Last, but certainly not least, in our Executive Officer profiles, we sat down with your 2020/21 Students' Union President, Shamima Akter, to discuss some of her favourite bits of Queen Mary, as well as her plans for the unique challenges we have ahead of us this academic year.
Tell us a bit about your journey here at Queen Mary so far?
I am a Computer Science graduate; I graduated in 2019 and worked full-time as the Vice President Welfare for the year 2019/20. The reason I ran to be VP, at that time, was due to my personal experiences and my desire to make sure I do my best and use my platform to bring awareness to issues surrounding forced marriage and domestic violence, amongst many others. That was the specific reason for wanting the role of VP Welfare. However, wanting to be President has an additional reason; I genuinely love the people of this university and I wanted to make sure that whilst I still have the chance, I can maximise the impact I have on the lives of many students and help them have a better student experience. I want to make more change and lead the union to becoming more representative.
What’s your go-to order for Drapers or The Griff?
It has always been the burgers, love me a good burger.
Favourite spot on any of our campuses?
Last year I had mentioned that I loved the ITL, mainly because that’s our spot as Computer Science students. This year, the love for the ITL isn’t going anywhere but I do want to bring the spotlight to another area on campus. That spot is Canal Side – beautiful area, a lot of ducks but you get used to it!
If you could start again, what would be the first society you’d join?
In reality, the first society I joined was Bangladesh Society and honestly, it will always be that. No change.
What’s your favourite non-campus place in East London?
Shoreditch? I guess that’s basic but definitely one of my favourites.
If you could tell the incoming students one piece of advice, what would it be?
It’s going to be a difficult year for sure, no sugar coating that. But, when you get the opportunity to do things and try new things, take it and run with it. Don’t live with regrets.
Obviously last year was one-of-a-kind year, how are you planning on bringing the Queen Mary community together during this unprecedented time?
Well, last year was insane to say the least. Definitely a tough academic year. This year is about to be even tougher, hence why, it is important to stick together and know what our priorities are. Things are not going to be easy going forward, as a union we need to be humble and transparent to our students so they can trust us and prioritise representing them and their voice no matter our financial situation. At the end of the day that’s who we are, we’re your union, led by you.