As an individual, I have always challenged myself to go beyond the norm. Growing up in Kosovo, I had a hard time fighting off the stereotypes regarding nationality, religion and in some cases women rights. Being raised in a conservative society which does not embrace change, I encouraged myself to explore other means of breaking out of the cycle – education.
As Nelson Mandela once stated, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – in this case, my destiny. As I received the acceptance letter from Imperial College Business School to the MSc Investment & Wealth Management programme, I decided to look upon the past difficulties as fuel to ignite my ambition and embarked upon a life-changing journey.
My experience at Imperial has gone above and beyond my expectations as it leaves no stone unturned when it comes to providing for its students. The curriculum has challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and follow the path of self-discovery and exploration.
I was fortunate enough to represent the university at the 2018 United Nations Emerging Leaders’ Peace Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, with the aim to strengthen peace efforts worldwide. By attending the summit, I was able to learn from the sacrifice and commitment of numerous leaders and survivors of authoritarian and religious regimes who have shaped recent history and given hope to millions of people worldwide.
Fatima Ali (Intercalated BSc) and myself at the UN Peace Summit
The Peace Summit has encouraged me to become a champion of peace and dedicate my efforts in service of human development and equality. Being surrounded by 500 delegates from different countries worldwide, I was able to network, share my ideas, and initiate joint venture discussions with the aim to develop scalable and sustainable initiatives for underrepresented minorities in underdeveloped countries.
Our synergies led to successful initiatives in the field of education – building schools and supporting students in rural areas of Cambodia. Through such efforts and commitment, we will surely be able to build inclusive societies where people can grow and prosper in harmony.
On top of attending the conference, I was able to make meaningful connections with friends from Russia, Australia, Canada, and Taiwan. Together, we visited various historical temples, palaces, museums, and numerous cultural districts. Moreover, we visited Bangkok’s weekend market where we explored diverse collections of merchandise. As a finance student at Imperial, I was determined to utilise my business knowledge and get the best bargain rates for the goods I have purchased. Later to find out that I overpaid for most of my purchases.
Overall, my experience at the Peace Summit has reinforced the idea that change is in my hands and that to be successful does not mean being wealthy, powerful or superior. It means making unbreakable bonds with those who have touched your life and to be cherished as someone who went against the odds to leave a mark on the world. By putting more emphasis on what makes us similar to each other rather than special, we are able to better understand our purpose and gain something beyond education – that is to become a better human being.