Posted Thursday 13 August 2020
Syed Rizvi has become adept at multi-tasking after taking on a law degree at Kingston University at the same time as working at Heathrow Airport, and parenting a one year old daughter. Despite the challenges, he is thriving on his course, achieving a First grade overall in his first year.
The 28 year old from Greenford, West London, applied through Clearing to fulfil his long held ambition to study law. "It was something I always wanted to do when the time was right," he explained. "I got married fairly young and needed to find a solid job first which offered a good amount of flexibility. But now I'm really pleased to be here."
Syed admits that managing work and study is a constant juggle. "I have to be really organised and plan ahead to fit it all in and give myself enough time to do the work," he said. "But I'm fortunate that my job is quite flexible."
Like many other parents during the Covid-19 lockdown, Syed has faced the additional challenge of trying to study at home with a toddler in the house. "I try to keep it all in a separate room but she still manages to find a way in," he said.
Syed's interest in law was first sparked by a module he studied at sixth form college. He said it really appealed to him because the different specialisms, such as commercial, property and consumer law, impact on every part of life.
With plenty of encouragement from family and friends, Syed began researching his options and settled on Kingston University because the course offered him the opportunity to gain professional experience as part of his studies. He was nervous, however, about going to University as a mature student. "I was worried initially about being the oldest," he admitted, "but I read lots of other students' stories on the website and found out there is a really wide range of people on the course from all backgrounds, which made me feel much more comfortable."
Before he applied through Clearing, Syed also spoke to the head of the law department at Kingston University, to talk through his grades and make sure the course was right for him. Happily, Syed met the requirements and was offered a place starting in September 2019.
Getting back into study after nearly 10 years was difficult at first but Syed said that once he got into a routine, it became much easier. "The course tutors were really supportive, and they broke us into the course quite gently, which really helped me to make the transition," he said.
"If you can make the balance work with university and your personal life, it is a great thing to do and Kingston is a great place to be to achieve your goals. You don't want to have regrets in later life about what you could have done," he added.
Hiroko Onishi, senior lecturer in law at Kingston University, praised Syed's work ethic. "Syed is very committed and devoted to his studies and has excelled in his first year," she said. "Our law degree offers a solid grounding in the legal system and valuable hands-on experience to help our graduates get off to a flying start in their professional careers."
In his second year of study, Syed is looking forward to gaining some professional experience at a solicitor's firm, and in the long term is considering specialising in property law.
Syed advises other students looking to snap up a place through Clearing to make full use of the information on the Kingston University website. "There is so much information on there about the courses but also about students' experiences, which I found really helpful," he said.