How I turned A-Level failure into success

Hamed, BSc Computer Science degree

When Hamed Amiri failed all of his A-levels, he thought it was the end of his university dreams. But it turned out that it wasn’t.

Hamed was offered a place on the foundation year for Computer Science at USW, which offers an alternative route into degree study.

Four years later, and with a 2:1 honours Computer Science degree under his belt, Hamed was snapped up by CGI, one of the largest ICT employers in Wales.

After working his way up the ranks to Service Manager, Hamed was headhunted by Target Group in Cardiff, where he now works as a Software Delivery Manager, earning a very good salary and managing a team of twenty developers to meet the goals and development tasks for hundreds of clients across the UK.

"There is so much more to IT than just coding. In fact, there is never a dull day. My role can be very demanding at times, but I enjoy the challenge as well as the flexibility that comes with it.

IT is a great profession. You can work in so many different sectors and roles, which is great for career progression. And salaries are very good too, with most graduates earning £20k plus in their first roles.

My Computer Science degree not only gave me the technical tools to get a good job in IT but also the other skills that are crucial to success, such as working to tight deadlines, project planning and project delivery.

I wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for USW. University is where I managed to turn my life around. After failing my A-levels, the University offered me a lifeline and a chance to prove myself.

The lecturers went above and beyond to encourage and support me. I can still remember getting a first for one of my earliest pieces of work. It is something that I will never forget and I can’t thank the USW staff enough.

With hindsight, failing my A-levels taught me a valuable lesson. It gave me the knowledge that failure doesn’t have to be the end. You can pick yourself up - and with hard work, self-belief and support, you can get to where you want to be.

Because of this, I feel very strongly about inspiring young people to reach their potential. My company has given me the opportunity to attend local schools to share ‘my story’ with pupils. My goal is to inspire them to follow their dreams and to reach their potential (despite all of life’s obstacles) just like I have."