Meeting Kinga!

”Learn from every moment and execute the trust that was given to you.”

If you’re attending one of our courses you might already know this face. But for all you other people, let us brighten your day by presenting Kinga Psiuk, a course assistant here at SSES!

Who are you and what is your connection to SSES?
My name is Kinga and I am currently a student at Stockholm Resilience Centre (SU). I have a very diverse background starting from work experience in management, BA in Psychology to sustainability science. The diversity is what brought me to SSES in the first place. I came across the curriculum of courses, teachers, and other team members that represented a variety of perspectives and I thought to myself “This is it! I need to be part of this team.”

What is your favorite SSES memory?⁠
My favorite SSES memory is our team Christmas dinner. Due to Corona restrictions, we had to do it online, but it was still great as we got to learn about each other’s traditions and customs. We also had a quiz that night that helped me to improve my pop culture knowledge, which turned out to be pretty outdated.

What is it like being a Course Assistant?
Being a Course Assistant is definitely a great learning experience. Every day you learn something new from the teachers, colleagues, and students. It is also an important role as you are the link between students and teachers; everyone’s experience depends on your work. At the same time, it is also a rewarding role- you feel that your contributions are appreciated.

What are your biggest takeaways and most memorable moments from your time with SSES?
Be open, reflexive and when needed, critical. Listen to the students and communicate their needs so they can have the best experience possible. Learn from every moment and execute the trust that was given to you.

What trend are you most fascinated by at the moment?
The most fascinating and at the same time extremely important trend right now is interdisciplinarity in various spheres of our lives. For example, SSES teachers are clearly inspired by different disciplines and the same goes for the students. There is a high level of diversity and recognition of various knowledge systems. I think this trend has the potential to create a more open, creative, and equitable society.

What was most surprising to you about your SSES experience so far?
I think the most surprising so far was how much dialogue and communication there is between Course Assistants and the rest of the SSES team. When I applied for this position, I expected that Course Assistants would have a voice and would be recognized. However, the degree to which this is actually the case was an extremely positive surprise. Every two weeks all Course Assistants meet with our direct supervisors to share updates from the courses and discuss ideas. It is the greatest feeling when you know that people are truly listening to your feedback.

What has been the biggest challenge for you as a Course Assistant?
The biggest challenge so far is to hold back and not answer the questions during the lectures I have a very low tolerance for silence, so I tend to speak up when no one does for even a short moment and since I am a student myself, it is easy to forget that your role during the lectures is not to actually answer the questions but rather facilitate everything else in the background.