Get to know Nduka, a Student Association President
Name: Nduka Ahilaka Program: Social Services NSCC Campus: Pictou Class of: 2024
What brought you to NSCC and to this program? I have been deeply passionate about community services which led me to establishing a nonprofit organization in Africa. Upon identifying the need to improve my knowledge of social services to enhance services to people in rural areas in Africa, I began to search for institutions with a record of accomplishment on social services program and NSCC came highly recommended.
What is something that has surprised you about NSCC?
I am surprised at the amount of support from faculty and staff at NSCC. The institution creates a safe space for students from all parts of the world to express themselves and achieve their goals. I am surprised at the inclusiveness and diversity at NSCC. As an international student, I was nervous about being accepted and integrated in my class and the school community, but I am impressed at the acceptance that I have enjoyed from everyone at NSCC.
What is your favorite spot on campus?
I have more than a spot on campus that tickles my fancy, but my favorite spot is the student's lounge. The student’s lounge is a spot for socialization. It gives students the opportunity to network with each other and ask questions about their programs and get help where necessary. It is also a place where students communicate about events happening on campus. Sometimes, the Student Association (SA) leaves some snacks in the lounge and students can snack on something while socializing and getting to know each other
What has been your most memorable NSCC moment so far?
My most memorable NSCC moment is being part of Enactus on my campus, which gave me the opportunity to travel to Toronto, Montreal and Tanzania. I may not have had these opportunities and memories if I had not been part of this student-led entrepreneurial organization. Enactus gave me the opportunity to network with students across Canada and internationally. I am incredibly grateful to NSCC for creating platforms and opportunities that expose students to areas beyond their program of study.
What do you love most about your program?
I love the components of self-reflection in my program. To be educated in the field of social services, you must be able to understand your emotions and psychological state of mind. Social services teach students to be active listeners, nonjudgmental and to respect everyone irrespective of their weaknesses and or health status.
What do you plan to do when you graduate?
I already have a bachelor’s degree, so my initial plan was to pursue a master’s degree after graduation, but I learned how important it is to gain some work experience in the field of social work. So, upon graduation, I am hoping to work with organizations where I will practice and implement the knowledge that I have learned at NSCC. Then, after a few years, I will go for my master’s degree in social work which would give me an edge in the field of social services.
What advice would you give to a friend considering NSCC/your program?
I would advise anyone considering attending at NSCC and or my program to jump at it. NSCC has a proven record of equipping students with the relevant skills needed to make a significant impact on society. NSCC students are highly sought after by employers in and out of Nova Scotia.
What is the best advice you have received that has helped you at NSCC?
The best advice I have received that has helped me at NSCC is to be authentic and to never allow myself to feel less than anyone. So, being my authentic self has made it possible for me to build meaningful relationships among students and staff. I was voted VP of Services in my first year and then elected President of the Student Association in my second year.
A day in the life
5:30 am – Wake up and do my morning exercises then my morning devotion.
6:30 am – I get dressed and ready for school.
6:45 am – Leave the house and drive down to the school.
7:00 am – I arrive at campus and go straight to the Student Association (SA) office to get started for the day. I meet the VPs of Finance and Activities to review our readiness for the day and to find out if there are issues that need my attention. I ensure that the sound checks had been done and that the orientation swag bags are arranged according by program to hand out to new students.
8:00 am – An Indigenous musical group is performing as part of today’s festivities, so I greet them as they arrive, welcome them to campus and get them settled on stage for their drumming circle.
9:00 am - New students arrive in the auditorium. The school principal and I welcome them to our campus, and I use the opportunity to talk about the Student Association, why it’s important and how new students can get involved.
9:45 am – Students begin to line up according to their programs of study to receive the orientation swag bags from the student association. I assist in handing out the swag bags.
10 am – New students leave with their faculty for their first class. I go back to the SA office to review the first session of the orientation with the SA leaders and to ensure that the lunch for the students would arrive at the right time.
11:00 am - Subway and drinks arrive in the Commons and I work with volunteers to set up tables for the students. Scavenger hunt table and prizes also get set up. Other games are also set up in the Student Lounge.
11:30 am - Students come to the Commons for their free lunch and I use the opportunity to meet and greet some new students.
1:30 pm – Students go to their next classes and it’s time for me to debrief with the SA vice presidents and solidify plans for the next day.
2 pm - I send and respond to emails about events on the second day of Orientation. I walk around the campus to ensure that everything is tidied up after the free lunch.
2:30 pm – I get a chance to eat my first meal of the day.
3:00 pm – I get ready to go home and prepare for the next day.
3:15 pm – I get home and rest on the couch for a half hour before going to my garden to harvest my ripe tomatoes and cucumbers.
4:30 pm - I send an email to confirm my Life and Wellness Coaching session with a coach.
5:30 pm - I do my coaching session for one hour.
8 pm – I realize I have Egusi soup in the fridge, so I make garri and warm up my soup for supper.
8:30 pm – I watch a movie to relax my nerves about tomorrow.
9 pm – I head to bed and prepare myself for another early morning routine the next day!