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Ahmed Malik

MSc Cyber Security & BEng Software Engineering

Ahmed is from Pakistan and is studying MSc Cyber Security, after gaining a first class honours undergraduate degree in Software Engineering from the University of Bradford in 2020.

I chose Bradford because I knew it would give me the best opportunities

"I studied for three years in Turkey, before coming to Bradford as a software engineering student. I chose Bradford because I knew it would give me the best opportunities to achieve my career goals.

"Graduating with a first class honours in 2020, during a pandemic, was a great achievement. But what should I do next? Work? Stay and get more qualifications?

"I decided to do both. I got a part-time job with The Working Academy in Bradford for two days a week, and applied for a Master's to gain more experience in my field. On researching different options, it seemed Cyber Security was the most in demand in terms of job roles, and as I’m focused on getting the most successful career after university, that was what sealed my decision."

 

The UK is an exciting place to be

"I’d been in my childhood, but to come back as an adult has been a completely different experience. There are much wider job opportunities here, and the education system is so well respected around the world.

"Despite a lengthy visa process, which the University really helped me out with, I was fortunate that my journey here was relatively challenge-free. I got a scholarship to fund my tuition fees and was supported financially by my family."

Getting involved with societies helped me settle

"I was really proactive in growing my social network through joining the societies at the University. I joined the Sports Club, Archery, Equestrian, Football, Cricket; I tried archery and horse riding which I’d never done before.

"When I arrived, I came to the library and downstairs there were some people playing table tennis and I just started playing with them and they told me all about the SU. I like sports, so that’s definitely helped me gain a sense of place and community."

Archery competition in the sports hall

Bradford is a safe and friendly place

"As the curry capital of the UK, I love the food here. Leeds and Manchester are also so close if you want to experience bigger cities, everything is accessible.

"Other unis have buildings stretched out all over cities. At Bradford, you can go from the SU to the library in less than two minutes. Everyone knows each other and you’re bound to bump into someone on campus, it’s a really friendly place to be.

"I spend most of my time in the labs and they’re open 24/7 – you can often find me in there, doing my assignment at 1am! Security guards are around so you always feel safe."

 

Me and my housemates supported each other through the pandemic

"I’ve lived in IQ accommodation since the beginning in a flat share. I’ve got a nice bedroom and my own bathroom, and a bunch of friendly housemates who’ve been such a support through Covid. I’ve got a friend from back home who’s studying at Leeds University, so we see each other a lot."

City Park Bradford at night

My course has given me so many insights into my chosen career

"The thing I enjoy most about it is that we can create websites for different clients and we see so many things that a normal user wouldn’t see. I love seeing the applications and how they work.

"I’m fascinated with ethical hacking and penetration testing websites. I’ve seen a rise in demand for penetration testers, and the skills I’ve developed during my Master's will put me in line for these kind of roles."

A screenshot of computer code

I want to take my new skills back to Pakistan

"I’m inspired by my dad, who is a businessman. I feel that with the knowledge and skills I’ve learnt at Bradford and my rich life experience in the UK, I can go back and help him digitise his catering business in Saudi Arabia. He currently works manually with pen and paper, so I can make a huge difference to the family business. That’s exciting."

 

Bradford has always been there to support me along the way

"The Careers Team give you such support ahead of any interviews. They’ve given me so many tips and tricks, and spend time with you giving you mock interviews – their feedback has always been so detailed and valuable, I’ve learned a lot from them."

My advice to other students would be…

"Enjoy the experience. Make the most of it, make sure you get involved with the course and extra-curricular activities – they have to go hand in hand. Try and use every facility and support service available. Don’t waste a minute here, you’ve got to grab it with both hands."

Ahmed Malik pictured on campus