Ali Akbar, alumnus, BSc (Hons) Information Technology
As an IT help desk worker in the NHS, Ali Akbar provides IT assistance to the Commissioning Support Units across Essex and in some parts of London. He makes sure that all the IT processes the units need are running smoothly, using bespoke software to provide administrative support.
It’s a far cry from his pre-university days, when Ali used to be exhausted from working in retail while studying for a BTEC in IT. “I came to college study a little late, so I felt that I had to work in order to support myself,” he says. “My initial plan was to carry on doing that, but I began to realise I needed a degree to make real career progress, so I decided to apply to LSBU.”
Ali went on to study our BSc (Hons) Information Technology, and graduated with a 2:1. His hunch was right; he credits his degree as being an important element when it came to finding his current role. He goes on to point out that some of the skills he learned outside of his studies have also been crucial. “The University gave me great opportunities with help for things like my CV, job hunting and internship opportunities,” he says.
I actually carried out two internships with the help of LSBU – they really helped me to improve my CV and gave me vital experience that helped me secure the role with the NHS.
It’s important to Ali that he enjoys coming to work, and in his current role, that’s something he certainly does. “I learn something new every day, and working in a big organisation means I know that I have plenty of progression opportunities,” he says.
"I plan to stay in IT support for a while, gaining as much experience as I can. Once I’ve gained enough experience, I’ll be able to look for more senior roles in the same field."
Ali’s advice to current LSBU students is to make the most of the opportunities on offer. “Get as much experience under your belt as you can,” he says. “Visit the Students’ Union and the jobshop to keep yourself updated with internship opportunities, and look for jobs in your particular field. LSBU gives you great help, so be sure to make the most of it.”