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Student Rep interview: MATA

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

Find below the interview of Jonathan Misk, student representative of the MATA department!

LVC: How was your life before the College?

Jonathan: I am from United Sates and I am doing the Master of Arts in Transatlantic Affairs, following courses in the IRD department. Before coming to the College, I studied law in the US and then began working for a large American law firm in New York. I was there for 5 years doing mostly litigation work, and then I was transferred to France, where I worked in Paris and Toulouse doing international anti-corruption work for 3 years. That said, I really wanted to make the transition to more public sector and diplomatic work, and I thought that having a degree like this would be a very good foundation. For me, this experience is an especially unique one given that I am certainly a little bit older than most of my colleagues; however, I have been able to learn from them because they have insight and experience that is extremely valuable for me in this context.

LVC: Do you have any secret passion you want to share with us?

Jonathan: When I am not studying, I really love to cook. I like to experiment with different recipes and foods, and cooking is really good for stress relief because it really lets you be creative. And I am lucky not to be in a residence, as I can cook at home. You’re going to make everybody jealous if you put that in the interview. But everyone is invited to my house! (laughs)

LVC: The most important fight for you this year?

Jonathan: What is really important is that the MATA program is still an extremely young program—it was inaugurated in 2017. So I think that the role of MATA representative is really looking to what can realistically be done and helping to accomplish a few goals to ensure that MATA students feel they are fully integrated into the College experience. When a program is this young, the administration is also still deciding how to market it, how to brand it, how best to create academic and extra-curricular activities for students, and the like. Since there are only 8 of us, we can almost have true “direct democracy,” so I work closely with my MATA colleagues in putting forward proposals that will hopefully help shape the MATA program.

LVC: What is, in your opinion, a good student rep?

Jonathan: I think the most important two roles of a good Student Rep are listening to fellow students (and doing so with empathy) and doing so with a realistic lens. It’s extremely important to think about achievable goals that would directly benefit the students we represent. Our Student Representative group, for example, has worked closely to propose the adoption of a charter that formalizes the student representatives’ role as an actual student government body, which we believe that will help us to work more effectively on behalf of the students.


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