Executive Officer Profile: Shamima and Talhah

This weekend, many of our first year students will be making their journey to Queen Mary for the first time, whether that be to come and enrol or to move into your new home! We're so excited to meet all of you and can't wait for the year to get started! 

However, we know that this can be an extremely stressful time of year for some, with a lot of big changes occuring in a small space of time. We decided to sit down with our Executive Officers and interview them about their experiences of being a new students here at Queen Mary. 

First up, we have our Vice President Welfare, Shamima Akter, and our President, Talhah Atcha, who have both had very different journeys whilst studying here at Queen Mary.

Talhah Atcha - President

Talhah started at Barts and The London, studying for his degree in Medicine, where he intercalated in Experimental Pathology. He graduated and trained to be a doctor, before returning to Queen Mary for his MSc in Global Health, Law and Governance! We sat down with Talhah to talk about his experiences returning to QM for his postgraduate degree. 

Describe your postgraduate experience in 3 words?

Insightful, development & focused.

What do you think is the best way for postgraduate students to engage with the SU?

Get involved in the academic societies that you’re interested in to widen your learning experience and to meet people from other courses. The Students’ Union is a great way to make some new friends.

What advice would you give to postgraduate students who are starting at Queen Mary next week?

The courses in postgrad are more rigorous than in your undergrad. Plan your time out well and stick to a schedule so that you can keep on top of things. Also, jump into sports or volunteering to get some self-care and don’t forget to look after yourself.

Shamima Akter - Vice President Welfare

Shamima studied Computer Science whilst at Queen Mary and was also one of our students who commuted to and from campus for her studies. We spoke with her about her experiences being a commuting student as well as her advice for incoming students who will be commuting.

If someone is commuting and is worried about making friends, what do you think is the best thing for them to do?

So I know how difficult it is to make a really long journey and attend things, trust me, I would rather be at home too. However, the freshers week is important to meet new people and getting comfortable with University settings. So travelling to freshers fair, at least one of the days, is worth it! You will meet so many people and societies and may end finding a community you relate to.

What would be your advice to students who are commuting into university?

University life can get really draining and travelling during rush hour is not the one! One thing I did as a student, to avoid rush hours was to spend an extra few hours at uni doing work (the library is 24hrs and The Nest is open till 9.30pm ) and then go home peacefully.

What do you think is the best way for commuting students to engage with SU events and groups?

So the best way is to be following our social media platforms and keeping an eye out for updates on the website to know what’s happening and when and where… that way you can plan your commute for that day with the things you want to attend in mind!