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Zishan Fazel: Former student talks about his IT career and setting up an award-winning community project to help the homeless

Zishan FazelZishan studied for his BTEC National Diploma in Systems Support at Derby College. He spoke to our Alumni Team not only about his resulting successful career in IT and Computing, but about how he set up his own community project, Project TouchDown, which was featured in The Telegraph and awarded ‘Volunteering Project of the Year.’


“From a young age I have always had an interest in computers and have always been active in charitable community projects,” said Zishan.


“I have had so many proud moments throughout my life; the very first was upon achieving outstanding grades at Derby College, the second was getting into university. Then I started ‘Project TouchDown’ a community project which provides food, clothes and other items to Derby’s homeless community each week, as well as organising a yearly Christmas meal.”


Zishan said in a recent interview: “Project TouchDown is all about supporting the homeless and the needy, who are either sleeping on the street, or who need extra food or clothes. I’d like to bring the community together as one; humanity is about sticking by one another and offering support. You never know when you’ll need help yourself.


Zishan also spoke to our Alumni Team about his career in IT.


“I completed a BTEC Level 3 course in Systems Support at the Joseph Wright Centre which gave me the experience and knowledge to start work with small businesses in Derby,” he said. “I supported these businesses with software and hardware work, and this enhanced my experience even more.

“The support from lecturers was amazing, on completion of BTEC it enabled me to continue my education at degree level,” he said. “I completed my degree in Computing a few months ago and have worked for an IT firm as a contractor for several months.


“I would say if you are passionate about something in particular then put 110% effort into it no matter what anyone has to say,” Zishan advised. “For starters technology is growing immensely, and anyone can work a computer at basic level so get some expertise to stand out. I would suggest for computing students to learn some programming languages such as C++, SQL, Java, etc. If you start now you will be a very successful individual with a high paid salary.


“My ultimate goal is to firstly take ‘Project TouchDown’ around the world and secondly to work for a really large IT firm. In 5 years time I see myself working at a managerial level at an IT firm and to have achieved my dream of branding ‘Project TouchDown’ worldwide.

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