Taking part in Student Assisted Medical and Dental Applicants (SAMDA) gives Aleesha the opportunity to promote medical and dentistry degrees to local year 12 students.
As vice president of SAMDA, Aleesha liaises with school teachers and helps organise events for the society. She also plays an important teaching role in the workshops. By helping students with their degree applications and preparing them for interviews, Aleesha sees them grow in confidence and helps them to reach their full potential.
SAMDA stands for Student Assisted Medical and Dental Applications and we’re a voluntary society run at Barts. Our main aim is to promote medicine and dentistry to year 12 students in the East London area. It’s a really good opportunity for medical and dental students to pass on their knowledge to future students.
As Vice President my main role is to support the President. Because we’re quite a small society in that we only have three committee members, I do a lot of admin for a lot of the events that we’re planning and we just held a social yesterday actually – it was quite successful, and we’re just going to get more and more people involved in it so we can expand to more schools.
When you go to visit the students on your first visit you see how nervous they are but how much potential that they do have. You really see them grow through the process, especially when it comes to mock interviews. We hold mock interviews later on during the year and you see how much they’ve grown in their confidence, in their communication skills and as a person really. I think seeing that change and knowing that you’ve been a part of their journey is quite inspiring – so I think that’s the best thing about SAMDA.
Top attributes developed through SAMDA:
Explain and argue clearly and concisely:
For me definitely I’ve grown a lot more confident, I’m a lot better at communicating with people. We have to liaise with school teachers, students, like even colleague from Barts – you learn how to communicate well with all kinds of people.
Possess the skills to influence, negotiate and lead:
Teaching is an interesting one because I definitely think it’s helped me with teaching itself; you end up teaching the year 12s a bit about what medicine is like or what dentistry is like, teaching them how to write a personal statement, how to approach an interview situation.