Life in the student movement and extra-curricular activity started for me in 2012 when I was a student at Anglia Ruskin University. I was involved in societies, was a member of student staff across a couple of different departments and this all happened over a very short space of time. As time moved forward I only got more and more involved, supporting officers with campaigns, still doing all the society bits, continued my work as a member of student staff and then realised in my 3rd year that I wanted to give back what the Students’ Union gave me and I decided on a change of full time career.
I ran to be an officer at the end of my 3rd year and although I didn’t win, I didn’t give up there, but knew I had the desire to work in SUs particularly within Student Opportunities, for me it always about waiting for the right opportunity and then this role came up!
I was lucky enough to land my role here as the Societies and Activities Coordinator at ARU Students’ Union and I haven’t looked back since. My day to day can be anything from running a load of societies and recreational sports clubs, to running our GIAG scheme, driving students to the supermarket over Freshers or looking after a team of student staff responsible for moving thousands of students in each year, the list is endless! What I love about the job, is that ultimately you can shape the experience of thousands of students, and provide them with opportunities to benefit their overall outcome. Personally, I see nothing more rewarding! The other big thing is that working with staff within ARU Students’ Union and others in the movement makes for a really welcoming and thriving place to work. It is fun, enjoyable and as we are all working towards one goal, there is a huge sense of community.
Some other great opportunities consist of being able to work with university staff to develop excellent working relationships, as well as other internal and external stakeholders this is great personal development, and the opportunity to run a variety of large scale events on campus is a fantastic way of celebrating the different cultures of our students here at ARU. Being a university with a vast number of international students, this is really important.
Ultimately, what this role has given me is a career and something to be proud of. There is no better feeling than students telling you that you have made a difference to their student experience at university. For anyone thinking about taking a trip into the world of Student Opportunities or just SUs generally you won’t be disappointed, they really are great places to be!
Dan Fow – Societies & Activities Coordinator, ARU Students’ Union