DMU student overcomes mental illness to earn year-long Volkswagen placement

By Alex Leadbitter

Josh Hobbs suited up ready for a day at work.

A second year De Montfort University (DMU) economics student has overcome two diagnosed mental illnesses to enjoy a year-long placement at Volkswagen.

Josh Hobbs, 21, was diagnosed with depression and General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in the summer of 2015.

Due to the diagnosis, Josh found it hard to enjoy university and his work, motivation and social life suffered as a result.

He said: “I couldn’t focus on anything. Things I used to enjoy I no longer did; I didn’t have the belief that I was able to achieve anything so basically killed my motivation.

“I found it hard to live in the moment, social anxiety killed my ability to meet new people, go on dates and, in general, feel comfortable in social situations.”

Josh dealt with his mental illnesses through talking to his peers on online forums and through counselling that was made available through De Montfort University.

“The counselling gave me someone to talk to about my thoughts and gave me a second opinion on matters in my life that I kept quiet,” he added.

“I have had time to develop myself and my character which in turn has improved my confidence and self-esteem.”

With the new-found confidence, Josh was able to secure a year-long placement at Volkswagen where he is enjoying great success.

He said: “It’s great here. I turn up to work every day and enjoy what I do.

“I never would have thought that I would have the confidence to seek out and enjoy work experience at such a high-level company as Volkswagen but I’m here, feeling good and keeping my mental health in check.”

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