Kent Stars: Meet Diversity Champions Hannah and Jireh

Hannah and Jireh

This month’s Kent Stars are Global Officers Hannah and Jireh. As part of the Global Officers Leadership Development (GOLD) programme, they have been involved in a wide range of activities including the organisation of WorldFest, our annual celebration of cultural diversity at Kent. Hear from our Diversity Champions Hannah and Jireh:

Hannah – My name is Hannah Kirabo, and I am studying Law. I am an international student originally from Uganda and Eritrea, but I live in Eswatini. My main interests include going out to eat and working creatively. I also like to read, take pictures, and spend time with friends and family.

Jireh – Hello! I am Jireh Akandwanaho, a final year Law with French student and an international student from Uganda. Moving to the UK sparked my interest in diversity, especially in cultures and languages. Some fun facts about me are that I am the last born out of seven, I speak five languages and I love Jesus.

Tell us about the Global Officers Leadership Development Programme and your involvement with WorldFest

Hannah – The Global Officers Leadership Development Programme is a programme run by the International Programmes department of the University. It comprises of a series of workshops on cultural intelligence, leadership skills, planning and effectively executing tasks. The bulk of the programme comes from involvement in various activities including Global Hangouts, Campus Tours, Orientation Activities and WorldFest, and I have had the pleasure of taking part in all of these. Leading up to WorldFest I was involved in the marketing and communications, launch video and world quiz. I edited the launch videos that went up on the Global Officers’ Instagram and the University’s instagram story. I took part in the planning of the world quiz – formulating questions, setting up the quiz and running it as an in-person Global Hangout. I also attended the weekly planning meetings for feedback. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of such a successful celebration of cultural diversity!

Jireh – I applied for the GOLD programme because I was interested in working with the Dean of Internationalisation and wanted to support and contribute to making the University a more conducive environment for the international community. My experience as a Global Officer has been so enriching to my cultural intelligence and has developed my leadership skills through various activities for example participating in Worldfest. We were given opportunities to put forward ideas and organise various events for Worldfest as well as handling the marketing aspects. I was part of the marketing team where I got to write a newspaper article about Worldfest in the student newspaper, as I have always wanted to do, and I also made a virtual tour video of my beloved country, Uganda. It was such an incredible experience, thanks to the creative freedom and support we were given by the university to implement and plan our ideas.

What advice would you give to other students?

Hannah – Try new things. The worst-case scenario likely will not happen and, you will be glad you tried.  You meet many interesting people through getting involved and it is a great way to put yourself out there, make friends and discover who you are and what you may be interested in.

Jireh – I would advise students to get out of their shells and get involved in the various activities available to them during their stay at university. Not only do these activities increase their skill set but are also opportunities to network and meet new people. Plus, they are usually fun too.

What are your plans for the next year?

Hannah – I hope to get more involved in the Kent Student Law Society, focus on my studies and look into placements and internships for the vacation period both here and at home. I also plan to continue to try new things and explore more of Canterbury and England at large.

Jireh – My plans after I finish Kent is to go on to take a year out doing some legal internships or graduate roles as I also utilise my creative skills to create various sources of income for myself. Then, I would like to do a Masters and qualify as a solicitor.

Applications for the 2022/23 Global Officers Leadership Development (GOLD) programme will open in July 2022.

Learn more about the Kent Stars campaign.

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