My name is Lindsay D’Souza and I am both excited and motivated to continue exploring my passion for post-secondary education and advocacy as the Summer Research Intern for the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance.
I recently completed my second undergraduate year in the Honours English and History program at McMaster University. In my two years at McMaster I have had the opportunity to collaborate with various campus and community partners as well as inspiring student leaders within the McMaster Students Union. These individuals have continuously encouraged me to challenge myself with new experiences and to seek new and innovative solutions in complex situations.
While I have always been interested in student government and advocacy, I was introduced to OUSA at the end of my first year when McMaster hosted OUSA’s Spring General Assembly. OUSA’s work on policies and various other advocacy projects was an unfamiliar area for me, but after their campus visit in the spring it was a challenge I was eager to explore. I attended my first Partners in Higher Education Dinner (PiHED) that April, where I networked with faculty, stakeholders, and university students and I came away impressed by the inclusive space where I could both facilitate and contribute to conversations that validated my experiences as a student. Without hesitation, after the summer, my return to school consisted of researching past OUSA policy briefs and later joining the MSU’s University Affairs Committee in second term. These actions provided me with a better appreciation for the value of the student voice in shaping the university experience and PSE sector.
And just one year later, after previously seeing OUSA’s Spring GA come to McMaster, there I was, sitting in plenary at OUSA’s 2016 Spring General Assembly at Brock University!
My first GA experience is what made me so excited to continue pursuing work with OUSA. I had come from a strong background of mentorship and leadership conferences at McMaster, yet OUSA facilitated a space where students like myself could be leaders of our own experiences.
To me, leadership is the ability to listen and support others. Once individual experiences are vocalized, OUSA works to provide supportive solutions in order to enhance the quality of post-secondary education for all students. I was able to take my passion of investing time in individual students and expand it to invest time in a greater collective experience. OUSA’s ability to recognize the student voice leads to better ideas and results, and is something I am happy to support.
I look forward to all that I will continue to learn in this position, as well as the friendships I will build. I can also say I am eager to attend both the upcoming Transition Conference and Strategic Planning Conference as well as digging deep into research for the many reports and projects I will be working on! The skills I will further develop will only push me to work harder in future endeavours. I am ready for a summer filled with new material to work with to help enrich what will be a huge growth opportunity.
I took a chance in learning about something that at one time seemed like it was going in the opposite direction as me. As a result, I discovered my own resilience for taking on greater capacities.
Don’t ever doubt yourself. Instead, embark on the adventure!
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or would like to chat! I’m interested in knowing what your passions are.
OUSA Summer Research Intern