Ian Mararo: How I became LSU’s Postgraduate EO
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.
I ran for Postgraduate Executive Officer during the by-elections in the summer. Initially, the elections were taken place in February, but the winner later decided not to take the position, hence the by-elections.
When they announced the elections again, first I didn’t give much thought to applying. I found it interesting, but I needed a push to send in the application. Just a few days before the deadline I received a message from my friend who I have lectures with. He asked me if I’d seen the advertisement for the opening because he thought I would be good at it. This text from my friend really pushed me to say okay fine, I’m doing it.
The reason why I ran for the position is that I know not everyone is having their best student experience others are talking about. I really like interacting with other postgraduate students, especially the ones living off-campus as I don’t see them regularly. I genuinely care about how they are doing and how they are finding Loughborough.
As I mentioned previously in my first blog, this is also one of the reasons why I’m John Phillips’ Out-Of-Hall representative. I sympathise with those who are struggling to settle in because I’ve been in that situation before. When an opportunity arises to represent these people, and with a little push from friends, things are just clicking into place. A few weeks later, I’m the new PGEO.
I think I’m really lucky to say I’ve got to know what they mean by Loughborough Experience. I really enjoyed my time here as a master’s student. My programme timetable was flexible which allowed me to have long weekends. In second semester I was basically free from Wednesday to Sunday. I had so much free time to do things.
I remember on a random Wednesday I had the chance to go to Alton Towers. Back home we don’t have roller-coasters, so this was my first time on one. The only worry you have as a master’s student is making sure you get your coursework done and your thesis is submitted on time. Which I believe are really doable.
How my schedule changed
Now that I have a full-time job, I don’t have that much free time. Especially, because my priorities have changed I worry more as well. Doing my master’s course only affected me, but now I also have responsibility for other people. My main worry is if the plans I have, really make an impact on the postgrads and does it improve the lives of the postgrads.
Obviously, I look at attendance statistics and demographics for the events I host to see who I managed to engage. I often wonder if the people who don’t turn up either don’t agree with what I’m doing or they are too busy to come. It has its different challenges, as anything else would. What I know, is that I want to do something that is actually positively affecting their lives. So I have to say, I worry more as an exec than when I was a student.