"I didn’t have much to lose - I just had to gain."
A student stood outside Canary Wharf Tube station on June 30, 2022, during the evening rush hour in the hopes of bagging a summer internship.
Between 5 pm and 7:30 pm, 20-year-old Usman Akhtar stood outside the Jubilee Line entrance in a suit that read:
“BSc Finance, investment and risk undergraduate student looking for a summer internship in Banking and Finance.
“1st class Honours (expected). Fluent Bilingual. Intermediate Level Coding skills.
“Approach for: CV, Networking, Conversation.”
Usman is a second-year student at the London Institute of Banking and Finance.
He revealed that he was inspired by Haider Malik who did something similar and landed his dream job by the end of the week.
Usman explained that he has applied to at least 50 internships this year. Only a handful of employers have contacted him for an interview or an offer.
However, none are of interest.
Usman finished second-year with a first-class and achieved the second-highest marks in his first year.
He now has a lot of free time over the summer and wants to do an internship to get experience.
The student is looking for positions in finance and banking but says he will do anything relevant such as risk management, corporate finance, consultancy, and actuarial.
Usman hopes to eventually go into investment banking.
According to his CV, he is a “highly analytical and confident student with a strong passion to enter the financial services industry” with five years of coding education.
Alongside his studies, Usman works part-time for around 16-24 hours per week.
He believes that his part-time job may have a negative impact on his applications.
Usman said: “I saw the article [about someone else standing outside a station] and he got a job so I thought – why not.
“I haven’t got any offers I’m interested in. I wanted to see what happens.”
After pitching himself outside Canary Wharf, more than 30 people approached Usman to give him their email or follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Many wished him well or praised him for his outside-of-the-box approach.
Usman, who moved from London to Italy when he was 18, continued:
“It was a good choice.
“Now I have got a better network. People to help me in my future career, and hopefully, I will get an internship.”
“It’s like I have applied for 15 positions.”
Usman admitted that if he found himself in the same situation, he would do it again.
He admitted: “But maybe it will become even more popular to do this.”
For those in a similar position, Usman said:
“Stand up for yourself, show some courage and everything should be fine. I didn’t have much to lose – I just had to gain.
“Being Italian with Pakistani heritage, coming to London helped me become open-minded and develop the confidence to stand up today.”