My name is Hamza. I was born and raised in Bristol.  I am the oldest of 3 siblings from a Pakistani background. I am seen as hard-working, resilient and organised by the people I work with.

At the start of Year 5 I was underperforming in Mathematics until my teacher, Mr Groves, sparked my interest in Mathematics, Sciences and Business studies. During the final term, I averaged 100% in in-class tests (Maths).

Despite my success in primary school, I was quite the troublemaker in secondary school. This eventually caught up to me in Year 9 and I knew had I had step back up again in Year 10. Although I initially didn’t like doing so, I found that asking for help is the most effective way to build your way up to success. Not only for you, but also for the person helping you. By the end of Year 11 I ended up topping most of my classes. This was because I asked for help from my teachers and my peers, stayed committed and saw results.

I take a lot of motivation and inspiration from television shows and movies such as ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and ‘Suits’. I have loved boxing growing up, taking inspiration from Mike Tyson, and Mohammed Ali (fighting-style-wise) and still box to this day. I play the guitar in my spare time, read books and workout.

I had the opportunity to do the remote internship with Sun Life Financial. At first it was a unique and unusual experience. But I ended up really enjoying it. Being able to complete time intensive tasks at the comfort of my own home was one of the biggest benefits for me.

A remote internship alleviates travel time. The remote internship allowed me to expand my network and gain valuable career advice from industry professionals. It provided me with a real feel of what it was like to work in the financial industry and the problems and setbacks I’d have to face down the road. What I take from this going forward is that we should be willing to learn, listen and understand from those who came before us. Be the hardest-working person you know but don’t forget to give yourself breaks and rewards along the way. Small victories add up and these tips help build a successful career.

I came to Babbasa to participate in the challenge programme. It’s something I thought I could do to make a real difference and provide the youth with something I’d wish I had at their age. I was  looking to improve my own character and experiences and make the most of my spare time. At the time and still now, I am studying my four A-levels (Maths, Further Maths, Economics and Physics) and working part-time at a retail store. I was looking to gain new experiences and skills. Babbasa helped me cultivate and improve my leadership skills and work-ethic. I got to meet new interesting people, access to opportunities that I would have never come by and access to help that has fast-tracked my career decisions.

My advice to young people is to not be afraid to ask for help. Be open to new experiences and learning opportunities. Utilize your time and do things that make you happy. Keep showing up when most would quit and you’ll start seeing your successes reap. I am going to submit my UCAS application soon and I hope to go on and study for an Economics degree. Three years on I should’ve graduated and entered the workforce with the hopes of starting my own business down the line.