Hassan Mahmudul

  College: College of St Hild and St Bede
  Subject: BSc. in Biological Sciences and MRes in Biological Sciences
  Class of: 2019
  Location: Newcastle

Your Durham Inspiration

I knew I wanted to get into a top university. I looked at the top universities in the league table and applied based on academic reputation and opportunity to get involved in the wider student community and developer other extra-curricular skills. Durham clearly stood out because of the collegiate structure. Durham is a beautiful place and combined with its small size and academic ranking, it was the perfect place to get a good degree while also being able to completely immerse myself into the student community.

I was involved with various clubs and societies at Durham. These included: Cricket, Football and Badminton and volunteering through SCA. I was also part of the executive committee of my college as the clubs and societies officer. This helped me keep active and take my mind off academic stress. I also met very close friends in the process.

I am most proud of my volunteering work with Student Community Action (SCA) as it made me realise that Durham is an extremely privileged student bubble and that there are important projects in the local community that students can get involved with and contribute towards.

Interestingly, my fondest memories of Durham were from the last few years. It’s the little things like organising movie nights and meals with your housemates and the memories you share from nights out with them.

I am a very driven person, so Durham was a massive step up for me from the background I came from. It helped me step out of my comfort zone and become more confident in the process.


Since leaving Durham, I have been immersed in the world of startups and venture capital by founding a startup that I am still involved with and working as a scout for a tech venture capital firm. This has also led me to being appointed a Non-Exec Director at the national trust, Kielder Forest & Waterparks.

I am passionate about entrepreneurship so being able to work on my own company is both exciting and rewarding. I also get to speak with and mentor very exciting early stage startups so you get to learn something new about a particular sector or technology every day!

I am still primarily involved with my startup, Scientistt, where we are at an exciting stage of working with leading STEM recruiters such as consulting and patent law firms. Because of this interest by employers to access our community, we will also be expanding our team to help with the recruitment side of the business. Outside this, I am looking at developing ways to help more international students consider startups as an alternative to the few Tier-2 visa sponsors they have to compete for.

My other interest currently is football. I follow the premier league, especially Man City religiously. The team is currently doing well so it’s good for the mental health as well!

Pass It On

Don’t worry too much about what you want to do after graduation and also don’t follow the herd and apply for jobs that your friends are applying for. Try to focus on a specific interest and dedicate time to be very good at that. First and second year of university are a great time to explore career opportunities in different areas and whether you see yourself doing that in the future. I see too many students apply for jobs at law, consulting and banking firms just because it’s the ‘thing to do’ or because of peer pressure. Working in startups or founding your own company can be more of a steep learning curve than 2-3 years at a top graduate scheme. I think because of the pace, agility and being able to take on various roles at a startup, you become much more well-rounded. You can also be quite tactical about career choice by being involved with a startup in a certain role for a few years and becoming highly sought after compared to someone who has been a small cog in a big firm.

I wish I had known the opportunities there are to work in startups and alternative career path outside the traditional consulting, banking and law firms. The top US universities are very good at promoting entrepreneurship to students and the UK is now slowly catching up as well.

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