Student Life

GISA Exit Interview with Samantha Khoo

By The Graduate Press Editorial Board

On May 15th, the GISA Board officially welcomed its newly elected members, with the positions of President, Vice President of Masters, Events Coordinator, Treasurer, and President of the Professional Development Committee all transitioning into their new roles. The Graduate Press reached out to the five departing board members for an exit interview, giving them a final opportunity to talk about their experiences at GISA. This is our interview with Samantha Khoo Su Yen, the former Events Coordinator.

What are you most proud of achieving during your time on the GISA Board?

The thing I was super proud of during my time was honestly the Welcome Party on Bateau Geneve. I felt it was a great hit and a really different way of having an apéro, plus Bateau Geneve is a social enterprise. So being able to host such a unique party while also being able to give back to the local community was something that was close to my heart.

What did you enjoy most about your role as Events Coordinator?

I really did enjoy getting to know more people at the Institute. I think everyone is always in their little friendship bubbles (me included) so it felt nice to know more about others I go to school with. I also really enjoyed working with IHEID events on a closer basis as their team is super welcoming and really responsive to the needs of students.

What was one of the biggest challenges you faced serving as Events Coordinator?

I think everyone knows this, HOUSING. This was definitely a struggle at times, especially when it came to hearing back about bookings and all. I feel I did a pretty good job working as the middle person for several tense situations, and I managed to hold my own against Nathalie a lot of the time, even getting her to compromise with me (which is a solid achievement I believe). Another challenge was definitely setting my own personal and work boundaries in the beginning, as a lot of people I worked with I was also friends with, sometimes I would be working on GISA and Housing stuff up until midnight as I wanted to be as responsive as possible, to the point I neglected my own personal work and uni time.

What advice do you have for the incoming members of the GISA Board?

Be firm with housing, don’t let yourself be bullied by anyone, regardless of whether it is housing, initiatives or even other students. You can hold your own, trust me. Keep tabs on where the keys are at all times. Lastly, set firm boundaries and always prioritise your own wellbeing, its ok to say no sometimes, even if you feel bad about it.

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