Belfast Met Business graduate Ailin Attarzadeh has just been named the UK Leidos Career Ready Student of the Year 2020. Ailin went through to the finals after winning the Northern Ireland Career Ready Student of the Year for 2020 earlier this year.
Ailin, 20, is originally from Iran and arrived as a refugee in Belfast four years ago. She started Belfast Met in 2017 and completed her BTEC Level 3 Business qualification during the pandemic.
Louise Warde Hunter, Principal and Chief Executive at Belfast Met said, “I’d like to congratulate Ailin on her fantastic achievement in winning this prestigious award which is testament to her hard work and ambition. Winning this award is an excellent example of how well Belfast Met supports and prepares its learners for their future careers.”
Ailin joined Belfast Met’s Belfast Business School on the BTEC Business programmes where she progressed from Level 2 to Level 3, as well as gaining her Essential Skills in Literacy and Numeracy at Level 2. She then went on to get a place on the Career Ready programme co-ordinated by Heather Houston from Belfast Business School, and benefitted from monthly meetings with her mentor, Clare Muldoon, from Citi. During his time Ailin attended monthly masterclasses with guest speakers covering topics such as Enhancing Your Personal Brand and Building Your Self Confidence. She then went on to secure a 6-week paid internship with Citi Gateway where she made a very positive impression on her team within the Market Data department.
Heather Houston, Career Ready Co-ordinator said, “Ailin was an absolute pleasure to have in the classroom and the Career Ready programme opened the door for her innate talents and abilities to shine through. She is a beautiful girl, inside and out, who displayed the core values of Belfast Met – Collaborative, Ambitious, Respectful and Excellent – I am so proud of her!”
Ailin spoke about what the award means to her, “I am so thrilled to have received this award. Starting Belfast Met and joining the Career Ready programme has changed my life.
“The work experience with Social Enterprises through the ICE with GRIT initiative within Belfast Business School was so useful, and one of my stand out memories was our Erasmus ICE with GRIT study visit to Koning Willem College in the Netherlands, which unfortunately, due the pandemic, the trip was cut short.
“Throughout lockdown I‘ve taken part in Career Ready Masterclasses in Effective Virtual Communications and Working Productively in Teams which I have found invaluable. Career Ready was a life-changing experience for me, opening doors to networking with colleagues who have guided and supported me on my career path’.
“My internship with Citi was such a wonderful 6-week experience! I was nervous at first as I was unsure if I could do it, but with the encouragement from my tutors and mentor, I completed the programme and presented to Citi Senior Management Team about everything I had learnt. I am so glad I was brave enough to see it through and it is now an impressive part of my CV.”
Ailin is currently applying for the School Leaver Programme with Grant Thornton, aiming to secure full time employment within the Auditing field.