Introducing Ashani Serra, second-year BSc/MSci Management Science student
Tell us about your time at UCL and some of your previous studies/work experience.
I’ve really loved studying at UCL, especially since I joined the School of Management. Everyone on the programme is friendly and close, and the scenario weeks make you feel like you’re getting experience working for a real business. I got to complete a summer internship at Gaumont, the French production company. It was fascinating because I got to work with all sectors behind making a film, experiencing filming, marketing, and scriptwriting!
What’s it like being one of the Management Science Student Representatives?
It’s nice because I get direct feedback from both teachers and students, so we tend to hear about issues or upcoming events in advance. It can be a bit nerve-wracking to have to email some of the professors with complaints but it’s great when you get to see the difference it makes and how the programme improves, especially when it’s such a tight-knit cohort.
You are also a member of a UCL Society Committee - how do you find that?
Yep, I joined as Marketing Officer for the Retail and Luxury Business Society this year, so I design promotional posts and help with running social media pages. The committee is fairly small, but we have more members than ever before so it’s growing quickly. I love getting to practice graphic design for our events, just recently we had the director of marketing at Aston Martin give a webinar and I’m super excited for the rest of the year!
Tell us about your academic and non-academic pursuits, and your passion for languages
For me, languages have been both an academic and non-academic pursuit because I find it so exciting when I’m finally able to switch from one language to another without too much difficulty. Up until now, I’ve learnt Romance languages, but I just started Arabic!
Other than languages, academically I’m interested in business design courses and mathematics. Outside of academia, I love all things creative: drawing, filmmaking, making music, graphic design, as well as figure skating and cooking!
What’s been keeping you busy during the pandemic?
I actually had a really fun summer, mostly in Spain enjoying the beach and the food. Aside from holidays I’ve been working out more, learning to cook new dishes, drawing and painting. I also did a Bocconi course on Coursera (which I recommend!) about the management of luxury fashion companies. I got to be home for a while, and it was lovely to spend time with family again.
What advice would you give to people during this time?
It’s great to try and be productive and do lots of things - it can really help pass the time - but also don’t feel bad if you take some lazy days, this is a difficult time and sometimes it’s important to just take a break, relax, and do nothing.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Stop overthinking, there’s no point worrying over stories you create in your head, might as well enjoy yourself and whatever happens, will happen! It’s a waste of time to stress beforehand.
Who would be your dream dinner guests?
Stephen Fry, Chiara Ferragni, Freddie Mercury, Lily Collins, Robert E. Grant, Coco Chanel, Amancio Ortega, Bradley Cooper, Cleopatra, and so many more…
What is your favourite album, film, and TV series?
Favourite album: Oral Fijacion, Vol. 2 - Shakira
Film: Peter Pan
TV Series: The Office
What would it surprise people to know about you?
Hmm either that I started scuba diving last summer and went on a night dive with feeding sharks and stingrays…Or that I have a crazy passion for Spain and the ~latino fiesta vibe~!
What is your favourite place?
I ADORE travelling so it’s very difficult to choose a favourite place, but I would have to say Andalucia or the Balearic Islands! The water is turquoise, the tapas is delicious, the music is amazing to dance to, and the people are so friendly. (Although one day I’m hoping to travel around South America which I’m guessing will top the list!)