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By Amber Weir, Grok Magazine.

Fatma Sehic will be the Science and Engineering Faculty Rep for 2020, her pronouns are She/Her and she is currently studying a Bachelor of Advanced Science (Data Science). Fatma enjoys watching k-drama and listening to k-pop, graphic design, playing video games and piano—poorly, she admits.

Fatma is no stranger to the Guild, having been involved with the Student Actuarial Society, Curtin Engineers Without Borders, Curtin IET, Curtin New to Curtin Mentoring, Curtin Maths Club, Curtin Student Ambassadors, Curtin Volunteers! and the Design Your Curtin Extra Program.

What is your favourite campus food?

Donuts from Basement Café.

What is your biggest whine/peeve about campus?

Too much effort to get from one place to another—so many hills and stairs >:(

What would you like to do after you graduate university?

I want to work as a Data Scientist in a socially, environmentally and ethically responsible organisation, where I am able to contribute to a worthy cause [and become] a highly effective and respected science communicator.

How can the Guild help make university life better?

[The] Student Guild has numerous ways to cater to [enhancing] university life for all different kinds of students.

Clubs, events and activities on campus: these are a chance for students to meet other students from the same course, faculty or students that share the same interests and attend a whole bunch of great events—making university actually fun and not just work. It’s also an opportunity to foster various skills and networks.

Representation: students should be the priority of the university. As students, it is often difficult to stand up to authority when we have been treated unfairly or neglected by authority figures in university. The Student Guild represents students on numerous university boards and committees, ensuring that students are considered in decisions that are being made. At the same time, we are also highly attentive to any problematic changes that are being made so that we can fight against them to ensure students are not disadvantaged.

Activism: many of the people that come into university are ones with the potential to make big changes in the world. The Guild’s activism work and campaigns spread awareness of these societal issues to the student population whilst providing particularly passionate individuals with a platform to contribute to those big issues that we face as a society.

How and why did you get involved in the Guild?

I got involved with the Guild in 2017, joining as a member of the First Year Committee in my first year at uni because I was looking for opportunities to get involved at Curtin. As a student councillor in high school, I had a great time and I wanted to continue this work as a part of the Student Guild. I wanted to engage with students and meet heaps of new people, while learning more about the Guild and enjoying my time as a student.

How do you think you can make a difference this year, and what are you hoping to achieve?

I believe that I can make a difference this year by bringing my passion for STEM and experiences in student representation and leadership to the students of my Faculty. Many of the most powerful and inspirational initiatives in history started from passion: a passion to make the world a better place or a passion to fight injustice [and] create something amazing. I want to nurture this passion within my Faculty so that they can become the game changers that create, lead and contribute to these initiatives.

This year, I am hoping to provide a number of support avenues to the students, [including] more opportunities for students, industry and clubs to engage with each other, more opportunities for multi-disciplinary activities and projects, and [encouraging] students across different years within the same course to interact and support each other.

What is your advice for making the most out of the uni experience—especially for first years?

Get out there and do stuff! There are so many opportunities to get involved with events, activities, projects and people on campus. These are really the things that liven up your student experience at Curtin—and they are the things you will remember well after you graduate.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. University can be daunting, especially as a first year, because you’re leaving the comfort of high school, TAFE, work or family, and being exposed to a new environment where you don’t know anyone and don’t know where to go for help.

Take your time. Uni is a chance to learn more about yourself, your interests, abilities and [your] future career. You can change your degree, take a semester off, change your study load, [or] change your degree again. It might mean you take a bit longer to graduate but that’s fine—everyone travels at their own pace. You’re not behind, you’re not ahead, you’re on time.

This article is part of a Curtin Student Guild interview series conducted by Grok Magazine.

Email Fatma on sci-eng@guild.curtin.edu.au