Muhammed Duman is a 4th year MEng Chemical Engineering student. Alongside his studies, he has been working part-time as a Careers+Placements Associate for Aston University. He also recently won the institutional round for the Step up to Leadership category in the Student Employee of the Year Awards 2019. We had a chat to him to find out more about his job, and how it’s helped his career.
What does a typical day in your part-time job look like?
My day can vary greatly depending on the job at hand. Some activities I have been involved with include giving a presentation to second year students seeking placements, advising students on application processes, reviewing and helping organise fun events, and even being in a photo shoot for the Careers+Placements team! As a result, it has always been so varied but also very enjoyable.
What has been the highlight of your job so far?
One of the best experiences was surely giving a short presentation to a lecture hall full of students, where I provided feedback on my own placement experience and advised them on the things I wish I had known in second year.
Also, another highlight was when I was asked to take part in a focus group session to improve student engagement with services offered by Careers+Placements. I really felt my reflections and suggestions was listened to with great care and actioned appropriately, for which I commend the whole C+P team!
What skills have you developed?
I have developed extensive skills in leadership, communication, team working, and time management.
Why did you decide to get a part-time job?
I enjoy being proactive and adding value where I am capable. I really thought the Careers+Placements Associate role was a perfect opportunity to add value to other people’s lives whilst also gaining further skills alongside my studies.
How do you juggle working and studying?
Plan, plan, and then plan some more! I believe one of the most important skills to have is time-management – without this I do not believe I could be working as well as studying during the fourth year of my degree, which is one of the most challenging and busiest of years.
How have the skills and experience you’ve gained from your part-time job helped you in other areas of your life?
My part-time work has added real value to my CV and applications, as I am able to showcase the skills gained to potential employers for my future career. I believe my part-time work was a key driver which enabled me to successfully gain another Chemical Engineering Summer Placement experience this year.
What advice would you give to other students thinking about or looking for a part-time job?
Go for it! The part-time work will not only enable you to make some extra cash, but it will also give you valuable skills outside of your course which are very much needed.
Make sure to manage your time effectively and communicate clearly with your manager from the outset. This will help build a great relationship with your workplace supervisor, whilst also keeping you in line with your academic goals during the year.
How does it feel to have been nominated for a Student Employee of the Year Award – and winning the institutional round? How do you feel this will help you in the future?
I am very much humbled by this nomination, and even more amazed to win the institutional round! I believe winning this has given me real confidence to take further leadership opportunities where I can, and to continue exploring myself out of my comfort zone as this is where I believe I can develop my skills to become a better individual, helping people’s lives become a little more positive!
Any other comments?
Although, I may have been successful in winning an award and completing my studies and working part-time for the year, I do not believe this would be possible without having the great people I have worked with this year. The Careers+Placements team have been a real joy to work with, as everyone was always understanding and willing to help me in my responsibilities. I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to my manager and the C+P team for making this part-time work opportunity an amazing experience!
Has Muhammed’s story inspired you to find your own paid part-time job? Well, lucky for you, we’ve got our own JobShop team who are just itching to help you get one! You can find them next door to the Careers+Placements Centre (1st Floor, South Wing) or drop them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org