Students of Plovdiv: Sheerian, Year Coordinator for Medical Students

"Students of Plovdiv" is an initiative aimed to inspire future and current students at Medical University of Plovdiv. Today you will get to know Sheerian Hussain, the year coordinator for first-year medical students at one of the best medical Universities in Bulgaria.

A lot of people in high school wonder what and where their next step will be. How did you decide to move to Bulgaria?

I always knew I was destined for medicine and that I was not someone who was going to follow the same pathway as most of the people around me. I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and experience something that most of my peers could not say they had been through. I wanted an experience that would challenge and develop me as an individual and studying abroad in a different country has proved to be the best way to do just that! Medical University of Plovdiv really appealed to me as it's very evident that the university has invested a lot of time and effort into establishing it into the prestigious institution it is today. After speaking to some students at the uni and touring the city, I felt happy to take the step to come here because the students were settled in well, accepted and Plovdiv itself was very welcoming!

You applied to become a Year Coordinator at Plovdiv Medical University only after a week you started with your studies. What is the key to earning someone’s trust?

Successfully becoming the Year Coordinator doesn’t exactly mean I have gained everyone’s trust - I feel I still have the whole year to prove myself however having won by majority, I do feel that portraying myself as responsible, straight forward and experienced is definitely what helped me to achieve this position. After I was voted in, I started by answering questions that students had, understanding the protocols of the university and knowing who is who so that I had the information ready to help everyone. I started out doing some basic things like creating a google drive with access to all our first year resources to aid our learning. I’m starting to win their trust by carrying out my tasks to the best of my ability and being quick to send and receive information. The appreciation I’ve received has proved to me that I’m fulfilling the promise I made. I am finding solutions to everyone’s problems and my colleagues are able to approach me with confidence - actions definitely speak louder than words.

What are your duties as a year coordinator? Is it hard to find free time for them?

My main duty as a year coordinator is to make sure everything is running smoothly, important information and resources are sent out to students and to answer and solve any issues a student or their group is facing. Sometimes it is hard to juggle all these things as my studies require a lot of time but it’s a new learning curve which will allow me to develop my time management skills. I like to get things done and know what is going on and when and I love helping people so I ensure I’m doing a hands on job. A priority list helps keep all the tasks in check, and once I’ve completed things on my list and dedicate time to my studies, I reward myself by doing something I love and giving myself some time off from all the things associated with my university life.

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Straightforward, Sincere and Supportive.

Tell us more about the formalities of being a year coordinator.

Being a year coordinator is almost like having a full time job but a changing role. One day you’ll have to play the role of a mentor, sometimes a teacher and sometimes a friend, but you’re almost like a news broadcaster everyday of the week who has to update the students about the details that will affect them in the coming days, weeks or months. It’s a voluntary job and you have to prepare a speech before the students vote for who they’d like as their year coordinator.

What do you want to do as a year coordinator?

I want to help ease the process of settling in and adapting to a new system for my year group by understanding how things work at our university. Coming to a new country is a daunting experience and new for many, however I have noticed that being a confidant who is relatable and composed whilst everyone else seems to be panicking can really ease a lot of stresses for the students. Ensuring their success is not compromised is my main focus.

How is life in Plovdiv so far?

I love life in Plovdiv because it’s not the same as the hectic city life as it is in London. The town is small and quiet but it also has that entertainment factor with something that will appeal to everyone - perfect for the nights you want to enjoy your student life! It gives a nice jump start to a newly independent life thanks to the opportunities and activities it possesses.

In what (problematic) situations should other students turn to you?

I love helping people and I’d like everyone to know that they can approach me no matter what the problem, big or small because something that may seem small to one individual may mean a huge deal to someone else and if you can be a reliable support system, you have the power to change lives for the better. I want my year to know that they have someone they can rely on completely to face the stresses head-on this year whilst they settle in and adjust to a new beginning. One less thing on their plate allows them settle in a little more easily and I just want them to start to feel safe and at home here in Plovdiv so they can succeed and fulfil their potential.

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