Human Resource Management - BA (Hons)
Due to his visual impairment, Yusuf struggled to find a career path that suited him. After discovering his passion for Human Resource Management, he’s on the path to help empower others with disabilities in the world of work.
“When I finished sixth form, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I started to apply to jobs and didn’t really consider continuing my education. However, I found it hard to find work. I have a visual impairment and found a lot of workplaces unwilling to take me on. After getting so many rejections, I decided to reassess and give university a go.
I didn’t start off my university journey at BCU but at another university. When Covid hit in 2020, everything came to a halt, and it made me rethink my situation. I wasn’t really enjoying my time at the university – I had a long commute, hadn’t made many connections and didn’t think the course was for me.
I started researching universities a little closer to home in Birmingham and BCU came out top. During my research into the community and environment at BCU, ‘inclusion’ was a word that kept cropping up. Being part of an inclusive environment was really important to me as a student with a disability, so I transferred to BCU.
One positive that did come out of my time at my previous university was discovering my passion for Human Resource Management. One of my modules was focused on HR and I loved it. HR is very people-focused, which really appeals to me. Since BCU has a course all about HR, I was really excited to pursue it as I knew I’d be able to study employee engagement, disability equality and other topics in more detail.
Before I even started at BCU, the Disability Team got in touch about my visual impairment and how they could help. They worked on a support summary which details all my entitlement within the university, such as extra-time with assessments, e-books and accessible handouts. The support summary is then sent to my lecturers each semester and they can implement what’s needed.
I haven’t really had much further contact with the Disability Team during my time here and that’s because the support summary works really well! I know that if I do face any barriers, I can contact them. I know members of the team by name which is great because it feels more personal instead of just getting in touch with a shared email address.
The lecturers on my course are great at implementing the changes I need to make the course more accessible. Small things like transcribing images make a big difference to me. It means that there’s less work for me to do and that I can just get on with my assignments like everyone else. I appreciate my lecturers going above and beyond to ensure I can succeed on my course.
On my course, we complete lots of assessments which are key to the skills I’ll need for a career in HR, like teamwork and communication. For example, we complete work on a lot of role plays and presentations which have really helped me work with others and boost my confidence.
I’m also much more confident conversing with people in general. BCU is such a diverse place that is full of interesting people, I’ve learnt that if I speak to someone, I’ll benefit from it. If you spend 10 minutes on campus, you’ll meet people of all ages, ethnicities, religions, people with disabilities and different backgrounds – it’s something I really like about the university and that’s changed me in so many ways.
The boost in my confidence and my course have also helped me realise what I want to do in life. I already work part-time for the civil service and I’m looking forward to going full-time when I graduate and progressing in HR. It’s a great place to gain experience. In the future, I hope to start my own recruitment firm and use my experiences to help other people with disabilities get into the world of work. I want to make sure that no one else with disability has the same struggles that I did looking for a job.
To me, ‘I am BCU’ means being part of a friendly, supportive community, where everyone feels welcome."