Jinal Shah

Biomedical Sciences – BSc (Hons)

From meeting the Prime Minister and Prince Charles to learning her seventh language, Jinal is determined to succeed and make the most of every aspect of university life.

"My friends back in Mumbai were discouraged from studying abroad, so I was determined to do something different and decided to go to university in the UK.

I’m really focused on doing well and achieving my full potential. I work hard to achieve anything I set my mind to. I think making connections and building relationships are key to reaching my goals of getting a good reference and a network for future employment, so I have taken every opportunity possible whilst at BCU!

I’ve been able to meet some of the UK’s most important people including the Prime Minister and Prince Charles. I attended the India Global Forum – a two-day conference where international business and global leaders meet to set policies. I was able to share my point of view as a student with all the people attending the event. I was really nervous to start with, but I gave myself a bit of a pep talk and I really enjoyed the experience.  I have also met the Home Secretary Priti Patel at an event. I brought her a chair because she didn’t have anywhere to sit!

My proudest achievement is being elected for two years running as a Vice President at the Students’ Union – firstly for Equity and Inclusion and then for Opportunities and Community. This has involved organising activities and events as well as managing all the societies which has been a big responsibility. 

Where do I start with everything else I’ve been involved in? I’ve been a student ambassador at Open Days, a school rep and a buddy welcoming new international students - for which I’ve won multiple awards including ‘buddy of the year’! I’ve founded the BCU International College (BCUIC) society, as well as being a member of the Indian society and the Italian society. I can speak six languages already but not a European language so I wanted to learn how to speak some words in Italian.

I manage my work life balance very carefully so that I can focus on finishing university with a really good grade as well as being involved in so many activities. I wake up early at 6am and make my breakfast and lunch at the same time. I combine seeing friends with going to events and societies. If I go to the library, I take my friends with me.

Staying organised is key, I did a time management course online which has helped and I plan an agenda for all my work. My top tip for other students is make a plan and give yourself a deadline to achieve everything by.

I always wanted to go to university – I dreamed of becoming a doctor but felt very passionate about the research side of science. Biomedical science isn't popular in India, but in Birmingham they had a whole course dedicated to this area that I am fascinated by.

I chose to study in Birmingham as it’s a very diverse city and less busy than London. I enjoy experiencing other cultures and celebrating them. You'll find students from all over the globe at BCU, all with their stories and tales to tell.

I haven’t seen my parents in four years. It’s hard being away from them, I’m such a family person. I think one of the reasons I keep myself so busy is as a distraction and I’m so excited to go home and tell them everything I’ve been doing. My mum thought that I would come back after a year, and even though I had second thoughts on the plane here, I'm proud of how mature I've become whilst I’ve been here at university. My two sisters and my brother are so proud of me.

I really want to introduce my whole family to the UK. Hopefully at some point in the future they can come and visit me so they can come and see me doing well. I want to introduce them to my tutors and the staff I’ve met here. I have been able to make so many friends that have ended up supporting me through my time at university. Where I am now is because of all the support I’ve received. I've been pushed, supported, and loved by so many.

To me, 'I AM BCU' means family. They've been my backbone during my time here at university and have supported me all the way."

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Undergraduate Open Day - 25 June 2022

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