Seven Questions with Rothna Akhtar
16 August 2018
This week we meet Rothna Akhtar, who will be graduating with a BA in History next month and is Welfare and International Officer 2018-19.
What are you studying and when do you graduate?
I studied BA History and will be graduating in September 2018.
Why are you interested in this subject and what do you plan to do in the future?
I have always loved history and have found it incredibly insightful and helpful for my own personal growth. As a discipline, the subject allows you to explore different perspectives on matters that have occurred in the past. It allows you to express your own perspective and really engage with historical scholarship and key debates. In doing so, I find that you learn valuable impartiality skills and it helps you develop critical thinking, which for me, is a tool for life. I haven't yet decided on a clear outline for my plans for the future, but I intend on embarking on a career route which involves creating positive change for individuals that is impactful and long-lasting.
What is the most interesting thing you've done, seen or got involved with while at UCL?
Taking part in the Union Leadership Elections and now being the Welfare and International Officer is one of the most interesting and beneficial things I have ever done while at UCL. This role has enabled me to begin my journey in creating impactful change and one way in which I've managed to do this, is by launching the Hate Crime Reporting Centre under the Union's Advice Service. This is a platform for UCL students and staff to report incidents of hate crime both online and in person.
Have you discovered any hidden gems during your time at UCL?
One of the biggest hidden gems I've discovered would be the Union's Advice Service as I didn't actually know they existed until I had practically finished my degree! They provide you with academic and non-academic advice as and when you need. Best of all, they have the Hate Crime Reporting Centre within their service which means once a hate crime is reported, they can provide you with the best support and signpost you to the relevant people.
What are your top three things to do/see/go to in London?
Explore the diverse range of food, from Malaysian to Indian, there is a restaurant for every craving! Visit Camden Market, it's super cool and has funky stalls from arts and crafts to clothes and food! If you ever experience any hate crime, visit and report it to the Hate Crime Reporting Centre!
If you were Provost for the day what one thing would you do?
I would make sure that students' health and wellbeing is a number one priority at the university. From providing extra funding for the mental health services to championing the Hate Crime Reporting Centre, I would make sure that all students at UCL felt included and most important of all, supported and valued.
Who inspires you and why?
Rather than a specific individual, I'd like to say that what inspires me is people who always make the best of an unfortunate situation; people who are disadvantaged in a situation or encounter barriers and struggles and yet they still power through life and make the best of things, turning the negative into a positive.