Young East London man takes a unique approach to land an internship
Image by MyLondon
Usman Akhtar, 20, attempted to get a summer internship by standing outside Canary Wharf Tube station on Thursday, June 30.
The young man is a second-year student at the London Institute of Banking & Finance and recently finished his second year at university with a first-class and scored the second-highest marks in his first year.
He said that he wants to end up in investment banking but for now is open to positions in finance and banking and has interest in other relevant areas such as risk management, corporate finance, consultancy, and actuarial.
Akhtar wore a smart suit and stood outside the entrance of the Jubilee line during peak rush hours between 5pm and 7.30pm with a sign that read: ” BSc Finance, investment & risk undergraduate student looking for summer internship in Banking & Finance. 1st class Honours (expected). Fluent Bilingual. Intermediate Level Coding skills. Approach for: CV, Networking, Conversation”.
He told MyLondon that he was inspired by a man who did something similar before, and managed to get a job by the end of the week. Akhtar has so far applied for 50 internships but barely got any offers or response for an interview. He admitted that the companies that approached him, did not interest him.
Akhtar went on to add, “I saw the article [about someone else standing outside a station] and he got a job so I thought – why not. I haven’t got any offers I’m interested in. I wanted to see what happens.”
Akhtar, who moved to London from Italy when he was 18 and is of Pakistani heritage, had a successful day as more than 30 people came up to him and gave their contact details. Some of them even followed him on Twitter and LinkedIn, and wished him luck, appreciating him for doing something unique.
He said, “Now I have got a better network. People to help me in my future career, and hopefully, I will get an internship. It’s like I have applied for 15 positions.”
He also gave advice to others in the same scenario as him, saying, “Stand up for yourself, show some courage and everything should be fine. I didn’t have much to lose – I just had to gain.”
“Being Italian with Pakistani heritage, coming to London helped me become open-minded and develop the confidence to stand up today,” the East London man added.