Being a new student, in a new city is always going to be challenging, but once you find a community that supports you, it becomes a whole lot easier. We spoke with incoming MBSSA President Alankrita Misra about how MBSSA is creating a community in 2020.
Alankrita Misra completed her undergraduate studies in Arts and Economics, before deciding she wanted to pursue a career in Marketing. Initially, Melbourne wasn’t on the table, but the Master of Management (Marketing) soon swayed her.
‘My sister studied at the University of Melbourne as well, so – being the youngest sibling – I was resistant to coming here because I didn’t want to just follow in her footsteps. I wanted to find my own way, so I avoided Melbourne. I explored all sorts of different university courses, and I didn’t find the right fit. Eventually, I decided I had to give Melbourne a shot, and it turned out that the Master of Management (Marketing) was exactly what I’d been looking for all along. It had the perfect mix of subjects, social, and student experience pieces like the MBSSA.’
The MBS Students’ Association (MBSSA) both drew Alankrita to the University of Melbourne, and helped her settle in.
‘Coming to a new country is always really challenging, MBSSA gave me a chance to meet people, and start to feel like part of the university community. It also gave me the chance to start networking and building those industry contacts that make it much easier to find a job, both while you’re studying and after you graduate. Personally, MBSSA has also given me a platform for immense personal growth.’
Alankrita went on to join the MBSSA as an Event Manager, before being elected president for the second semester of 2020. It’s been a challenging year, and Alankrita’s presidency will be unlike any of her predecessors’, but she and her team are already thinking about how they can pick up from the previous council’s work and continue create that sense of community.
‘Last semester, I was really blessed to be part of the team that worked on that initial transition. It was difficult figuring out the direction we wanted to take, but it also brought the whole committee together, and we were really proactive. The outcome was a lot of activities online, like cooking classes. I organised a Zoom cookie baking session, and Italian Pasta making, so there was a bit of drawing on our international community and their cuisine as well,’ she says. ‘This semester we’re lucky in that now we know what works and what doesn’t, so we’re going into this next semester with some solid plans. We’re going to have a multiple event calendars, to plan both physical events if that becomes possible, as well as hosting things online. The idea is to have something in place for everyone as the situation evolves, especially those students who are joining us internationally, I think it’s quite disheartening for them not being able to be here. We’re also going to be running our Peer Mentoring program again, which is a great way for new students to become part of our community.’
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No matter what the next few months hold, Alankrita and the MBSSA are going to continue working to make the student experience the best it can be.
‘Ultimately, we see that as our most important role, to bridge that gap wherever possible. We want to provide those social and professional connections that we’ve always delivered, and now I can assure our members that it will be done this semester, irrespective of what sort of situation we find ourselves in. We’re ready for anything.’
Find out more about the MBSSA and register here.