Conference urges students to look to the future
PhD student Jekaterina Rogaten delivers her presentation at the Student Horizon conference
University is about personal development, looking to the future and working with and inspiring others. That was the message from The Faculty of Life Science and Computing’s first ever student-led conference, Student Horizon, which took place last week.
The event, on 21 March, saw students from the Faculty give presentations on how London Met has influenced their learning, employability and experience for the better.
“We have tried to make this as much like a normal academic research conference as possible,” said Pete Chalk, Associate Dean of the School of Computing and one of the organisers of the event. “The students were asked to submit proposals for their presentations and had to work on and amend them where required. The aim is to make this as real as possible and to therefore offer an experience that will be useful in their future employment or career in academia.”
Over 15 students spoke at the conference, which was formally opened by the Dean of the Faculty, Dominic Palmer-Brown. He said: “This event is testament to the diverse areas of study in our Faculty and the ability of our students. This is all about looking beyond the horizon and to what is coming next.
“It is about personal development, working together and the future.”
Confidence is key
Among the first speakers was third-year BSc Sports Psychology & Performance student Jodine Williams, who confidently presented her business proposal – to transform her clients by combining fitness and styling – with the audience. Jodine praised her course for making her constantly work-on and improve her idea.
In another presentation Gabriele Butkute, third-year Biomedical Science student and founder of the Society of Life Sciences at London Met, talked about facing her own fears when starting the group, but highlighted how the challenge and her effort has paid off.
She said: “You’ll never overcome your fears 100%, but you need to overcome them just enough for them not to be in your way when you reach for your goals.” The Society has hosted various events during the year and won Society of the Year in the 2013 MetSU Awards.
Many of the students shared some valuable advice and words of inspiration about their time at London Met. Final year Psychology student Andrei-Alexandru Puiu finished his talk with the words: ‘Dream Big – Work Hard’, saying that everyone has to prove their merit. He definitely leads by example, as Andrei has recently accepted a place on a highly competitive Master’s degree at Maastricht University on the back of his studies at London Met.
Another inspiring talk was given by Khurram Majeed, a PhD student in Computing, who opened with his journey from research into employment. He said that studying at London Met increased his employability, and that he currently works for Lloyds Banking Group as a Security Analyst.
And for Tahir Özkan, Extended Degree (Science) student, London Met has been truly life-changing.
“I had been working for nine years but never really enjoyed it and always felt that I could achieve more,” Tahir said. So he enrolled at London Met to progress his career and get where he wants to be in life. “Even though it takes some adapting to get back to student life, it is all worth it and I can recommend it to everyone,” he said.
Face your fears
A theme throughout the conference was students’ insistence on tackling fears head on, and perhaps that view was best summed up by Vicky Houchin, third-year BSc Sports Therapy student who has been running her own business, VICKTORIOUS, for two years.
“Step outside of your comfort zone and into your courage zone,” she said. “People start to create obstacles for themselves and unless you are willing to overcome fears and better yourself, the likelihood of doing well is quite small.”
The first of many
The Student Horizon conference was a great success in that it gave students some valuable insight into how fellow pupils were finding their courses, as well of plenty of inspiration about how to get more from university life. The Faculty now plans to hold more student-led conferences in the future.
Find out more about the Faculty of Life Sciences and Computing at London Met.