'Business placards’ net Leicester graduates job and internship opportunities in the City
Two enterprising graduates from the University of Leicester have secured themselves job offers by displaying signs encouraging business professionals in London’s Canary Wharf and Paternoster Square to employ them.
Zeeshan Uppal and Faraaz Kaskar, who recently graduated from the University of Leicester’s School of Management and Department of Mathematics respectively, were so determined to make themselves noticed by the City’s top finance employers that they decided to show firsthand how employable they were. They have stood in Canary Wharf and Paternoster Square with placards reading "Economics graduates - who will employ us?” with their telephone numbers, while handing out copies of their CVs to professionals on their way to and from work.
Their ‘business placards’ have led to several interviews and offers of jobs and internships.
Faraaz Kaskar, who attained a 2:1 in BSc Mathematics with Economics, "We decided to use a different approach and get ourselves out there and talking to potential employers directly. It is necessary for graduates to think out of the box to get noticed and I believe it is essential for graduates to be creative and develop new methods of gaining employment. Being proactive is the key in the current climate.
"The response was great. We received a hundreds of business cards and handed out our CVs to a number of professionals. We have secured a number of interviews and have been offered internships as well as jobs.”
Faraaz hopes to go into Asset Management while Zeeshan hopes to gain employment in Financial/Investment Consultancy. They chose Paternoster Square and Canary Wharf due to the high footfall and high concentration of top financial firms and gained permission before taking their signs into the area. Within three days they started receiving calls and emails from prospective employers and abandoned their placards to focus on preparing for interviews.
Zeeshan Uppal attained a 2:1 in BA Management Studies and Economics. He said, "There were times when it was very hard. Standing up in one spot holding up a sign can be a struggle, but it was the great support of the people approaching us that kept us going. The times when no one approached us for a while were the biggest test, but we knew we had to be persistent to get through it and we kept the goal in mind at all times.”
Bob Athwal, Director of the University of Leicester Careers Service, said "Faraaz and Zeeshan have shown a real go-getting attitude and tremendous drive in their approach. They are an excellent example of the extra dimension that University of Leicester students so often have that makes them attractive to employers.
"We wish them every success in their endeavours and look forward to hearing how they get on. And of course, the Careers Service is still here to help if they need us."
Zeeshan is due to start a consultancy role in two weeks while Faraaz is finalising details with a brokerage firm.