A masters student has gone viral with his novel approach to finding a graduate job in finance.
Mohamed Elbarkey stood outside Canary Wharf Station on Tuesday wearing a suit with a sign which read: “Came as a refugee, just graduated from UCL in ROCKET SCIENCE. Looking for a career in finance, ask for CV.”
He was spotted by Mary Engleheart, digital manager at the International Rescue Centre, who took his photo and uploaded it to Twitter.
Soon enough, the hashtag #GetMohamedAJob was trending, and Mary’s post had more than 20,000 likes.
“At the International Rescue Committee I see and hear stories every day that show that when refugees are given the opportunity to succeed, they thrive,” she said.
“Mohamed is living proof of the ingenuity and courage of refugees. I decided to tweet his picture and see whether anyone could help to find him a job.”
The 22-year-old came to the UK as a refugee from Libya when he was three.
Thanks to his mother’s passion for educating her children, Mohamed went on to study aerospace engineering at Southampton University and is finishing his masters degree in space engineering at UCL.
He is shocked by the attention his ingenuity is getting.
“It really is overwhelming,” he told the Press Association.
“The main reason I had the confidence to stand at Canary Wharf was because I thought no one I knew would be there so there was no reason to be embarrassed!”
This isn’t the first move Mohamed has made to try to get on the job ladder.
“I, of course, applied to all of the major and the boutique firms during the milk round but I had found little success. I knew whenever I was offered an interview I would do really well, because that’s in my control.”
When these didn’t work out, Mohamed began to think outside the box. Inspired by David Casarez, a young man who took a similar approach in Silicon Valley, he hopped on the Tube, hoping to land an opportunity.
“I’m hoping for a job in a client-facing role related to finance,” he said.
“For the last two or so years I’ve had a keen interest in the markets and how the events of the world can have a drastic impact on the markets. I’m particularly interested in using AI to help predict market movements.”
He is yet to receive a job offer, but has three interviews lined up. He has also received “a lot of encouraging emails from the largest banks in the world encouraging me and saying, ‘send me your CV, I’ll put it in front of the right people’. I’m hoping something concrete comes out of it soon.”