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Ibrar Khan

Ibrar Khan - BSc Information Technology

Alumni Profile: Ibrar KhanSEO Consultant, SEO SURGEON

BSc Information Technology, 2010

What made you choose Middlesex University?

I chose Middlesex because of its excellent academic reputation, its location, and the fact that it attracts students from different backgrounds. It also has the latest equipment which is important when choosing a place to study IT and I received a £1000 scholarship for my first year which helped too.

What attracted you to your course and made you apply?

I always wanted to get a higher degree in IT and learn more about computers and when I looked at Middlesex it offered a good course and had all the latest technology in the lab. 

What aspects of your course did you enjoy most?

I particularly enjoyed working in a group and presenting our work to the class and our tutors, then going back to the library and doing research, brainstorming, prototyping, and testing.
Getting feedback, especially from Dr Serengul Smith and Lecturer Bob Fields, after presenting was always very rewarding, and I loved every moment of the HCI (Human Computer Interaction) classes.

What is your fondest memory of life at Middlesex?

Picking one memory is too difficult; I have to choose two. I will always remember the first time I walked into the university, and also the moment I walked across the stage to receive my degree at the graduation ceremony. They were my two favourite moments.

What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student interested in studying at Middlesex?

The staff at Middlesex University are very supportive and you will always get excellent feedback on your assignments or any piece of work you do. Sometimes that's not enough though, so go and meet them in their office, or email them if you have any questions regarding the module you're studying. It is important to make sure you know exactly what is required and that you ask questions whenever you're unsure.

I would also advise students to attend the CV Clinic workshops as they will help you when you're applying for jobs. Work experience is invaluable so apply for any and every relevant placement job that you can, perhaps even approach your module leader and ask if they need any help with their research. Try to get as much relevant experience as you can. 

How did your course and time at Middlesex help you to get where you are professionally today?

Apart from the technical knowledge I gained from my degree, I also gained the generic transferable skills employers normally look for such as time management, team working, presenting and communication skills. 

What made you choose the industry you work in and what are its pros and cons?

More and more people are using the internet nowadays and everyone uses search engines to find what they want. Businesses want to rank higher in search engine rankings to help potential customers find them, so there is and always will be a high demand from businesses to rank or appear higher in search engine rankings than their competitors. That was the reason I chose the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) industry. I was also always curious to find out why one website ranked better than the other in search engine rankings and this made me learn, understand and research more about it.

The pros are that the demand for ethical SEO Experts is high and is rising. It can also be very highly paid.

The cons are the frequent changes in search engines algorithms that mean you have to constantly change what you are doing. The industry also perhaps has a bad reputation because there are a lot of practitioners who use unacceptable 'black hat' methods.

How did you get your foot on the career ladder post university?

I submitted my CV and covering letter to every recruitment company in UK, and within a month I started getting calls from them. It was mainly down to determination, and some luck.

What has been your defining career break or highlight to date?

My career highlight so far was working for a multi-national company and managing their online marketing campaigns worth millions of pounds.

What does the future hold for you?

I already run my own SEO Consultancy, and hopefully I will soon be in a position to start my own SEO Company.

What are the top three career tips you would give to current students and recent graduates?

Start networking with people in your industry through sites like meetup.com.
Never Stop Learning.
Be a good Listener.

What one piece of advice would you give to the 17/18 year old you?

I would tell myself to get relevant work experience as early as possible and to not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.

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