Graduate case study - global and cultural awareness
Clara was the Vice-President (Welfare) for Kent Union 2016- 2018. She graduated in 2016 with a degree in Politics and International Relations with a year in China/Hong Kong. During her time at University Clara was involved in a range of volunteering opportunities, including Parkwood Students Committee, Societies Executive, UKC Books to Africa and the Japan Society.
In what ways did Kent equip you with the skills necessary to excel when you graduate?
From having the opportunity to study abroad in a different country I learnt how to quickly adapt to new situations. Kent had helped me prepare prior to leaving, and had also provided plenty of opportunities to learn about other cultures within my degree. I had the opportunity to study modules on a whole variety of topics and gained a newfound interest in Japanese culture and politics. In particular Kent Union was an integral part of university life, giving me the opportunity to grow and develop a whole range of skills. I joined many different clubs and societies to try new things, and as I progressed further into university I then gained various committee member roles.
What does global and cultural awareness mean within your sector?
Being in a students’ union full of a diverse range of students, the term ‘typical student’ does not exist anymore. It’s important to understand that students come from all walks of life and what might be common knowledge to one student could be completely new to another. As a charity that champions inclusivity and supportiveness we need global awareness to ensure our students are comfortable with approaching us, and that we are doing our best to improve their student experience.
How has developing global and cultural awareness helped you in your career?
Having lived and worked abroad and volunteering in various societies, it has inspired me to find a career that is internationally focused. In my current job, having global awareness allows me to ensure that I am considering the views of all students, both home and international. Beyond that, it encourages me to work with underrepresented students. I work with the International Students Committee as well as the LGBT+ Campaign, and run campaigns on Mental Health. As well as having that greater awareness of the diversity of students I work with, it also helped me think more broadly and creatively.