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Join us as we sit down with members of the Ravensbourne community to hear about what they're up to, what they enjoy doing in their free time, and - most importantly - what is their favourite break-time snack?
Hi there! What is your name and what did you study at Ravensbourne?
“Hey there! My name is Kalila, and I studied BA (Hons) Fashion Promotion at Ravensbourne, graduating in the year 2020. I had some really inspiring tutors and had a fantastic university experience. I now work at Ravensbourne within the Communications team, running the social media accounts.”
It’s time for a coffee break! What’s your go-to drink or snack?
“An oat milk hot chocolate and an almond croissant to dunk. 100% sugar, absolutely no nutrients. Perfect.”
How did you get to where you are now?
“I graduated during the pandemic and struggled initially to find the type of role the I felt fit me best. I knew I wanted to work in marketing, but I had fallen out of love with the fashion industry.
“I never thought I’d end up in Higher Education! I first started working at Ravensbourne as the Marketing Administrator, and then covered the social media role for a few months, and eventually interviewed for the role and got it! I’d worked hard managing both roles simultaneously, and I was so pleased to be rewarded with the full-time social media role.”
What is the best part of your job?
“The best part of my job is being creative, coming up with new ways to engage our audience and tell our stories in the most creative way possible. Working with young people on a daily basis feels great, and I often get to be that support to a student that I wished I’d had at times.
“I had such a fantastic experience at Ravensbourne as a student, so I feel really good about promoting an experience that I know is worthwhile. It’s a product I believe in, more than any other I’ve used in my life.”
Are you working on any exciting projects?
“For the past year, we’ve been working with cider brand Kopparberg and the agency Neverland to plan a celebration event for the winner of our competition. I didn’t have any previous experience in event planning, but I enjoyed getting my teeth stuck into something new. Knowing a student was going to win the opportunity of a lifetime made it even more exciting.
“We’re now working on a project with TFL, which is totally under-wraps, but again another amazing company to be working with – who doesn’t use TFL transport in the city?!”
What is your proudest accomplishment?
“I grew up not knowing my biological dad, and at 19 I decided to contact him and try to meet him.
“Entirely alone, I booked a ticket and boarded a flight and flew to another country, for the first time. Me and my dad didn’t speak the same language fluently, but I was determined to communicate and learn about my culture and where I come from.
“There are few things in my life that will require as much bravery as I had to muster at this time. When I was on the plane back home, I realised the magnitude of what I’d just done, and vowed to never let anything stand in the way of what I want to achieve. When I landed back in the UK, I made my application to Ravensbourne within a few days, for entry the following year. Something that was seemingly impossible before, suddenly seemed achievable.
“I spent the next year balancing several jobs full-time, working long hours to make it to university. Something I like about myself is that I’m tenacious. I’m a big believer in doing things scared, even terrified, rather than not doing them at all. Do it scared!”
What is something that people may not know about you?
“I suffer from Crohn’s disease and other health issues, and have spent the past few years in a relentless flare that escalated to a scary point. Crohn’s is an autoimmune disease, meaning my immune system attacks my bowel, and other areas of my body. For me, this means I have sickness, debilitating pain, joint issues, eye inflammation, and more.
“I had to make scary decisions about my health and underwent difficult treatment, such as chemotherapy, which I am still undergoing. As well as shutting off my immune system I also had to do a nine-month bowel rest – which meant only water for nearly a year.
"I was in pain every day, and lost nearly six stone very quickly. I had lots of hospital appointments and found it challenging to manage my time. This taught me so much about what it means to be ‘human’, as I had to completely change my lifestyle, and what I thought my twenties would look like. My entire lifestyle has changed indefinitely, and I’m still learning how to do the hobbies I enjoy with my new body. I don’t like to think I have limits, but instead I need to prioritise my health in everything that I do.
“I am so lucky to work within a supportive, understanding team who had my back the entire time. I’m now on the road to recovery (very slowly) and hoping to reach remission in 2024, babyy!”
How do you like to unwind and destress?
“I head over to my best friends for a cuppa. She’s one of those wonderful people who knows just what to say. I’ve known her my whole life and she’s my favourite person. Sometimes I like to vent and get everything out, and other times I need support and solutions.
“If friends aren’t available, I usually watch a comfort show such as Friends, Modern Family, or The Office with a high calorie snack. Calories don’t count when your sad, that’s what my mum says. Mums don’t lie.”
I can’t stop listening to… 'People', by Libianca. It feels like summer in a song.
People should watch… the show 'Breeders'! Martin Freeman is a genius.
My favourite thing to do in London is… walk along Southbank in the sun, ice cream in hand.
If I won an all-expenses-paid trip, I’d go to… the Caribbean! Or anywhere with sun, beaches, and cocktails. I’m easy to please.
Ravensbourne University London
6 Penrose Way
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