In the first instalment of my interviews with student group leaders at LSE, I had the opportunity to speak to Shirinnaz Amirova, Founder and President of the LSESU Azerbaijan Society. Shirinnaz is a first-year Global MSc in Management student from Baku, Azerbaijan.
What inspired you to create the Azerbaijan Society?
Shirinnaz: There is a community of Azerbaijani students at LSE who want to feel connected to home, so I was surprised that there wasn’t one in the first place. For every group, representation is so important! Azerbaijan is a great country, and I really wanted more people to learn about our vibrant culture, politics and economy.
We’re a society that promotes diversity and inclusion, so anyone from anywhere is welcome to join our events and society!
Could you tell us a bit about Azerbaijani Culture and some of its core values?
Shirinnaz: At its core, Azerbaijani culture is very hospitable. For example, if you’re a lost tourist who just knocked on someone’s door for help, they will likely welcome you in and offer you food. We also value family ties a lot. Azerbaijanis have large families with massive holiday gatherings and rich family traditions. Individually, Azerbaijanis are hardworking and kind-hearted people. We have a very strong work ethic, but people on the street will set aside what they are doing to help anyone in need.
What sort of social events are available to members of the Azerbaijan Society?
Shirinnaz: We are a fairly new student society with many events planned out. So far, we’ve held social meetings and movie nights on Zoom. We’re also organising online networking events to help with our members’ career development. When lockdown ends, we hope to have quizzes, pub nights, karaoke and cooking sessions, where members can have a taste of Azerbaijani delicacies such as Dolma, Plov and chicken Lavangi. We’re a society that promotes diversity and inclusion, so anyone from anywhere is welcome to join our events and society!
Azerbaijan society is always here to welcome you to its community!
What does the future hold for the Azerbaijan Society? Could you give us a sneak peek into some upcoming events?
Shirinnaz: We are holding a career conference for two days on 3rd and 4th of April. April is a key time to bring in professionals working in London (from firms in the tech, business, banking and consulting sectors) to connect with students who are still thinking about their career paths. There will be talks on current trends in the industry, the impact of Covid-19 on the job market and advice for interview and assessment centre preparation. In the future we want to continue holding events that offer personal and professional development to our members.
Thank you for your time. What would you like to say to LSE students who are interested in joining the Azerbaijan Society?
Shirinnaz: Become a member – don’t miss out! You don’t have to be from Azerbaijan, you can be from any race and any country- we are very inclusive. Whether it be your interest in Azerbaijani culture, fun events, or just wanting to become part of a friendly student community, Azerbaijan society is always here to welcome you to its community!