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By Amber Weir, Grok Magazine.

Star Castillo will be the Guild Women’s Officer for 2020, her pronouns are She/Her and she is currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting and Finance. Star takes a healthy interest in art, music, humanitarian work, financial markets, social entrepreneurship and spirituality, and her hobbies include playing golf, listening to music and watching the sunset with her friends.

Star has immersed herself in the student experience, which she says is largely owed to the Curtin-Extra programs that she’s been apart of. Formerly the President of Enactus Curtin University, Star is the co-founder and current President of Curtin Women in Business, a club that serves the Curtin community by advocating positive representations of women in leadership roles and the delivery of empowering experiences for meaningful student development through business networks. In 2019, Star spent a significant amount of time with Curtin Volunteers! and was shortlisted by the School of Finance to represent the University in the CFA Research Challenge as part of the Big Idea Competition 2019.

What is your favourite campus food?

Cheese Kranksy sausages in Bookmark Café!

What is your biggest whine/peeve about campus?

Being a magnet for parking fines.

What would you like to do after you graduate university?

I’d like to go on a long vacation in the Philippines and celebrate with the rest of my family. During this time, I hope to find a more relaxed version of myself and pursue spiritual practices as I move on to the next phase of my life. I’ve always been curious about spiritual awakening and hope to travel around the world to learn from traditional teachings of different cultures. Career-wise, I hope to become an investment professional and build my global experience in Shanghai, London or Canada whilst studying for my Chartered Financial Analyst qualification. I imagine having other side-hustles including my involvement in humanitarian organisations that empower marginalised people and disadvantaged children. My university extracurriculars have helped me discover my potential and redefine my purpose in change-making to impact a wider community after graduation. My long-term goal is to utilise my commerce degree and passion for social entrepreneurship to continue my grandfather’s legacy in giving back and sharing the blessings to people in need.

How can the Guild help make university life better?

The Curtin Guild strives to be creative and current relative to enhancing the student experience. They always seek to understand the need of students by promoting faculty and equity representatives to address our diversity on campus. Having a supportive and inclusive culture allows students to utilise Curtin University as their transformative platform to design their degree.

How and why did you get involved in the Guild?

I was introduced to the opportunity by a Guild representative who saw my involvement at Curtin Women in Business.

Diminishing the importance of women means failing to make use of humankind's full potential. I became involved as the Women’s Officer because it brings me great opportunity and responsibility to drive new levels of empowerment and equality on campus. The Curtin Student Guild is represented by unique student leaders which I feel very privileged to be a part of. I am beyond excited to help design the student experience and see the magnitude of our impact in my final year at Curtin University.

The underrepresentation of women that is still apparent in contemporary society is what fuels my drive as a woman and seek to inspire, disrupt and challenge the banal thinking of others. I demonstrated ownership of my passion to bring these critical issues to light when I co-founded Curtin Women in Business. Michelle Obama famously spoke, “The difference between a broken community and a thriving one is the presence of women who are valued.” I want to be involved in the Curtin Student Guild as the Women’s Officer because it gives me a much greater platform to amplify and grow my existing work in women’s empowerment for the Curtin community.

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

I take great pride in honouring my role as the Women’s Officer for Curtin Student Guild. Looking ever forward in 2020, I want to make a difference by implementing my creative ideas in the representation of the Women’s Department. I endeavour to succeed by having a welcoming, attentive and vibrant presence during my face-to-face and online engagements with students.

In my role, I hope to achieve a strong community with female-identifying students, deliver vibrant events and open opportunities in my effort to build the networks of the Curtin Women’s Department. My plans for 2020 include supporting female Curtin student clubs, collaborating with other women’s officers (UWA, Murdoch and ECU), [having an] active social media presence and enhancing the women’s department’s visual branding to increase engagement and inclusivity for marketing to all genders.

Personally, I hope to achieve my personal development and share the authenticity in my journey as a leader who is climbing her own mountains. I hope to inspire a positive change in other people’s lives when students are encouraged to untap their potential, realise their appreciation for failures as they increase in value and be awakened to make a difference.

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

The first few weeks as a first year can be challenging to navigate around. I recommend downloading my top 4 useful apps that I still use as a final year student.

Firstly, download the ‘Lost on Campus’. I was embarrassingly late to my classes in my first year because I was always lost on campus and was too shy to ask for directions. The app helps students to navigate their way on campus and if you’re stuck on what location abbreviations such as ‘407.204’ means on your unit outline; 407 is the building number followed by 204 which is the classroom number.

Secondly, if you plan on driving to university, be proactive and download the ‘Cellopark’ app. Register your car and payment details so that you can just pay for parking by the touch of a button.

Thirdly, download the ‘Elsie’ app and log in using your student credentials. You can access your unit outlines, academic standing and receive class reminders without needing to go on Oasis.

Lastly, be organised and encouraged to effectively start using ‘Google Calendars’. It allows you to maximise your productivity and balance your time between study, work and extracurriculars. By scheduling your commitments and breaks, you can set reminders, so you don’t have to stress your memory remembering everything as the app is made to help you!

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

Email Star on women@guild.curtin.edu.au