Written by Harsh Gupta, MSc. Advanced Materials Science and Engineering
Student councils are a great opportunity for personal growth. At Imperial, I ran for the Student Representative position in the Department of Materials. As I reflect on my journey as a student representative for my Master’s course, I am reminded of the reasons that motivated me to step up and take on this role. I decided to pursue this position, driven by a desire to have a meaningful impact on the decision-making process within my course.
What was my role?
As a student representative, I sought to make positive changes within my course. I actively participated in departmental meetings and raised issues related to the administrative and faculty processes on behalf of my fellow students. In addition, I organised meetings to provide a forum for students to voice their concerns and suggestions. Moreover, I made myself accessible to peers who needed one-on-one help with academic or administrative matters, initiating contact and support.
Challenges I overcame
Coming from a different country, I understood the unique challenges and experiences faced by international students. I tried to represent their interests and advocate for their needs through my position. It was a fulfilling experience to be able to contribute towards a more inclusive and diverse academic community.
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a student representative was the opportunity to be a voice for international students. It was finding this community that helped me through my academic and personal endeavours. In turn, this experience helped me find my footing at the university and gave me the enthusiasm to accept challenges.
What have I gained from the experience?
Apart from my tangible contributions as a student representative, being part of the community and giving back also helped me learn and grow personally. I developed communication skills that helped me convey ideas. Additionally, I learned to navigate and resolve conflicts constructively. More importantly, through regular interactions with my fellow students, I formed meaningful friendships and built a strong network, which has been invaluable in my personal and professional life. Being a student representative provided me with a platform to connect with people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, broadening my horizons and enhancing my interpersonal skills.