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Let’s Meet… Nandini Harihara Dayanand

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Today we meet a student who taken part in every opportunity during her Masters at BCU. Nandini has an interesting story to tell & is a fantastic example of a student who has dedicated so much time to her studies, whilst having a lot of fun too! Let’s go and meet Nandini…

Hi Nandini, it’s lovely to meet you. Tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi, I am Nandini Harihara Dayanand, I have completed my MA in Fashion Management at Birmingham City University. 

During university, I decided to grab on every opportunity that comes my way.

I outstretched my abilities, presented my designs on national and international platforms. By the end of my course, I had hands-on experience as a designer for furnishings and have done an internship as a fashion consultant. I have worked with many designers and publishing company as a fashion stylist and writer.

What it’s like to be an international student at Birmingham City University?

Due to visa circumstances, I was a week late to start my new phase. Unfortunately, I had missed my welcome week, meet and greet. This is exciting because you get to know what, where, how you can access university ins and outs. After my admission, I went on to register with NHS, NI number for part-time work, and bank account for further safe transactions.

As an international student the first issue, you could face is accommodation. Therefore, make sure you plan it well before you arrive. If you still haven’t found one, knock on BCUSU’s Accommodations office.

The next spot I would love to spend my day is BCU library, It’s very huge with number of book collections on every topic. As a fashion student what you really shouldn’t miss is conferences and field trips other than classes.

Go and get involved!

Initially, it was very frustrating to find a decent part-time job, I struggled a lot to secure a job.

One day, I said enough is enough and I will work on my self-development.

I started to use Graduate+. I aimed to tick all the boxes.

In one year of my course, I wanted to do 24 activities. I bagged my Bronze, Silver, and Gold award.

I am looking forward to complete my Platinum as well.

My secret message to all the BCU students, if you want to excel in your degree course ‘get involved’ as much as possible.

What Graduate+ activities did you get involved in whilst at university?

I am a devoted fan of Korean dramas and Rosetta stone provides an opportunity to learn new languages. I enrolled in Korean and I have learnt the basics of it. Registering for different activities was easy. I suggest, begin with something that you like.

Next comes Silver, I created a society named FACT (For A Cause Team), I became a committee member of it and volunteered as a member of the welcome team for September intake. The Silver award is interesting because you need to go out of your comfort zone. Every activity is 50 hours each.

Completing Gold was quite tricky, but I got an opportunity to volunteer as an English mentor for the Coach Bright program. Meanwhile, I was also involving in projects like fashion styling, designing, and a few more.

I had worked a part-time job as a Senior Fashion Correspondent and Fashion Writer for a fashion magazine for some time.

My last activity in Gold was to complete my major project. Every part-time job I had, contributed to my final project which was on Fashion Education. Every choice I made discovered what I want and why.

I have completed my Platinum activities and yet to submit them.

"There are many of you out there who have completed activities unintentionally make sure you document it on to your award!"

We heard that you worked at The Point, which you really enjoyed. Tell us more about your experience?

BCUSU was about to create a new platform to help students named The Point. I was a part of this new team. The rota was done according to my availability and as an international student, I could work 20 hours per week.

It was the best time I had in my university life. I got to meet new people and help students.

I still remember when students came to me and thanked me with a huge smile of satisfaction. Everything was worth experiencing, and the team I was working with trusted me on my capacity to create a new society. I had developed many skills like networking, communicating, and leadership from this role.

You spoke to us about creating a society called FACT. What did you gain from this experience?

When I initiated this plan of creating a society for art students, I wasn’t alone and I was planning it ever since I started my course. I talked to many of my friends who thought it has a scope and need for this society.

Firstly, I presented this idea to my primary connections which became the core members of FACT. We formed the recruiting team and asked all the members to submit their applications for secretary and treasurer roles. As a leader of this society, it is important to let other members select their committee members.

Once the committee was onboard meeting with BCUSU, we established our purpose which involves providing a spotlight to art students or one who is simply passionate about art. We wanted to give voice to artists to speak on social issues in their way #inmyway.

I am grateful to my team and the efforts it has put in making this vision come true. I developed my teamworking, management skills, and creative problem-solving as the president of the FACT society.

What am I planning next? 

I am looking forward to doing a Ph.D. in fashion. I am working on my proposal now and would like to continue my research. My next vision is to build a sustainable fashion brand.