News Article

Cambridge Rep of the Month November- Abigail Blake

Name: Abigail Blake                                                                                                                          

Course: MSc Sustainability (Year 1)

Campus: Cambridge

Volunteer Award: Rep of the Month


What are your main duties and how do they benefit others?

As a course rep, I am the go-to person for any feedback about the course, and answer any queries or questions that students may not want to take up with ARU or the SU directly. I make my role known and regularly ask my coursemates their opinions and feedback (both positive and negative!) of what we have learnt, how their experience studying with ARU is going, and whether they have any wishes or suggestions for improvements to the course and facilities. It is my job to ensure their voices are heard.


What have you enjoyed most about volunteering?

I have most enjoyed enabling students to feel that they are heard and valued. Our course is so important in the context of modern society that I believe every student should have the best learning experience possible, and I enjoy carrying that responsibility. I have also enjoyed solving issues and figuring out how best to take feedback to the FSE.


What skills have you learnt and used during your volunteering?

I have learned to listen, to collate valuable feedback, and that the university has so many support mechanisms to help students in all kinds of ways.


What are your future career aspirations?

I aspire to work within conservation and sustainability, and to be a change maker. My role as course rep is teaching me that every individual person has their own experience and journey, and that every tiny part of a wider system is important and needs to be valued.


What inspires you to volunteer?

I am very dedicated when it comes to education and equal opportunities. As a student with invisible disabilities, I can fully appreciate the broad range of circumstances and reasons for the opinions and feedback that may come my way. I have the commitment and passion to act on it and ensure everybody gets an equal chance at success within ARU, and to be honest I just enjoy being helpful to people.


What is your favourite volunteering memory?

Probably when I said I wanted to stand for the role of course rep, and lots of my course mates agreed I would do a great job and that they would vote for me! It was only 1 week into the course, but it was a great boost in confidence that I had made a good impression. Also being Rep of the Month is pretty cool too!


Why do you love volunteering?

I like being a course rep because I like knowing for sure that somebody is doing all they can to ensure equal opportunities across the classroom. It means a lot to me that as many people on this course succeed because of its value in society, and I know that under the right circumstances for each individual, we can all go on to make real changes in the world.


Do you have any last thoughts or comments?

I created a questionnaire for the students in the class to give their feedback so I could get a clear consensus of how everybody was feeling about the course. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive which is great, and any other comments made were passed on in the SSLC, listened to, and acted on.

As I couldn't attend my first SSLC due to a seminar, I made a video report so our feedback would still be heard, which was subsequently played during the meeting in my absence.