Isthiak Hussain

BA History with Arabic

Isthiak is a placement year student who has just finished his 2nd year of Undergraduate study in History with proficiency in Arabic. He has joined the Catalyst team to continue building on the skills developed from his studies and bring them into the workplace, helping to create a tangible impact on the growing businesses that work with Sussex Innovation. Modules such as ‘The Middle East and North Africa from 1908’ and ‘The Making of the Modern World’ have helped Isthiak to enhance his critical thinking skills and appreciate the importance of looking at things from different viewpoints, which is key when working with such a diverse range of clients. In an increasingly globalised world, learning Arabic together with History provided a brilliant opportunity to learn about different cultures and improve his communication, particularly with those from different backgrounds.

During his time at Sussex, Isthiak has worked several part-time jobs. For the University he works as a Student Ambassador on Open and Applicant Visit Days, showing prospective students what life is all about as a student at Sussex. He has also worked for the Students Union as a Community Organiser, listening to members of the Muslim community to help tackle common concerns and social injustices by using collective power to help make positive change happen. These experiences provided a great foundation for a role in the Catalyst team by developing his interpersonal and teamwork skills.

Back home in Kent, Isthiak helped with his family’s Take Away business, working at front of house taking customers’ orders. This allowed him to experience first-hand what it was like to work for a small business and facilitated a desire to work in other business environments. This led to a Sales Advisor role in his local Debenhams, also dealing with customers but in a more commercial environment. Working in these companies created a drive to get more involved in business, playing a bigger role in a company’s strategy and operations; this made the opportunity to work in the Catalyst team the perfect placement for him.  

Outside of work and studies most of Isthiak’s time is spent on all things football. Most weekends are spent watching Manchester United play and occasionally going to the Amex which is very conveniently located next to the university campus. As well as football another big passion is food! He can often be found with his friends in the many food outlets that Brighton has to offer, from Turkish restaurants to dessert parlours.


Isthiak is very excited to be part of the Catalyst team and is looking forward to a great year ahead at Sussex Innovation!