Alumni

Student Story - Reshma Begum

Reshma is a first-year History student at Queen Mary and is one of this year’s Sally Sainsbury History Scholarship recipients.

Reshma Begum, Sally Sainsbury History Scholarship recipient 2020

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"My main attraction to Queen Mary was that it’s a Russell Group university. It’s also located in East London so it’s a short commute from home. I initially applied to study international relations at university but on results day I saw that Queen Mary had places open for History. After doing some research, I liked the course and modules so I chose to study History.

"I'm really enjoying my modules on European History. It is unusual to be studying online but everyone is trying their best. I feel supported by staff who are doing a great job keeping students updated about careers, events and our course through regular emails.

"I grew up in Tower Hamlets and come from a low-income household. My father passed away when I was young so my single mother works hard to look after our family. I live in an overcrowded house with my four siblings so it hasn’t been easy to study at home so I usually go on campus to study quietly. My mum has been unemployed for some time now so I do have the responsibility to look after my siblings and find part-time work.

"Since lockdown, I've been working remotely for a call centre on a 0-hour contract so I can make some money to support myself financially. I also heavily rely on maintenance loan to get by. I was shocked and delighted when I heard that I’d been awarded the alumni-funded scholarship.

This award has given me the confidence to keep working hard. The funding has enabled me to buy my course books and support my living expense and I hope to use the remaining funds to support my second year of study.

"I’m currently focusing on my studies but I hope to secure an internship in the summer so I can boost my skills and get of taste of the industry I’d like to work in. I’m also taking part in the QMentoring scheme which is helping me gain insight into potential career paths and develop my employability skills.

"I’m truly grateful for the generosity. The award has helped me through my studies and will continue to do so. I am very inspired by the support from our alumna and hope to help others too in the future."