On the week where thousands of you lovely lot graduate, we’ll have a new feature every day profiling one of our ‘DS-DOers’ – students who have done something unforgettable with us during their time at university.
One student loved being involved with De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU) so much that he’s sticking around – even after his graduation from De Montfort University (DMU).
Ahtesham Mahmood, 22, is DSU’s new VP Student Activities and has just graduated from his Masters in Pharmaceutical Quality by Design and enjoyed his time as a student trustee (plus a whole lot more) so much that he has stayed on to help give DMU students their voice.
“My first involvement with the students' union was making the most of Freshers Week,” he said. “I knew from day one that I wanted a rich CV [and] began developing my skills through the various opportunities available.”
Ahtesham quickly became a course representative, and was then elected in his second year of study as the chair of DSU’s student council. That was all while balancing a Frontrunners placement, voluntary work with the university’s Square Mile Project, being a student ambassador and a faculty brand ambassador.
“Listing how much I’ve been involved has brought a really big smile to my face,” he said. “To anyone reading this, make the most of your time here!”
Ahtesham with his fellow full-time and part-time officers who will #LeadYourDSU this year.
Though it was Ahtesham's role as a trustee representing his fellow DMU students was a particular highlight.
He explained: “I signed on the dotted line to become a student trustee just before starting my Masters. I saw the advertised voluntary vacancy and it just appealed to me.
“Using all that previous experience I put together an application which was accepted for which I am forever grateful for.
“My highlight [of being a trustee] was being part of the panel that steered DSU revamp. I’m content knowing I’ve had a say on how the new build will look, and trust me – it’s going to look fresh.”
Ahtesham has now been in his new role overseeing all of DSU’s ‘student activities’ for almost a month now. So how has he found the transition from student to executive officer?
“This has been something that I’ve always wanted – this was my third attempt at securing this role!
“It’s a steep learning curve at the moment but honestly I love it. I actually look forward to coming to work and I hope this isn’t going to be the last time I’ll ever say that – or I’ll do a PhD and run again!
“I’d honestly just like to say a very big thank you for all of those that voted for me. I’ll make sure to honour my manifesto and give you the best student experience possible.”
The self-confessed 'Derby boy' officially started his role as VP Student Activities on Friday 1 July.
Ahtesham also has some excellent advice for first-year students. “Trust me; get involved,” he said. “Do yourself the favour of finding something that interests you and do the hard bit…attend that first session, and just watch how much fun you’ll have.”
And on that note, DSU would like to thank Ahtesham for all of his hard work (so far) during his time at DMU and hope there’s plenty more to come!
You can read more stories from our ‘DS-DOers’ series here.