Written by MDXSU's International Student Intern and MDX Student, Adela Juhasova
I'm Adela Juhasova and I have been working for Middlesex Students Union this year as their International Students Intern and this year I got to help organise MDX Talk, a panel focusing on the success of international graduates in the UK, sharing their experience with other International Students and offering advice and tips on their study at the moment.
Two weeks ago, I had a chance to try how running an official event is like. The one that you actually have to promote, communicate with a catering company, book a theatre room, invite guests and then panic for at least two weeks if anybody shows up!
I have always tried to fill my free time with something useful, finding myself listening to Ted Talks during dinner, on the tube or before going to bed. Meaning that when I was asked to organise an event focused on the International Students, I felt confident in doing so.
As an International Student myself, I always like to hear about other people who have created an amazing career for themselves, even when in a different country! It’s just something that soothes you, to know that it is not impossible, that there are actually human beings who have done it and are now pursuing their dreams. I think that it is in our nature to constantly doubt ourselves as International Students. 'Our English is not good enough' 'they won’t talk to me during the lunch break because I am from abroad' or that 'we will not understand the task given' Long story short, I decided to invite 3 people with different stories to this event.
The first one was Kristina Irategeka, she graduated from the Law Faculty just last year and now she is working for the Advice Team in the Students Union. Not only was her presentation one of the best, but she was also able to connect with students in a much more intimate level because of her age which meant the struggles of an International Student at University are still fresh in her memory. She was inspiring, specific and simply brilliant so her attendance at the event was very much appreciated.
The second one was Dr Nano Ortez, who started his time at University with barely any knowledge of English, finished his PhD in Behavioural Economics in Spain and now he is travelling the world and lecturing at Middlesex University. Dr Ortez was not afraid to share his personal ups and downs and this is something I really appreciated because at the end of the day we are all human.
Our final guest was Prof. Laurent Pech, who never thought he would work as a professor at University, but somehow at the end of his studies, he ended up overqualified for being a history teacher which was his plan earlier! His English wasn’t perfect, but after a few years abroad, many rejections and broken hearts he became a well-known professor of Law in the UK and France, as well as an expert on the rule of laws in the EU. I am extremely thankful he agreed to attend the event and we were then able to have a chance to see the point of view of someone who is already settled and reaching the top of his career.
We also invited Jack Tims from the Middlesex Works (MDXWorks) to present how exactly the University can help International Students. He shared a lot of useful advice with us and I believe International Students who attended our event will now be more likely to contact them and search for help in this department.
Since it was the first year of MDX Talk I tried to not have high expectation about the numbers in the audience because we all know how hard it is here at Middlesex to catch students’ interest!
But the attendance blew my mind and I am really thankful to everyone who decided to give their free time and came to our event. I am sure they did not regret it because all the speakers were well-prepared, they were honest, funny, witty and encouraging. The audience asked a lot of question and it was very nice to see how all the guests were trying to help and navigate them to the right direction. I truly do believe I've helped found a 'tradition' at Middlesex University and we hopefully will be able to host MDX Talk every year, inviting inspirational people to share their stories and to encourage students that the hard work pays off.
Until next time,
If you want to find out when we next have an event or be a part of the International Students Community