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The University of Southampton
EconomicsPart of Economic, Social and Political Science

Damola Akinyemi  Bsc Economics with a Year in Employment

Business Development Representative at Google

Damola Akinyemi 's Photo

Hi, I'm Damola Akinyemi and I am studying Bsc Economics with a Year in Employment.

My year in employment gave me time to network, explore ventures, and travel; giving me clearer insight and comprehensible vision of my future.

Why did you choose to study at Southampton?

I chose to study at the University of Southampton mainly due to its outstanding academic status; not to mention it’s vibrant social life!

What is it like studying here?

Southampton is an awesome city to meet new faces due to its compact size, but big enough for you to explore! It’s great that you can live a short walk from the campus, but also only a short cycle/bus ride away from the city centre. It’s generally quiet but you can also enjoy the bustling city centre, so you really do get the best of both worlds.

What were your Southampton ‘highlights’ (best experiences)?

This is a tough question! I think one of my highlights was getting to share my Year in Employment experience with an audience of ~150 people, including the Vice Chancellor… Now that was pretty awesome! Another of mine is definitely the lifelong relationships I developed along the journey. Priceless!

What did you enjoy most about your course?

I enjoy anything related to numbers, so I definitely enjoyed the more mathematical modules. I also enjoyed the balance between lectures and social time, and also the flexibility to study modules that provided a greater scope beyond my degree subject.

What opportunities did you take up within your degree programme and how have they helped your personal development?

I had the opportunity to convert my Economics Degree, into a 4 year course, by completing a year in employment between my penultimate and final year. I thought it would be a great idea for me to gain some experience and I don’t regret it! The beauty of the programme is that I was able to choose where I worked. It also gave me time to develop personally (all while not worrying about common student challenges!). My year in employment gave me time to network, explore ventures, and travel; giving me clearer insight and comprehensible vision of my future. My biggest takeaway for anyone who is nervous or considering a YIE is simply to be open minded! One of my favourite quotes is by Richard Branson who said “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”

What other activities did you take advantage of while at University?

Whilst at University, I was also fortunate enough to be a welfare coordinator of a Christian fellowship society (KMCF). I also dabbled in a bit of sport (now wishing I had participated more), and also gave some presentations at a few employability events on campus. My advice, be a hybrid :)

What are you up to now and what’s your ambition?

Since graduating in 2019, I started a full-time role at Google as a Business Development Representative; it’s been a great start to my career. I thank God for the opportunity - I managed to convert the internship (completed in 2018) into a full time role. As for my ambition, that’s quite tough to pinpoint. All I know is that I want to help people and provide impact (but i’m not too sure in what capacity… yet).

What have been the highlight/s of your career so far?

One highlight has been working at a start-up during my placement year. It was amazing because I got to do things I never thought I'd be doing. I not only managed to attend 2018 London Fashion Week, but I also participated in various photoshoots modelling our slippers and eventually shot a TV advert. They also paid for us to go to Paris for our Christmas party! It was incredible, and those are just a few of the highlights. Working at Google has also been pretty awesome. The free food has definitely been a highlight!

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