Ian Mararo: My journey to Loughborough
My name is Ian Mararo and I’m from Nairobi, Kenya. I’m your LSU Postgraduate Executive Officer for 2017/18. I represent the needs and concerns of Loughborough’s postgraduate community.
My journey to Loughborough
I did my undergrad in Civil Engineering back home at the University of Nairobi. I wanted to do a master’s in something related to management in the construction sector. I knew I wanted to spend only one year doing a master’s, so I narrowed it down to the UK. So I searched the top universities in the UK in terms of construction project management and this uni with the funny name popped up in the top 5. I compared everything and I narrowed it down to Loughborough and Leeds and ended up choosing Loughborough, mainly because Leeds has a higher population of Kenyans and I wanted a fresh start coming here. That’s how I ended up in Loughborough.
My JP Experience
In John Phillips (JP) I was part of the committee as the Out-Of-Hall rep, I don’t think most people realised I was part of the committee, just because the role in the committee isn’t that major. It was basically just making sure there is a contact between the student and the hall, so any problems could be sorted.
I don’t think being in the committee is what really helped me, just because I like to think I’m a sociable person anyway. I remember I wanted to meet new people and put myself out there. I think this is like a passion of mine wanting to meet new people, wanting to socialise.
I like to keep in touch with my friends
Currently when I’m not doing my PG job, you can find me in Nottingham. One of my former flatmates who moved to Nottingham was looking for a job there. I like to interact and keep in touch with the people I met in John Phillips. Also, I’ve started interacting heavily with the current JP people, because the committee is about to be set up. They’ll be new hall buddies, so I really want to establish a strong connection. Basically, just hanging out with people, meeting new people.
The bright side of a master’s
My favourite thing as a student was knowing that I already had a degree under my belt. My degree back home was 5 years, so I’ve already gone through this. I think most people when they are doing their master’s the thought of failing is not really in their head. This is because you know it’s something you’ve done previously. So when I was doing my master’s, I knew that I would finish this. So that keeps your sense of comfort.
No.1 advice for new postgraduate students
My most important piece of advice for new postgraduates in Loughborough would be put yourself out there! Because as a postgraduate student it’s very easy to confine yourself to your room, to the library, to just do coursework and think that there’s no time for other things. But, this is probably the biggest mistake most postgraduates can make. You can see the changes in behaviour when someone starts to join activities.
So that’s why the main advice I would give is just to put yourself out there. It can be hard for international students because it’s a different environment, but don’t be afraid to take that first step.