take you out of it and show you what the real world is like."
His role in Parliament has also helped him to think about his future career in politics after he finishes his final year at DMU.
DMU's placement team help students throughout the university to secure industry roles. Past students have worked for BMW Mini, Nickelodeon, Volkswagen and many more.
Posted on Monday 3rd July 2017