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Furqan Naeem

MA International Politics and Security Studies

Furqan Naeem
  • Chose Master's to change career direction
  • Active in Students' Union
  • Writes for Huffington Post

Furqan Naeem from Manchester first came to the University of Bradford to study pharmacy, graduating with a BSc in 2011, but his involvement in the Students' Union made him realise his future might lay in a completely different career path.

With a career in politics in mind, Furqan decided to apply for a Master's in International Politics and Security Studies in 2013.

"The University had a profound impact on me when I got involved with student societies and people," he says.

"Originally I came here to do pharmacy, but I found my real passion because of everything the University had to offer.

"Everything I'm doing now points towards a career in politics - I've always wanted to do something that's going to have an impact on peoples' lives.

"The MA is highly important to my future, and I think it has changed me.

"Before, I found it difficult to write - but I've now got my own Huffington Post blog."

Students' Union

Furqan got involved with the Students' Union early on in his undergraduate degree.

"I got involved with the Islamic Society and from there I got involved in the wider Students' Union.

"I became Chair of the Students' Union Council in 2010, and then I was Academic Affairs Officer the following year.

"Coming to the University of Bradford meant I was able to get involved in the whole world - meeting people from different backgrounds, cultures etc. I was able to broaden my horizons.

"And then I wanted to broaden other peoples' horizons.

"I got involved with the Labour Party's youth wing and got David Miliband to come to the University in 2013."

Furqan Naeem and Hamza Yusuf.

Cultural exchange

As a young Muslim community leader, Furqan got the opportunity to go on a cultural exchange organised by the US Embassy with nine other young British muslims.

"The embassy took us to Muslim communities across America to learn from their experiences.

"We had a crash course in American politics in Washington D.C., and we prayed our prayers in Capitol Hill. It was quite powerful and respectful.

"One of the projects we visited was the Afghan Coalition in the Bay area, it really impressed me.

"It was set up by four women who got involved in society and bridged a gap in social services. It was inspiring and empowering.

"You learn more about yourself when you spend three weeks outside your comfort zone."

Bradford is unique

Furqan says studying and living in Bradford has been a life-changing experience for him.

"Bradford is unique because it is one of the most diverse institutions nationally.

"You don’t get a community as diverse as Bradford. Learning from them, understanding different backgrounds - it has opened my mind."