London Met student elected local councillor
Law student Syed Ahammad wins Longbridge by-election
Date: 19 August 2013
Councillor Ahammad outside Barking and Dagenham Civic Centre
Many students have jobs or hobbies while at university to keep them busy in their spare time, but LLB and International Relations student Syed Ahammad is perhaps the busiest of them all.
The first-year law student has been elected as a local councillor after triumphing in a recent by-election.
Syed, who studies in the Faculty of Law, Governance and International Relations at London Met, is the councillor for London’s Longbridge Ward in Barking.
“I have always had an interest in politics and have been involved in voluntary work for MPs, the Labour party and campaigns for national and local elections,” said Syed. “When the by-election was announced I applied for the Labour nomination, and was successful out of 18 candidates.
“It feels very good to have won the election and I am excited to be looking after the residents of the ward.”
It must be difficult for Syed to juggle his academic commitments with his duties as a councillor, but he says he gets by thanks to proper planning.
“I always want to be available for my constituents but I’m studying full time for a degree, so there are moments when it’s challenging,” he said. “Sometimes I’ll be in a lecture and I’m getting lots of calls on my mobile, so as soon as the lecture ends I have to go straight back into councillor mode!
“The way I manage it is to plan ahead and make sure I know exactly where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing each day. This ensures I will always have the time at some point in the day to get everything done. Ultimately, all you can do is concentrate on whatever it is you are doing at the time. That’s what I do, whether I am studying or conducting council business.”
Luckily for Syed, London Met has proven to be a supportive environment in which to study.
“The teachers, lecturers and the students are all incredibly friendly and there is a great relationship between the students and staff here. There is a very academic atmosphere and you feel like you are in a studious place. There are lots of events which provide a chance to learn more and meet some great guest speakers, and that always inspires me to do something extra and improve my career.”
“It is a very special place to study.”
Syed's success reflects the role of London Met students in local communities. The University has a rich legacy of students and graduates engaging with local issues or going on to work and make a difference in London's boroughs.
The University also runs a BA (Hons) Politics degree course to prepare students for a career in Westminster, local government or beyond.