7 February 2019
Congratulations to Sultana Azmi on successfully securing a place as the representative of Queen Mary at the Change the World Model United Nations in New York.
We look forward to hearing more about this once-in-an lifetime opportunity.
Sultana, is a 2nd year BSc Acounting and Management student at SBM. She shares her student experience here.
1. Where are you from?
I was born in Bangladesh. However, my family moved to Venice, Italy when I was four years old. Even though I speak fluent Italian my parents wanted me to also learn English and reconnect with my Bengali culture, so we moved back to Bangladesh when I was 11 years old. Six years later, I moved to the UK to undertake further education. However, due to unforeseen circumstances I could not complete my IGCSE’s in Bangladesh and because of my age, my college asked me to complete a BTEC course. Despite the hindrances I completed a BTEC course in business and I got 18 distinction out of 18 modules in my studies. I received the Business Student of the year in my college as recognition of my outstanding performance. My sister and I are the first generation in our family to go to university.
2. Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?
I chose Queen Mary because of the diversity. I like the culture here, I feel at home. I could see myself studying here. In addition, it is a Russell Group university. However, it is the people. It is very friendly here.
3. Why did you choose to study accounting and management?
I chose accounting and management because it has both and it is one of very few universities that offers this course in a Russell Group university. I did not want to do a purely accounting course. I wanted the management aspect. Also, it is accredited by the professional accounting bodies.
4. How has your degree and the school/university careers service helped you with your career ambitions?
Before university, I did public speaking at KPMG and EY because I am part of an organization called ‘Diversity Role Models”.
When I first joined Queen Mary, during the welcome week I got the opportunity to meet the Accounting and Management, Programme Director (Dr Ishani Chandrasekara) and the message she delivered in that talk was so powerful and inspirational. She reminded us all of the great opportunities we can grab while studying here at the School of Business and Management. A few months later, I decided to join the QChallenge programme, which was organised by Ms Helen Green and the careers team. The support I received from QChallenge made me more confident in public speaking in front of a large audience and this gave me the confidence to apply for the UN conference.
Ms Helen Green rom the School of Business and Management (SBM) careers team sent an email about QChallenge. Attending events like QChallenge made me more confident in public speaking in front of a large audience and this gave me the confidence to apply for the UN conference. However, Dr Ishani Chandrasekara my personal tutor gave me the motivation and impetus to apply.
5. What is the UN Conference?
It is a conference organised by the United Nations that gives opportunities for students around the world to express their own opinions about ‘Change the world model’. I will be going to the UN HQ in New York and I will debating and discussing different topics with students on for example arms, xenophobia, racism, refugees to give the student perspective and share our knowledge on world affairs.
6. How and why did you apply to participate in the UN Conference?
I found the advert for the UN Conference online and then I did an online application in early 2018. I got through to the next round to do a video interview after two weeks. I heard I got through to represent Queen Mary at the UN Conference and I also secured a 30% scholarship to attend.
The reason I applied is because I am passionate about gender issues and gender equality for personal and political reasons. I think my passion and the fact that I care and want change for women came through. That is why I was selected. Also, my time at Queen Mary has given me the confidence to do this because I am a because I am a Course Representative and I represent the voices of my batch mates to the senior management and back to the student community. I also received lot of valuable advice from my mentor Dr Ishani Chandrasekara to successfully achieve this goal. I am feel extremely proud of myself now that I have secured a place at this prestigious conference in the United States
University is a life changing opportunity. It is not just about education.
7. When will the UN Conference event take place?
The event will take place from the 28 March to 3 April 2019. If it was not for SBM funding this trip, I would not be able to take up this opportunity. Therefore, I would like to give my special thanks to all SBM academic and admin staff and I would also like to personally thank the following people: