Zubair set for success thanks to College work experience

During A Level and GCSE results weeks, we are celebrating student success stories across our Group and showcasing learners who have achieved great things. Future architect Zubair Ibrahim said College organised work experience gives students the advantage in a competitive job market.

Work experience has proved invaluable for student Zubair Ibrahim who secured four work placements with the help of The Manchester College.

Zubair gained a triple D * in Level 3 Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment, the highest grade possible and the equivalent to three A* grade A Levels, and had always wanted to pursue his dream of becoming an architect.

Thanks to a series of placements with three leading architecture firms in Manchester and an international estate agency, Zubair has now been offered a place at University College London to study Architecture starting this September.

 He said: “I’d had work experience before while running my own market stall, but what I really wanted was more specific, day to day experience of a city centre architects firm.

“I worked with the College to grow our database of firms and secure as many exciting work experiences within the timeframe of my course.

“Alongside their own contacts, the College was very supportive of me using my initiative to deal directly with the firms, and in helping to secure those placements.”

Students are required to complete one work experience placement during the length of the course, but Zubair’s tutor Colin Barker allowed him to use course time for additional work experience.

With help from Emma Johnson, Employability and Partnership Coordinator, Zubair secured his first work placement with estate agents Cushman and Wakefield in Manchester.

He said: “Emma is always pro-actively looking out for opportunities and regularly sent me emails of events, employers and opportunities. This unique aspect is one of the reasons that future students should choose this course and The Manchester College. You can go out of your way to get in touch with firms directly, knowing that you have the College and the Employability Team behind you, helping you to prepare for your placements.

Being at Cushman and Wakefield was a fantastic experience, and it motivated me further to secure many experiences in an architects practice.

Three more work placements followed at global architecture firm BDP, Buttress Architects, who redesigned the Openshaw Campus in 2005, and North West based AEW Architects.

Zubair said: “Each firm gave me my own real life projects to work on, which give me the experience of what to experience as an architect and also on a university course.”

Zubair is clear on the value of gaining work experience to give students a clear advantage in the competitive job market.

He said: “These days, work experience can definitely be the deciding factor in getting a job. The College is very keen on promoting practical experience and thoroughly preparing students for realistic expectations of work life and career paths. I say, whatever the College has to offer, students should make the most of it.”

Find out more about Construction courses at The Manchester College.

Zubair Ibrahim

Level 3 Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment