Sorcha Kenway-Jennings explains why being a student rep is better than you would expect
The role of student reps is one that most students avoid — just another one of those emails your course administrator has sent round. Despite the fact that the majority would never consider such a role I’m going to tell you what it exactly entails, and why you should be more keen to become one.
Student rep jobs include liaising with students in order to understand and improve the positive and negative aspects of a particular course, liaising with students about other areas of the university school which they think needs improving in terms of organisation and resources, and working with people throughout the university structure to so that certain problems do not pop up again.
All in all, I think you get the picture — it’s about liaising. You basically embody a mediator between faculty and students. This may sound intimidating, and indeed it sometimes can be a haunting job having to always be the bearer of bad news. However, the pros outweigh the cons by a mile.
Most students would probably argue they adhere from being a student rep because of time commitments of real things that matter, like essays. But, in my experience be a student rep has never hindered my work ethic. Others may simply argue it’s lame. I’m here to tell you it’s worth it. Not only do you get free pizza and £15 Amazon vouchers for turning up to non-compulsory sessions, it also is such a good booster for your CV.
Employers love to see that you are getting involved in the student hub community, even if you don’t enjoy it. You also undergo training which helps you develop skills of how to deal with confrontation between different parties, you learn the appropriate language you should use when giving someone constructive criticism and you learn how to work in teams, with both student reps and faculty, to solve issues.
These are all transferable skills which you can take into any workplace.
If you’re someone who likes planning events some of these other duties may interest you. The student reps get to plan the end of year ball for their year group, including the graduation ball, which in your final year is a great thing to be a part of.
Not only this, but you have opportunities to plan socials of your choice throughout the year. Trust me, choosing what to spend the budget on is always fun. Both of these jobs will give you examples of tangible evidence for employers of how you can market certain things to the public. Another element which is beneficial for your future.
The point I am trying to get across to you is there are many reasons to become a student representative. No one should ever be worried or intimidated by the role as the support system around you is immense. All of the faculty and other student reps will guide you through your position.
Remember, people have sat in the seat before you, you are not the first one. Not only is this really helpful and rewarding for the students in your year group, it will be hugely rewarding for you too!