Alum of the Month - June 2018

Abbas Aziz

'I enjoyed LSE's unique ability to incubate cutting-edge critical thought'.
Abbas Aziz


  • Programme studied: MSc Management & Human Resources
  • Year of Graduation: 2015
  • LinkedIn Profile

Alum of the Month for June is Abbas. Since graduating from the Department of Management, Abbas has set up his own consulting business offering services to major corporations, including those within the UK's professional services sector.

What’s your current job?

As a passionate business and social entrepreneur, I’ve founded and co-founded several profit and not-for-profit ventures. Primarily, my consulting business RubriQ, which provides consulting services for large corporations and small-medium enterprises. I also have a social enterprise, Trendy Teens, which I set-up to help improve the lives and prospects of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

What motivated you to found Trendy Teens?

Trendy Teens was borne out of personal experiences as a young teenager; including extended engagement with social services and spending time in foster care. Faced with uncertainty and no clear career path at the age of 16, I spent almost a decade readying myself for undergraduate study and eventually, graduated with a BA (Hons) in Middle Eastern Studies from SOAS, University of London.

Having done so, I decided to study a postgraduate degree at LSE in Management and Human Resources. The exposure to the prestigious networks that an LSE education offers, encouraged me to use my story and the contacts I developed to set up Trendy Teens. The aim was to support young people, primarily from disadvantaged backgrounds, to access similar opportunities of entry into top tier universities, as well as to secure employment with prominent employers.

After graduating from LSE’s Department of Management, I formally set up Trendy Teens as a social enterprise and launched the organisation’s first soft skills enrichment programme, Inspire. Thankfully, in the short span of just over a year, we’ve successfully piloted the programme with the help of academics at the Department of Management, and (owing to a successful public launch) are currently delivering Inspire in secondary schools in East London. The programme has secured multi-stakeholder backing from city corporates, civic institutions and community groups, and is well on its way to becoming a force for positive social change.

Where have you worked previously?

For over a decade I worked as a management and community development professional, with extensive experience in strategic and operations management across multiple sectors including education, health, engineering and the third sector. My previous experiences have included corporate consulting, programmes management for voluntary community sector (VCS) organisations, and working with government bodies and civic organisations on security initiatives.

How has studying at the Department of Management allowed you to make an impact?

My time studying at LSE’s Department of Management proved beneficial in several ways. Fundamentally, I enjoyed LSE’s unique ability to incubate cutting-edge critical thought. The educational experience helped to develop a rigorous evidence-based approach to my work that has developed a drive to search for solutions to problems that go deeper than conventional thinking.

What inspires you?

In three words: positive social change!

I’m driven by a burning desire to support the development of a world where equity is the norm, whether it be in terms of distribution of resources, upholding human rights, access to opportunities and such alike. I strive each day to help create a vision of the future in which individuals are valued, and every person has the ability to reach their full potential. This is a key reason why I founded and launched the Inspire programme, so that young people in particular, can overcome the challenges they might face on their individual journeys to achieving success. 

What one piece of advice would you give to a current student or recent graduate?

Hard work executed consistently outsmarts intelligence. It’s not the smartest people that do well, but those who have the ability to persist and persevere. As one of the world’s premier and prestigious higher educational institutions, LSE naturally attracts some of the smartest people from around the world. To succeed however, the most important factor according to research and my own experience, is not IQ, but grit. This holds true not only for being successful in studying at LSE, but for success in general.