Running in the elections
What made you run in the SU Elections?
I just wasn’t ready to leave! After doing a year as the Chelmsford Experience Officer there was still so much I felt I had to do before I could leave. I wanted to be the person the rest of the Officer team turn to for guidance and support in their campaigns and making the difference in the ways they want to.
What was your favourite part of running in the Elections?
Talking to students about things that I am passionate about and getting genuine reactions from them. It is a daunting thing to put yourself out there and approach strangers and get them to like you in under 2 minutes, but it made me realise I am a lot more confident than I thought I was. It was also a huge plus that all of the other candidates were absolute diamonds, especially when we found ourselves confiding in each other when times got tough.
What was most challenging?
Staying motivated whilst not knowing how well, or not so well I was doing! 2 weeks of hard core campaigning, selling myself, talking to every person I pass and remembering to eat dinner and get some sleep was difficult.
What would you say to someone who wasn’t sure if they should run or not?
You have nothing to lose. Even just the experience of running in the election develops you as a person and whether you get elected or not, it will be worth it. Besides, everything happens for a reason.
Being an officer
What has been the best bit about being an officer?
I have been given the opportunity to do so much more than I would have ever expected. The SU has invested in me to be a better leader, trustee, representative, finance expert (still very far away from that but you can’t master everything right?) travel and meet people from all over the country. I have had the opportunity to have influence and contribute at the highest level of the university through the board of governors, forming relationships with university staff and the Vice Chancellor. Basically being trusted by 20 odd thousand students to be a part of trying to make their time at ARU a little bit more memorable.
What has been the funniest part of your SU journey so far?
I’d have to say, going from being on the Cheerleading committee and Jo, the senior manager in the SU kicking me out of the SU Awards at the end of the night because I was having way too much fun (and one too many glasses of wine) to hosting the SU Awards last year and being way too nervous to even touch a glass of wine. It’s funny how people change.
What has been the most unexpected part of the role?
I have found passion in things I never thought I would. Being an Officer for 2 years has helped me shape my future a bit more than when I was just doing my degree. It has pushed me to think outside of the box about what path I want to take in my career and I am so grateful for that. Also making lifelong friendships with other officers, students and SU staff.
What has been the most challenging part of being an officer?
Having a hell of a lot of people relying on me to lead. It is so scary to think that any decision I make could be the wrong one. But it’s important to remember I am not a one woman band and sometimes asking for help and guidance is the simplest and best thing to do. Also, the role of an Officer rides heavily on the trust of the Officer team, the staff team, students and the university. Maintaining that discipline to stay motivated and make challenging decisions every day is tough, but it comes with time and hard work.
Would you do anything differently if you could start your year again? If so, what?
To not stress and worry so much all of the time. It’s so easy to dwell on the challenging things and forget all the great things me and the team are doing every day. The realist piece of advice anyone ever gave me was “you never truly know how to be an Officer until it’s your last day, so don’t expect to know what you’re doing until then”. I only realised how true this was when after doing a year as EO, and even now as President I learn something new, about the job or about myself every day. So I wouldn’t be so hard on myself and remember to enjoy the job!
Click here to find out more about The Election 2017