With the end of winter and the start of spring on the horizon, many students will already be stressing over exams or planning for the coming Summer. This being said, March is the time when many universities will be holding their union elections for society representatives. Whether you’re a footballing-fresher year or a second-year salsa dancer, you may well have what it takes to be your society’s next treasurer, captain, or social sec. This year I served as the race team captain for my university sailing club and I’m here to share with you 4 ways it benefited me and why you should think about running for a position.
1. You can drive change in your club
Firstly, being on committee gives you a great chance to shape your society in your image. If you want to take your club in a different direction or organise new events, being on committee is the perfect way to make changes. In the words of Cardiff University Students Union president Claire Blakeway ‘If you don’t like how something is working you can change it’. For me, I felt that our sailing team would benefit from more class room-style theory sessions. I hosted several of these and our results at competitions improved (hopefully) as a result!
2. It looks great on your CV
A societal committee position will make your job applications stand out to employers. It demonstrates a great many skills and shows you to be someone who devotes time to the causes that you believe in. This year I had to work on my time-management to balance training sessions and competitions with deadlines and reading. I also developed as a leader, often having to pick the team up after bad results. I even saw an internship with Amazon, asking specifically for university sports club captains or presidents so it really is something employers will look for.
3. Great way to get closer with club members
One thing I have found to be (somewhat) true since coming to university, is that the longer you spend hanging out with people, the better friends you become with them. Spending time working with your committee members is a great way to get closer with likeminded students and in sailing we went out for drinks after meetings more often than not. Many of my closest friends are on the sailing committee and I’ve found it to be a great way to make new pals.
4. It brings variety to your uni life
University can become a rather repetitive blend of lectures and seminars if you restrict your activities to the purely academic. Getting involved in issues and discussion outside of your course is a great way to add a bit of variety to your university experience. I found it to be a great way of taking my mind off deadlines and how much work I (should) be doing!
Being a societal committee member is a hugely rewarding experience. It allows you to develop your club and gain skills which will stay with you for the rest of your life. I’d highly recommend you get putting together your manifestos, writing speeches and getting voters! It’s your university experience and it only happens once.
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