Iqra Rustam joined Leeds Trinity University as a shy and quiet individual, whose confidence has grown throughout her time on the Primary Education programme, following successful school placements, support from her tutors and sheer determination.
Tutors have described her as a true credit to her cohort and she has achieved an outstanding overall grade. As Iqra prepares to take up her new role as a primary teacher, we caught up with her to talk about her time at the University, her aspirations as a teacher and her advice for current and future students.
How did you come to study at Leeds Trinity?
I came to study at Leeds Trinity University because it is one of the best teaching schools in West Yorkshire. It was my first choice due to the support that would be given to me and I just wouldn't be known as a number but as an individual with a passion for teaching. I was given a conditional offer and it was my first choice. The academic drive for success was very appealing and because I wanted to be in an environment that was out of my comfort zone I decided that Leeds Trinity was the one.
What are some of your most memorable moments from your time at Leeds Trinity?
It has to be the friendships I have made. I have met some wonderful people during my course and being the only Asian in my group, I have gained confidence when it comes to speaking my mind and sharing my thoughts. As a minority student and feeling out of my comfort zone, lecturers always reassured me that my opinions were valued, which helped me to thrive during my time at Leeds Trinity.
I came to University wanting to breakdown some of the stereotypes that are often associated with Muslim women. It was fantastic to share what my religion teaches me, and I noticed how my friendship group had little awareness of my beliefs and my religion and they were super eager to ask questions. I welcomed all the questions and it was fantastic to celebrate the similarities and differences we all had and the respect and love we developed for each other.
What are your plans after graduation?
I have secured a job as a class teacher in my local community (in Bradford). My intention coming to University was to build aspiration within my community. I want to make a difference and show that if you are hardworking and dedicated you can become successful no matter who you are or where you are from.
In the future I would like to travel and teach children from all types of backgrounds - to embrace and learn from the amazing and unique cultures we have around the world.
How has your time at Leeds Trinity shaped you as a person?
LTU has definitely given me confidence, it has enabled me to see my capabilities and celebrate the skills and talent I have. It has developed me as a professional and given me the skills to do what I love and what I am passionate about. I have made some wonderful friends here at LTU and I wish them nothing but success for their future.
What advice would you give to current/ future Leeds Trinity students?
Keep being you, never doubt yourself or your capabilities, have fun, work hard and success will come!