Lisa Pool, Communications Officer 2008 – 2010 and now the Communications Producer at the National Union of Students
(This article was orginally written in 2012)
I’m going to start by saying that being an elected officer has made me who I am today. And, although I chose an overused cliché to describe how I felt about being an elected officer - the experience was anything but that.
When I ran in my first election I wouldn’t have called myself a ‘campaigner’ or ‘activist’ and I certainly wouldn’t have considered myself to be interested in politics.
But, in 2008, I was elected in to the role of Communications Officer.
This role provided me with a chance to learn invaluable skills that, honestly, I don’t think I could have picked up anywhere else.
Straight out of university I had the opportunity to steer the direction of an organisation and become part of a national movement. I learned from senior people in the field, met other officers around the country and learned more about the communications profession while fighting for changes that I believed would greatly improve the lives of students at Anglia Ruskin.
No two days were the same – it was exciting. And, I was lucky enough to make some of my best friends during those two years.
Following my time at Anglia Ruskin, I was employed by the National Union of Students as the Priority Campaigns Organiser. I was responsible for organising the national demonstration in 2010 that was attended by over 50,000 people.
In the summer of 2011 I moved in to the communications department and I am currently employed as Communications Producer.
The work I do involves developing communication strategies and outputs to ensure that NUS communicates effectively with a number of different audiences. This helps to create a strong and engaged student movement.
Part of this role means that I act as a consultant for staff and officers within NUS. The aim of this is to support them and develop creative, targeted communication plans for national projects and campaigns.
My expertise is in the effective use of social media, crisis communications management and communicating for action whilst remaining politically sensitive in a democratic organisation.
To support my development I am currently studying for a CAM diploma in Managing Digital Media at the London School of Marketing.
The link between where I am now and being a student officer is a fairly straight forward one. But, running for election and serving in an elected officer position helped me find my passion and, in no doubt, it kick-started my career.