Your Student Engagement Officer, Charlie Holman, explains why nominating yourself for the upcoming Student Officer elections is a wise decision.
I can truly say that one of the best decisions I made whilst at university (among a couple of bad ones) was running in the RUSU elections to become Engagement and Communications Officer.
Forget trawling through the internet looking for the perfect graduate job; getting rejection after rejection. You don’t have to have a sparkling CV or a perfectly tailored cover letter – all you need is a great manifesto and a bit of passion.
Full-time Officers are the most senior staff within RUSU (a multi-million pound charitable organisation), a position that would usually takes years to reach in many other organisations. Not only this, but we affect real change. We network, work with and lobby (basically not always agree) with some of the most senior staff in the University, and our opinion and influence is always taken seriously, even at highest level of decision-making.
In this job you are your own boss, and you soon find out what you’re really good at (coming up with ideas) and also what you’re not so good at (distracted very, very easily). This will ultimately help you massively when you move onto a career after RUSU. You also find that you suddenly have loads of examples you can use in those tricky job applications and if you ever have to go for an interview you have plenty to talk about!
Obviously there are a few perks: circa £19k salary, iPad and iPhone, not to mention free Union when you fancy a night out. However, one of the best aspects of the role is seeing your work direct positive change for students. I have no better example of this than when the officer team walked out the last of a series of meetings with the University; knowing that RUSU for the first time had an input in the price setting for halls 2015/16. As a result, we reduced the increase in rent saving students over £200,000! We know that Halls prices are a huge issue for students and RUSU’s work is far from done in this area, but is certainly a step in the right direction and a really rewarding work experience.
I loved my time at Reading and one of the main reasons I decided to run was to make sure that hopefully as many people as possible have as much fun as I did. Working at RUSU full time instead of being a student doesn’t mean that the fun has to stop! As Engagement and Communications Officer, it’s your duty to engage students in the ‘Student Experience’and that means getting out and socialising. It’s a pretty diverse role, especially because you get to be both student and university facing. You might be at Wednesday night Flirt! promoting a campaign, and then straight in to a big University meeting with the big cheese himself (the Vice Chancellor) the next morning.
If you truly want to make the most out of your University experience and enhance life at Reading for the other 17000+ students here, you should definitely consider running in the 2015 RUSU elections for possibly the best job ever!
Find out all you need to know about elections at The RUSU Elections Website: https://www.rusu.co.uk/elections/