Kate Wicklow, Academic Officer 2007 – 2009 and now Head of Quality and Student Engagement at the National Union of Students
(This article was orginally written in 2012)
I had an amazing time as an officer at Anglia Ruskin Students’ Union. I learnt so much about myself and the world around me, and it gave me a career I could never have imagined. You will never be able to find another job which requires you to such a varied amount of things which are all really enjoyable and incredibly rewarding. There is an immense amount of pleasure which comes from the feeling that you have changed something to help people, and standing up for what you believe in. The great thing about being a sabbatical officer is that not only can you support the students on your campus but you are part of a national network of officers, all with similar goals and together you can win for students across the UK. Because your activities are so varied you gain lots of skills which are useful for your future such as leadership, strategic thinking, planning, finance and influencing – all things which have been really useful to me in my career.
After being the Academic officer at ARUSU between 07-09 I was employed by the National Union of Students as a full time staff member. I am now Head of Quality and Student Engagement at NUS and I support sabbatical officers and course reps from across the UK in ensuring that students are given the opportunity to help shape their learning environment. Most recently I have worked with the government on a new website for prospective students to help them make an informed choice about where to study called unistats and have created a Feedback and Assessment Campaign toolkit which helps students to ask for better quality feedback. I would never have got this job without being a sabbatical officer, and I am very grateful to the students who elected me for giving me such an amazing experience which has led to me being able to improve the quality of students experiences all across the UK.