TEDx helped me stay focused

NAME: Lura Ajdini
MAJOR: Graphic Design and Journalism & Communication
YEAR: 2022
HOMETOWN: Prishtina, Kosovo

CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT: Wartburg V-Day Campaign, ConnecTED, and Wartburg Archives

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE WARTBURG: I started high school in Bosnia at United World College, which is an international high school. At the end of the two years we go through colleges and search and see where we want to apply to study. My first reaction toward Wartburg was that I really liked the logo. It reminded me of my sister’s kindergarten in England and then I went through the website. I saw that Wartburg had a graphic design program, and that was what I wanted to study. Wartburg felt like the right place to be because it felt like home. I didn’t feel like a stranger or anything. Just by seeing the website I had a feeling in me that this is where I was supposed to go and then, when I got the acceptance letter I was so happy. I was like yes, this is where I need to be right now.

Lura Ajdini

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE GRAPHIC DESIGN: I was always an artsy person. Even when I was younger, I used to make a lot of things for my family members, drawing, painting, making earrings and stuff like that. Initially, I wanted to do criminal justice and sociology but I realized that the legal system here is very different from Europe, so I didn’t want to limit myself. Therefore, I decided to go for something that I actually enjoy doing. Today, the field of social media and design is growing, and I feel like I chose graphic design because it was more contemporary. Graphic design is both a hobby and a passion to me so that’s why I chose it.

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH ConnecTED: The lead organizer for ConnecTED in 2018 was my friend, and he asked me if I knew anyone that would be interested in helping with TEDx. I was not involved with very many organizations on campus at the time, so I said yes, I can help you out with that. I started by taking pictures for the event, and as I became more involved, I began doing recruiting and organizing stuff. I’ve been involved with ConnecTED for two years. During my second year, I was the lead organizer of TEDx and the licensee, and now I am the president of the organization.

WHAT IS YOUR ROLE ON THE ConnecTED EXECUTIVE TEAM: In the role of the president, my position involves sending out duties and holding meetings. I catch up with other team members and ask what they’re doing, see if they’re staying on top of their tasks, and if they need any help. We have meetings every Friday, and during those meetings we go through our updates of the week. There are five people and the team. It used to be a separate ConnecTED team and the lead organizer team, but this year we merged both teams together.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING ON THE ConnecTED EXECUTIVE TEAM: I feel like I have grown a lot as a person from how I was when I lived back home or when I was in high school. I never thought that I could be a leader, because I was always afraid of public speaking. While I was doing TEDx, I was going through a lot of things in my personal life, but TEDx helped me stay focused and it increased my abilities and my leadership skills. All of my teammates are great at what they do, and we all do our job and help one another. We look out for each other, and that’s my favorite thing about ConnecTED.

WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO SOMEONE LOOKING TO GET INVOLVED WITH ConnecTED: I would say, go for it, like any kind of organization on campus. TEDx promotes self-motivation, empowerment, being confident, and finding solutions to problems that you can do individually. I think it’s great for students to get involved, so if you’re interested, go for it.

WHAT HAS MADE WARTBURG WORTH IT FOR YOU: First, I would say, my friends, because they’re like a family to me here, since I don’t have my family. Second is academics. I feel like the graphic design and journalism and communication programs are very strong here at Wartburg. I like the fact that I can see the professors here as my friends. I can always rely on them, talk to them about anything, and they will always be there for me. The professors are good at what they do and they’re extremely passionate about their job.