Queen Mary Alumni

Student story: Hamzah Azam

Hamzah is a BEng Chemical Engineering student at QMUL. He accepted his place to study after completing in A levels in Maths, Biology and Chemistry. He grew up in East London with three of his siblings.

Hamzah Azam, Annual Fund Scholarship recipient 2018

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"I chose to study at Queen Mary because it's a Russell Group university and one of the few universities in London that offers the course I am interested in. My brother also studied in QMUL and really enjoyed his time here, which pushed me to apply.

"My first year in university is mostly revising and implementing my knowledge from A levels. I’m really enjoying my course, my favourite module so far has been ‘student - centred learning’. The module is 100% coursework and includes many practical assessments so I can get hands on with the tasks. 

"My home life has been difficult. My parents have been diagnosed with cancer recently. It came as a shock to our whole family. Both my parents can’t work at the moment so my older brothers are working hard to support the family. I’ve been spending more time at home to help accommodate my parents and make sure they aren’t stressed. It has been extremely tough but we are getting through it as a family. I was so surprised and grateful to hear that I’ve been awarded the Annual Fund Scholarship. It's taken a huge pressure off me because I no longer need to rely on my family for help. My parents are extremely happy that I can now support my studies. Because I commute to university, my award has helped me buy a monthly travel pass. The award has helped pay for my course resources and basic necessities so I can focus on my studies.

"Managing finances can be hard for students especially for those from a disadvantaged background. Most students are required to get a part time job to support themselves. Unfortunately, for some, this can put a huge strain on their studies.

"I’m currently focusing on doing well in my studies. I’m hoping to do a year in industry in my third year of university to build my work experience and skills. I’m very open-minded and optimistic about my future career.

"I’m very grateful to all the alumni who funded my Scholarship. I can now support myself and focus on my studies with no added stress. I appreciate all your support and thank you once again."