What’s does your role involve?
My role is Opportunities Manager at Nottingham Trent Students’ Union, which means I am responsible for leading on the engagement of students in extra and co-curricular opportunities at NTSU. This involves societies, communities, volunteering and give it a go which are delivered by four full time staff members, across multiple campuses who I support and manage. My day to day responsibilities vary depending on the demands of the department and organisation, and what time of year it is!! I jump in-between supporting my staff, delivering my projects, budgetary responsibilities and working with key partners in the institution and wider organisation.
What’s the best thing about it?
For me, the best thing about my role is being able to work directly with students’ and to witness the impact student opportunities has on their lives, skills and overall experience. There is nothing more rewarding then watching a student set up a society or volunteering project, who is really shy and nervous, yet a year or two down the line has become confident in their abilities and is delivering great opportunities for their fellow students.
I also really enjoy thinking strategically about the department and what needs to be done to increase engagement and how we can deliver excellent opportunities for our members – here at Trent we have a lot of freedom to think outside the box and try new things.
How did you get here?
I studied my undergraduate at Manchester Metropolitan University (Cheshire Campus) and was really involved in my SU, I was a member of a sports team, a course rep and worked in the SU Shop. When I graduated I become VP Education then subsequently President of The Union, MMU. I loved working in a SU and because of the reasons I highlighted in the best thing about my job – I decided I wanted to stay in the student movement as a staff member. I worked at Birmingham City University Students’ Union for 3 years as a Student Group Development Coordinator, supporting societies and sports team leaders, then went for a management position at NTSU.
What’s was the most helpful piece of learning you picked up along the way?
Don’t take yourself too seriously, and understand that some things are out of your control. When you work in student opportunities, a lot of what you do and how successful it is, is in the hands of students’ – sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t! Brush it off, learn from it and make it better the next time you do it.