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School of Mathematical Sciences

New Student Support Officer for SMS

We're delighted to introduce our new Student Support Officer, Hamida Begum, who joined us in April. Hamida tells us a bit more about what her role entails, the supports she can offer students, and what you should do if you're struggling with any aspects of the university experience. 

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Tell us a bit about yourself

Hi, I’m Hamida, the Student Support Officer (SSO) for the School of Mathematical Sciences. I was born in Tower Hamlets and completed my undergraduate studies at Queen Mary University of London so it’s safe to say, I’m a fan of this wonderful community!

Prior to working in Higher Education, I trained as a secondary school teacher. I realised towards the end of my undergraduate degree that working within education is what I find most rewarding and my initial career decisions led to me finding the most enjoyment in working with university students.

As an undergraduate student, QMUL challenged me and opened many doors of opportunity. I wouldn’t have been able to complete my studies without all the support I was given, and I now work to offer the same to others.

What does your role of Student Support Officer entail?

First and foremost, I am here to support our students from the moment they start their higher education journey with us to the moment they graduate. The nature of this support can vary between pastoral and academic, if I can’t support directly with a student’s query I’ll certainly know where to direct them to ensure that they receive the support needed.

Examples of cases I’ve supported with have included students struggling to be away from home and feeling isolated in a big city, students losing a loved one and trying to navigate that alongside university demands and students who have experienced mental health difficulties. Support for these students include guidance on submitting extenuating circumstances claims and referrals to QMUL’s Advice and Counselling Services.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Interacting with students is the BEST part of my role.

I meet with students daily and being able to understand their student experience as well as offer support is what I find most fulfilling.

What advice do you have for students that might be struggling with university experience?

Speak to someone. You are certainly not alone and there are various support networks within the QMUL community created with the sole purpose of supporting our students. Take advantage of them!

Are there any supports in particular you’d like to highlight for new students joining us?

As the SSO for Maths I’m the main point of contact (for support) for students within this school so if you’re ever unsure on what kind of support you may need, please speak to me and I can direct you.

For support with mental health please reach out to the Advice and Counselling Service who are a team of trained Mental Health Advisors. Find out more here.

If you’ve got a disability or a learning difficulty and you haven't already registered with our DDS Team, then please do so. Find more information here.

You’re a Queen Mary alumna yourself. How does it feel being back?

Returning to QMUL feels very full circle for me. The feeling of being on campus is unmatched, it really feels like the best of both worlds for me with it being in inner-city London but then also being a complete campus with everything from cafes, shops, eateries, lecture theatres, a gym, a main campus library and the Students Union in one large lively hub. It’s a wonderful place to learn and work.

 

 

 

 

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