BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering student who dedicated his passion to a university that pushed him to succeed

After being drawn to the university’s advanced and renowned engineering facilities, Usman Naseem enrolled into Aston University in 2016, to pursue an education in BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Usman attended multiple open days to consider his university options, but Aston University really caught his eye. To stay local and close to home was a big part for Usman, but that didn’t limit him, nor did it stop him from achieving his goals. He found everything he was looking for, “a good university with a good reputation”, right by home at Aston University and hasn’t looked back since. From Usman’s point of view, Aston University provided more for him in the long term than other universities could do, in terms of the practical applications of the work and different module layouts that he was being introduced to. 

Thriving in a placement position

Usman enrolled onto the four-year course, where his third year consisted of a placement which he completed with Handicare, an accessibility company that tackles solutions to mobility difficulties. Approaching the hard time of finding a placement, Usman sought out assistance from the careers and placement team. By getting this help, he was able to explore all his options and develop his inter-personal skills that would really help him in advancing down the interview route. He credits his placement to the preparation the team gave him with his CV and the mock interviews that he underwent during the process of finding the placement position itself. The position he eventually acquired was a position that was advertised by the university, and Usman made sure to keep up to date with the placements as they were advertised to find something that could really suit him and direct him into his chosen career path. 
Being a part of Handicare was a very important matter to Usman as he knew the type of work that he would be involved in would be focused towards helping others. Joining a new position in his placement allowed Usman to broaden his horizons and expand his areas of expertise to ensure he covered the basis of the jobs that he would be involved in. He was responsible for day-to-day tasks and exploring certain areas in more detail based on the analysed data that would come from testing and experiments of their products. 

Long term connections with his placement

Though Usman really enjoyed his time on placement, it was upon his return for his final year of education that he really began to appreciate the importance of doing what he did and found how much it had helped him grow from a young student to an employee. After coming back to do final projects, Usman found that his placement job “reinforced [his] work ethic and drive” and it allowed him to see “beyond university”. When Usman returned to university for his final year, he didn’t cut off contact with Handicare. The company provided him with access to their materials and equipment for Usman to use in his final year project. He was able to create a strong new product thanks to his placement connections. This incorporation of mixing a career into his studies gave him some perspective and allowed for a smoother transition between completing full-time education and moving into a full-time career. The placement he completed also helped him in ways he would come to learn upon looking for graduate jobs. Having the practical and industry experiences and skills that he acquired at his placement on his belt, Usman was able to stand out from a sea of other applicants and secure the position he is excelling in today. 

Really getting a feel for Aston University’s extra-curricular events

Whilst his placement was fulfilling and educational, his university experience was nothing short of fun and eventful. Usman made friends across his course as well as becoming a friendly face at societies and events where he was always meeting new people and networking. He made friends, with whom he still keeps in touch with, and expanded his social groups by branching out into different societies, such as Paksoc, where he could be himself and experience the university lifestyle at its finest. 

His advice to new students 

For students looking to follow a similar pathway in university, Usman’s first piece of advice is quite simply just to take part. He strongly believes in the opportunities that can come to light when you get involved with events that take place across the university. These events are the best places to “build connections and network” and Usman himself took on these offers and chances to grant him a strong university experience. Usman also advocates the placement option that he was provided with when applying to Aston University. From his experience, he learnt that being involved in a placement year granted the experience that companies look for and value in their employees. Usman makes it clear that doing the placement was a vital role in helping him, and helping others, to “understand the evolution of industry” and he was able to adapt his skills to fit an everchanging sector of engineering. 

Where is Usman now?

Today, Usman works for Sony Europe in their Home Entertainment and Sound Department as a European Engineer. He is always growing and developing his skills in his job and looks forward to moving up in the electrical and electronic engineering field in the future.