Seven Questions with Laure Montangerand

This week we catch up with anthropologist Laure, who tells us about her experiences as a student rep - and her love of salsa dancing!

What are you studying, why are you interested in this subject and what do you plan to do in the future?

I chose to study a BSc in Anthropology at UCL because it is a particularly broad degree that gives me access to different areas of anthropology including social/cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, material culture, and others. Developing an interest, respect and understanding for all the diverse ways of living across the world is the department’s aim; my interest in international development and human evolution led me to apply for this particular degree. I chose UCL because I knew I would learn about all the different branches of anthropology and because I had a diverse range of interests - anthropology satisfied many of them!

In the future I hope to work in Venture Capital in emerging markets to help develop industries that have the potential to drastically improve local lives.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve done, seen or got involved with while at UCL?

I think being a Student Quality Reviewer while working as a Lead Student Representative for the Department of Anthropology is the most interesting thing I’ve done at UCL. Not only have I been able to proactively try to solve the different issues students face while studying their degrees, I was also able to gain a greater understanding of how UCL feedback works and is included in the processes working towards improving our student experience. I would definitely recommend students to apply for the roles of Student Representative and/or Student Quality Reviewer or ChangeMaker while studying at UCL for this reason.

Have you discovered any hidden gems during your time at UCL?

Be sure to head over to Albertini on Chalton Street for food - this restaurant never disappoints and deserves more recognition!

Give us your top three things to do/see/go to in London:

1) Go to Bounce to play ping pong while having a drink with friends - there’s nothing better for releasing stress from essays and exams!

2) Make sure to check out the Natural History Museum. They always have something fascinating on display.

3) Lastly, go and see at least one musical in one of the many theatres around central London.

If you were Provost for the day what one thing would you do?

I believe I would ensure most, if not all, lectures at UCL are recorded and available on Lecturecast as there are many good reasons for making this a reality.

Who inspires you and why?

The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Denis Mukwege, is a great reminder of the power of education. By founding a hospital to save victims of sexual violence in Bukavu and continuously fighting against the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, he has made his life about helping and saving others through thick and thin. I wish I could say I had as much strength and dedication as he has shown throughout his life. People like Dr Mukwege are an everyday source of inspiration to me.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I am passionate about salsa! I dance salsa as often as possible and love finding salsa bars around the world during my travels. I would recommend to anyone who loves dancing, and/or wants to learn new moves, to join the UCL Salsa Society!


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