BA (Accountancy & Finance)
Development Officer & Student President, Dubai Campus
At the recent Dubai Campus Phase II opening, The Watt Club caught up with Toby Skaria, Dubai’s Student President.
A graduate in Accountancy and Finance from Heriot Watt University Dubai Campus (HWUDC), Toby currently works as the Development Officer and Student President at HWUDC.
“My parents inspired me to stay in the country I was brought up in and to complete my studies while staying with them. With lot of options available my research identified HWUDC, which I chose because I could receive high quality education and secure a degree from a Scottish institution.
My time at Heriot-Watt was simply brilliant! I began my studies in 2009. We were on a rented campus which was pretty small. Although we were small, the student community was very vibrant and energetic.
Education and extra-curricular activities were pretty balanced. Students from various cultures came together to learn and enjoy their time on campus. The lecturers and administrative staff were down to earth and very helpful. Everybody knew one another and we were like a family.
The transition from a few hundred students to a bustling campus with a few thousand students from 98 countries has given us exposure to many more cultures and learning experiences – yet we still feel like one big family.
When I was elected to the office of the Student President, I realised even more how passionate I was about working for Students at Heriot-Watt. Student numbers were high and my aim was to contribute to the University as a whole, not just to certain groups.
(Toby’s 2013 election video can be found below)
Studying and working at Heriot-Watt has been life changing for a very simple reason – I realised what career I wanted to pursue. My passion lies in leadership and management, where I can contribute more to my community and my role as President has shown that this is something I can achieve.
As the first re-elected Student President at the Dubai Campus, my aspiration is to perfect what I started and to set the foundations for future candidates to take this forward.
I have travelled and taken time out to spend with orphans, children in desolate areas and lived among the poor along with my Brethren Church mates in a number of states of India. I saw the hard way of people’s lives in my home country and how society needs to improve.
The future is very uncertain for everyone; however my desire is that when I go to sleep every night I am content that I worked not just for financial gain but also to make a difference in the lives of others. I aspire to become a leader for my country and to contribute my bit for the benefit of society.
For those thinking about coming to university, I would say it is always a transition which is the very crux of your life; your personality develops, your career gains a strong foundation and you need to make sure your aspirations are challenging.
Graduating with an undergraduate or postgraduate degree prepares you not only to earn money, but also to contribute to society as a better human being and a faithful steward of justice and grace.
Therefore, students need to be involved with the University community and to grab every opportunity to learn and develop into better individuals.
A quote that has inspired Toby in his work, and one which he regularly passes on to freshers is ‘Do not just pass through the University, but let the University pass through you’.