My name is Nikita Jhaveri. I am a graduate student in the Department of Biology.
Before joining McMaster, I completed my masters from University of South Carolina, USA where I was part of the international committee. We would host many cultural, educational, motivational and engaging events throughout the year. These events presented a platform for students to come together, share ideas, worries and feel connected. It gave everyone a sense of belonging to a family away from family.
While I was completing my bachelors at Mumbai University in India, I was involved with two local committees that helped with social causes – Teach for India and Teach India.
At Teach For India, I taught Science and Maths to grades five and six students. Most of the students were from lower strata of society where education was seen as a luxury, not a necessity. As such, my task focused on igniting a spark for learning which I accomplished by making the classes fun and practical, engaging students in science-themed games and encouraging them to make their own projects using materials at hand so they could understand the different concepts of science. Thus, it was a pleasure to see my students’ faces light up when they conducted basic experiments and solved simple equations on their own, and it was especially fulfilling to see young female students become interested and excel in science-related subjects.
During my stint with Teach India, I realised that students attending vernacular schools were losing out to students who graduated from English medium schools in the race to secure decent jobs. I trained these students in English as a second language using simple word puzzles, visuals and games. I conducted mock interview sessions to enable them to excel at their interviews and it was fulfilling to see my students successful in their job interviews.
My experience as a Teaching Assistant (TA) at McMaster University has honed my social skills along with teaching and time management proficiencies. Being fair, honest and true to your words are some of the qualities I have amassed over time which I believe would make me well suited for the position of Benefits and Advocacy Officer at CUPE.