Yvana Mpessa

Yvana Mpessa is a BCL Law and Business student in Maynooth University who has just joined the NStEP Student Trainer Pool. Yvana tells us a bit more about herself below!

Tell us a bit about yourself Yvana!

My name is Yvana and I am a Belgian-born, Irish-Canadian of Cameroonian descent. I currently live in Portlaoise and I am a student at Maynooth University. Prior to this, I was a Nursing Studies PLC student who aspired to be a nurse one day but later changed her mind. The great thing about a PLC programme is that it can provide a pathway into multiple careers, which is why I now have the pleasure of studying Law at one of Ireland’s best universities.

Have you ever been involved in student representation before?

As a Law class representative, I was responsible for raising academic issues to the department of law and the students’ union on behalf of 1st-year law students. I acted as the advocate and the communicative link between students and the department. I went above and beyond in this role and my achievements were recognized nationally by my receipt of the “Best Class Representative 2018/2019” award from the Union of Students Ireland. In this role, I created innovative ways to engage with and assist my peers. One of these methods included an online anonymous suggestion box. It provided students with a quick and seamless way of reporting their concerns to me as their class rep. Due to large class sizes and students feeling embarrassed about speaking up, I chose to tackle this issue by providing them with a platform through which they could speak up anonymously and whenever they wished. Moreover, I was also appointed as a business class representative where I communicated views from my peers at business programme board meetings and suggested ways to improve the learning experience for current and future business students.

Why did you want to get involved with NStEP and our work on student engagement and training?

Having been a recipient of NStEP training myself, I can say with confidence that it has provided me the leadership, analytical, and interpersonal skills needed to be an excellent class rep. It’s an impactful programme that ensures that students play an active role in the quality of Irish Higher Education. As a trainer, I wish to impart the same level of knowledge and skills to other students across the country.

Do you have any other interests or hobbies?

I am an avid reader of contemporary African literature and I also enjoy cooking and baking. I am the founder and first-acting president of the STAND society at Maynooth University where my committee and I deliver events, activities, and initiatives to raise awareness about human rights and global issues and engage students who are passionate about social justice.

Student Training Programme 2019

The 2019 Student Training Programme is now open for bookings. Our team of Student Trainers will be criss-crossing the country to train up hundreds of class representatives. To book your institutional training sessions you can find out more here. For queries please contact nstep@usi.ie