Queen Mary Alumni

Student story: Mohzma Hussain

Mohzma is a Medicine student in Barts and The London. She is from Burnley, she is the oldest amongst her siblings and the first to go to University.

Mohzma Hussain, Barts and The London Annual Fund Hardship Bursary recipient

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"I come from quite a big family – I’m the oldest, I have four sisters and a brother. My mum was a homemaker, my dad was a taxi driver. He worked very long hours to provide for us – he wanted us to have an education so we could get good jobs.

"My dad sadly passed away when I was 14. At that time my brother was only a year old so my mum had her hands full bringing all six of us up. Times were really tough for my mum and financially she struggled a lot after dad had gone.

"I wanted to be a doctor because I love science and helping people so it seemed the perfect combination. My dad would have loved me to be a doctor too so although things have been hard I’ve never given up my ambition. When I came to Whitechapel for my interview, it was different to other universities – everyone was really helpful and friendly, and the students were so enthusiastic about their courses. I felt part of the place even before I arrived.

"Money has been tight from the beginning of the course, but things got tougher each year. I worked in McDonald’s and a call centre to help my finances, but it was really hard to fit paid work around my studies and placements. My grant and my loan were used up first, then I got to the limit of my overdraft. I applied for a credit card for emergencies but by the fourth year I was at the limit of that too. I couldn’t ask my mum for money as she didn’t have any, and I couldn’t even talk to her about my worries as I knew she’d try and help which would mean skipping bills or cutting down on food for my brother and sisters.

"The hardest thing was the worry. One month I had to choose between paying my rent and paying my credit card interest – I just didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t afford the tube fare to lectures and I couldn’t concentrate on my exams – all I could think about was how to make ends meet. It was so stressful.

"Your bursary paid for a month’s rent so that I could get myself back on track in time for my exams. I can’t explain what a relief it was – your help meant that I could focus on my studies and feel I was going in the right direction again. I was able to enjoy life and enjoy studying without worrying about money the whole time. I’d really like to thank you for turning things around for me.

"I’m in my final year now and looking forward to starting as a junior doctor. I’m not sure where I’d like to specialise just yet as I’ve enjoyed my various placements in GP surgeries and hospitals. Whatever I do, I know that one day I’d like to help students with money worries, just like you helped me. Thank you so much!"