AboutWe are Heriot-Watt University Student Union. We’re based at Riccarton and our main goal is to make sure that Heriot-Watt students have THE BEST TIME whilst studying here. We have a bar, café, nightclub and shop, plus we work with Students to make their time at Heriot-Watt the best it can be. You’ll join a friendly, hardworking and professional team and have a real opportunity to make a difference to our food and beverage operations.
We're looking for someone to boost our representation, democracy, activities and advice service using student insight to make sure we put students first, always.
This exciting position has arisen as one of our Senior Management Team is going on maternity leave in the summer. We’re not just looking for a caretaker, but someone who wants to join us and deliver our new 2030 strategy with passion, fun and challenge.
Focussing on leading the team to deliver our 2030 strategy (or as we call it the BIG PLAN), the role is a twelve-month minimum fixed-term contract to cover maternity leave – but genuinely has the autonomy, budget and magic to make things happen.
The role will take the strategic priorities that relate to the role and deliver the key actions for that year which are reported to the Trustee board via the annual LITTLE PLAN. The role also has the responsibility of taking data, insight and feedback and using that to enhance delivery of the BIG PLAN priorities, or to make changes to current operations or services.
However, and this is the exciting element, HOW the plan is delivered is up for discussion. We can’t deliver services in the same way and expect different results: Our students want choice, how and when they access our services, digital options, self-service as well as quiet spaces to connect, socialise and relax.
Like most Student Unions demand is growing, but for different services now than in 2018. We must transform our delivery.
Our representation and democracy have elements that can be traced back 900 years with Elections. But how can we make these more relevant? How do we increase engagement with the Union? Do our new students know why we exist and how we can help?
We can’t rely on ‘what we used to do’ we must have actionable insight that makes a tangible difference to the student experience.
There is also the wider Senior Management team responsibility – we’re a small team so sometimes its sleeves rolled up for a colleague’s priority that will always benefit a student – if it doesn’t, we question why not?
This Job description doesn’t have 36 bullet points, but it does have 36+ people in the Union wanting you to make a difference by challenging the norm.
WHO ARE WE LOOKING FOR?
We are looking for someone to lead and operationally manage some key areas in our Student Engagement area:
- Representation and Democracy
- Academic representation: advocating for the interests and concerns of students in academic matters, helping students have a say in shaping their educational experience and that their perspectives are considered
- Advice and Support through our Advice Hub
- Societies and Volunteering
- Events (non-commercial) and activities
- The annual election to appoint our Full Time Officers (Sabbaticals) and Members of Parliament, and potentially support the FTO team during their time in office
We are looking for some specific skills and experience but more than that, a superstar who wants to make a difference.
It’s worth noting that we are genuinely interested in hiring an individual who is keen to accelerate our plans to be relevant for our students and not frightened to open new doors and deliver in new and exciting ways.
We are keen that we use data, insight and feedback to evaluate existing services and use the same intelligence to shape, design and deliver new services that are relevant to students today and if you have a crystal ball – the future too!
In addition, developing and growing your network with our university colleagues is critical.
WHO ARE WE?
We are Heriot-Watt University Student Union. We’re based in Edinburgh, recognised as the Best City in the World by Time Out magazine in 2022. We are a campus-based Union set in around 380 acres of countryside, yet only a short bus ride into the City Centre.
At Heriot-Watt University Student Union we have one simple purpose… putting students first, always! We are led by elected student officers, who are guided and supported by staff to make sure students are represented across all areas of university life. We also offer students opportunities to expand their skills and stand out to future employers, while building meaningful and lifelong connections and friendships.
The Student Engagement Department is here to make sure the student experience is the best it can be for the 10,800 students across our three Scottish campuses by delivering advice, opportunities and representation – all of which are key parts of our 2030 BIG PLAN.
We’re a great bunch of people and we want you to succeed in this role. You’ll be part of the Senior Management Team as well as leading the Student Engagement Team on an operational and line management basis.