Gaby Tran

Gaby is pictured from the waist up wearing a navy-blue top and is stood side on looking at the camera and smiling, she has blonde highlights at the front of a cropped hair cut and is wearing red lipstick

Gaby is the 2022/23 Liverpool John Moores Students’ Union (JMSU) Vice President for Community and Wellbeing and studied her master’s in law with us as an international student.

She was elected to post in March 2022 with her focus on developing support for international students and creating a week-long celebration of the different student nationalities at LJMU. She’s also working with the other all-female officers to support students through the cost of living crisis and on a series of all new podcasts, jmsYOU.

Gaby features in our ‘Humans of LJMU’ series in collaboration with the ‘Humans of Liverpool’ social media account, sharing the stories of the people who make our city, communities and university the vibrant, inclusive place it is in celebration of our bicentenary year.

In her interview she reflects on the challenges of being away from home, her work-life balance as a mum, student and JMSU officer and her passion for celebrating the fusion of cultures across the student population at the university.

“When I came here, I said, ‘only one year’ I’ll do my degree and go home. But now I’m working full time, and I’m the Vice President of community and wellbeing at the students’ union, so you never know what’s going to happen.”

– Gaby Tran

Gaby’s ‘Humans of LJMU’ interview

“I only moved to Liverpool last year. I got my bachelor's degree back home in Vietnam, and then I worked for several years as an in-house legal counsel. When COVID came, and we were stuck working at home, I had time to think about my career plan. I decided to upgrade myself to another level and study abroad, and that’s when I decided to study for my master's in law at John Moores.

“When I came here, I said, ‘only one year’ I’ll do my degree and go home. But now I’m working full time, and I’m the Vice President of community and wellbeing at the students’ union, so you never know what’s going to happen. I don’t like to plan too much in the future now, things seem to work out for the best, and I’m just open to new experiences.

“I’m working on a project at the moment called ‘Nationality Connected’, trying to encourage national pride. John Moores is a diverse university. We have around 25,000 students from over 100 different countries. My project is a whole week of different activities with the aim to encourage staff and students from different countries to show their pride by wearing traditional dress or bringing their national flag, having free food from the different cultures and organise catwalk shows so people can see the beauty of each different nation’s traditional dress.

“As an international student myself, I know what I’ve been through, so I’m just trying to reach out and try to help as many people as possible. I’m a parent-student as well. I have a three-year-old daughter. Working full time and working on essays and dissertations, people ask me how I do it. I’m really proud of myself from that perspective. What I’m dealing with and what I’ve overcome, it does make me proud. It’s really difficult when you go to a new place, living life without your family. Maybe if I’m lucky, I might see my mum once a year. She’s a long way away. I know the difficulties people face because I’ve been there, so I’m really passionate about improving their experiences.”