1) Where and what did you study and when did you graduate?
University College London. I studied Natural Sciences, it is a mix of sciences, maths and social sciences aka for people who have commitment issues/have no clue what they want to do. I graduated in 2014!
2) Where do you live now?
I live in London where I was born and brought up.
3) Tell us about your job...
I am the co-founder and CEO of Amaliah.co.uk, a curated fashion site for Muslim women.
I cringe at the title CEO a little so lets keep it to co-founder haha.
Erm so it is a mixed bag, somedays I am doing a fashion edit others I’m coding or running a marketing campaign, at the moment I am focusing on raising money for our seed round!
4) What did you want to be when you were younger?
I never knew. I really liked science hence my degree choice but I always struggled pinning it down to one thing!
5) What did you do immediately after leaving university?
I worked and learnt to code with Founders and Coders in the summer and then I went to work for UCL’s entrepreneurship centre (UCL Advances) where I delivered programmes for students to either make an idea happen or gain skills through doing ‘entrepreneurial stuff.’
6) How did you feel about your future when you graduated?
I remember when I finished and found out I got a first I felt really hopeful and happy, for me it was a mark of ‘I can achieve anything if I put my mind to it,’ more so because I never imagined I would be able to get a first. After about 6 months I kind of went into a rut where I just didn’t know where I was heading or if I was doing the right thing. I remember reading a post which sums up how many feel post graduation it went along the lines of, the leap from university to the world of work is like going to sleep on a big fluffy disney cloud and then waking up in a wet cardboard box round the back of wimpys!
Enjoy the journey, the downs/ruts don’t last!
8) Would you have done anything different?
Nope, the sequence of steps from graduating to coding to working for UCL Advances really equipped me well to starting my own venture.
9) What inspires you?
My parents inspire me and motivate me massively. They have the story of many migrants whereby they fled their country for want of a better life for themselves and their family. I am inspired by their journey and how far they have come. I think we are incredibly privileged in comparison to where they started out and for me that privilege comes with responsibility to do more!
10) What would you like to say to our graduates looking for inspiration?
1. Don’t think about it like ‘what am I going to do with my life,’ it puts way to much unnecessary pressure on you. Be open minded and just be proactive in finding opportunities and meeting new people, something will come! This time last year I had no clue what I was going to do. At the beginning of 2015 I said to myself, I’m not going to put any pressure on myself, I am just going to let life push me about. I was proactive in saying yes to opportunities and meeting new people and eventually found my way. I would have never imagined that a year later I would have done a ted talk, started my own company, gone through an accelerator and now raising a seed round!
Let serendipity take its toll.
2. DO NOT BE A SHEEP.
There is a difference between ‘I’m just trying it out,’ vs. just doing it because everyone tells you to. In my third year everyone was frantically applying for jobs in banking and consulting. I found myself in a panic and started applying too before realising that this is just not me or what I want. I didn’t apply for anything until I found something I really actually wanted. It is so easy to make a passive decision on what job to apply for, before you know it you’ve been there 3 years and you’re living a life you never wanted.
Do things because you are driven by hope rather than fears!
11) Your three favourite words
Mind over matter.
If you are, or know, an inspirational graduate living their dreams, please fill in the form on the right hand side of this page. We'd love to hear from you!