Maria Ayaka Ikombo
Maria is studying BA English Literature and Linguistics
What advice would you give to new students thinking about studying with us?
If you are thinking about joining us in SLLF, go for it, as you will grow in many ways.
Why did you choose to study at QMUL?
I was attracted to QMUL because of what they could offer me! I like how the university focuses, but also celebrates identity. For instance, there are many clubs and societies, such as the feminist society and the cinema society. There are also workshops on personal development and events about careers in law and the public sector!
Additionally, Queen Mary University of London has campuses in East London, a multicultural city of beauty, and you're constantly exposed to Linguistics. There are infinite things to do!
What attracted you to your programme?
What attracted me to my joint honours degree was the stimulating modules. Studying a wide range of topics has given me a unique experience to develop my thinking style and creativity.
The structure of the BA programme, English Literature and Linguistics, creates a remarkable academically challenging environment, which supports the building of skills and knowledge. To my surprise, I realised the course is interdisciplinary - meaning our modules brush over humanities disciplines such as Psychology, History, and Sociology. The depth of the degree has exceeded my academic needs.
What do you enjoy the most about QMUL?
The one thing I appreciate the most at QMUL is the support. At first, the university experience was daunting. I had not been in a physical classroom for a long time, and even as a mature student, moving away from home was challenging. But the Advice and Counselling Service, and the Disability and Dyslexia Service, have provided me with invaluable support that has helped ease my worries. In addition, I appreciate how each QMUL faculty partners each student with an advisor. They also provide each first-year student with an advisor who will support you throughout your academia.
How do you think studying your degree is helping you to reach your future career goals?
Since engaging in multiple disciplines, I have developed interests in various sectors within the Corporate industry, which I would have never considered. My course has allowed me to develop my strengths by recognising my weaknesses, while developing transactional skills, such as resilience and confidence. Skills that will be desirable and beneficial in many sectors.
How do you like to spend your time away from your studies?
I enjoy having a good detox when it comes to free time to get away from my studies. That may mean visiting one of the local spas, visiting the local Mosque, or spending quality time with my loved ones. Having 'alone-time' definitely helps reinstate some much needed balance.
What you would like to do after you finish your studies?
After I finish my studies, I would like to do a postgraduate degree. I enjoy studying and academia, so I think it won’t stop after my undergrad.
Do you have any advice for students moving to/ studying in London?
The one piece of advice I would give students studying in London is to slow down and enjoy every moment. It is so easy to get caught in many things, like stress or a busy work schedule. But it’s so beneficial to take things easy, be kind to yourself and applaud yourself for all you achieved!