From Keele to Harley Street:  alumnus Abid on his career in audiology 

After graduating with a degree in Neuroscience and Biochemistry in 2011, Abid  Taluquedar  went on to pursue a career in  audiology, and  has worked in  places from  Harley Street  to  the Great Ormond Street Hospital. Now,  having launched his own  clinic  - London Audiology  - he  reflects on his  time at Keele  and how it set him on his path to helping people hear.

After my degree at Keele, I  went on to study a Masters in  Audiological Science  at UCL  and successfully became an Audiologist.  For many years I worked for the NHS after having completed my clinical training. I later specialised in paediatrics at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and this experience reinforced the value of hearing for speech acquisition. My work has also focused on the assessment and rehabilitation of hearing and balance cases at Guys & St Thomas’s and providing independent expertise at Harley Street, London’s most renowned healthcare district. This career journey has allowed me to learn from different areas of healthcare, identify the challenges within the system and why I became ever more determined to found London Audiology.

It’s easy to take our hearing for granted, however this can change for the worse through noise exposure, earwax impaction, ototoxic medication, ear infections or naturally as we grow older, as well as many other causes. Hearing clearly helps us feel the emotions of communication, appreciate music, keeps us safe and preserves cognition and memory. Research studies have shown loss of hearing can accelerate dementia later in life. The wide level of impact reinforces that hearing health is just as serious as any other part of the body.

I am dedicated to providing the best standard of hearing care and improve quality of life. I founded London Audiology to bring this to the fore and I now have  two  clinical premises in Hampstead, North London. I have given talks at UCL Ear Institute and I mentor audiology students, a humbling experience I find to share my knowledge to those that can benefit.

During the pandemic, I became a Covid-19 vaccine assessor and vaccinator to help save lives. Working together as a team on the front line has allowed me to give my contribution and service to society in a different way beyond hearing.

Academia has been the foundation of my career. Studying at Keele was an  exceptional well rounding experience, from life and social skills to business skills. I was born  and  raised in London and  moving to Keele campus was  the first time I lived away from home. The friends I made became a second family and together we share some of our fondest memories.  The variety of experiences I had through my time at Keele include lab classes, a society trip to Amsterdam, teaching placement at a local school, playing football with friends, learning how to cook and a holiday abroad with my fellow  Keelites  to Greece.

To have the option to study on a dual honours course made Keele appealing to me when I was younger and unclear on what I wanted to  do.  Keele opened doors for me and helped me find a career which suited my ambitions. I developed my entrepreneurial capabilities and business acumen through what was then known as the  Speed West  Midlands  programme,  a scheme which supported student  entrepreneurs  in developing  start-up  businesses.  This helped spark the drive and eventual formation of London Audiology.

My advice to students would be to dedicate yourself to a greater purpose. With perseverance and discipline there is no limit  to what you can achieve. Finally, enjoy a balanced life and become the best version of you!