Rayyan Umar

rayyan-umarWhy did you decide to study in the UK, and at Aston University? My decision to study inthe UK was primarily driven by my mother, who felt that higher education in a UK university would broaden my horizons and provide me with an ideal platform to succeed in my chosen field. My choice of Aston Business School came as a result of its top ranking and its location in the heart of Birmingham.

What was the best part about studying at Aston, and in Birmingham? What I loved most about studying at Aston was the charm of its surroundingsand the people. It was located right in the heart of Birmingham, with a diverse student population and tons of activities to participate in. I have fond memories of hanging out by the lake in the spring and participating in activities organised by the student guild.

The staff at Aston were also special. A lot of the lecturers were top notch and always had time to engage with students. I also had a lot of help in my final year from the career’s office as I sought to plan for my career after graduation.

Please share a brief summary of your career history since graduating? Since graduating, I have enjoyed a rewarding career in public service, first as an Internal Audit Officer at the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (under the National Youth Service Scheme) and subsequently as a Currency Planning Analyst at the Central Bank Of Nigeria, where I have spent the last five years engaged in overseeing and regulating activities in the Nigerian currency management sector.

What are some of your greatest career achievements since graduating? Since graduating and joining the Central Bank of Nigeria, I have had the opportunity to participate in formulating and reviewing financial industry policy/regulations, specifically in the currency management sector.My standout achievement so far would have to be the recognition I received forplaying a key role in restructuring the process through which the demand for currency is forecasted in Nigeria.

How did studying at Aston University help you in your career? Participating in group projects at Aston is the single activity that had the mostprofound impact in preparing me for my career. Through my undergraduate and postgraduate years at Aston, I was involved in several projects that involved working alongside fellow students from diverse backgrounds and with different approaches to carrying out tasks.These projects helped me gain valuable team working, critical analysis and organization skills. My proficiency with Microsoft office applications, which has had a profound impact on my success in the workplace, was developed primarily during sessions with fellow group members as we pieced together our project reports.

Do you have any advice for future students who are considering studying at Aston University? As far as advice goes, I think choosing to study at Aston is a no-brainer. The facilities and teaching resources made available to students are excellent, and the city of Birmingham offers a good mix of culture and activities that ensure for a rewarding experience while at university. Also, I should add that prospective students should aim tolearn about and make the most of the opportunities afforded them by the university, particularly in respect of careers advice and guidance.