Hannah Winslade – Student Voice and Democracy Coordinator at University of Westminster Students’ Union / Student Associations details her experience of what it was like to tutor on this years’ Lead and Change course.
What made you apply to be a tutor at this year’s Lead and Change course?
Every year I send officers begrudgingly off to Lead and Change (normally involving early starts and lots of coffee), and every year Officers come back inspired and more ready for the year ahead then any internal induction can. I ask them thoughts on how to solve a concern we’ve had come up, and they instantly put the problem into a group chat and have answers from all across the country. I wanted to be part of it, and what I could learn from what the NUS is doing.
What did you enjoy most about your tutor experience?
Honestly hearing from my tutees and the incredible work they were already doing across the country, despite only being a few weeks into their term of office. The humility and compassion in the way they spoke about complex topics really renewed my faith in why I do what I do, especially in the trying times of COVID-19.
What have you taken away from the delivering the training to incoming elected officers, and has it changed the way you work?
The biggest takeaway I got was the importance of having a peer network who know and understand what you are going through, that you can feel safe and supported by. However well I delivered the content, I know the most important time for my tutor group was the time they spent discussing together and sharing their stories. Sometimes I feel we move too fast in the movement, we tell people what they need to know, without giving them time to sit and discuss that information and come up with innovative ideas to solve it. Conversations really matter, so I am now taking more time to ensure both I have those conversations with my peers, I give others time to have those conversations on the projects I lead and encourage my officer team to continue those conversations too.
If you could give one piece of advice to inspire those thinking of applying to tutor at future Lead and Change courses, what would it be?
Honestly, just go for it. I’ve looked at it for a few years, but never thought I was qualified enough, and it could only be done by Senior Managers and CEOs! If you have a passion for the development of our movement, then you have all of the experience you need, and you will do fantastically.
If you could give one piece of advice to inspire those thinking of applying for a role in the movement, what would it be?
Students’ Unions / Student Associations are unlike every other workplace, for all the right reasons. By the age of 24 I’ve been a project manager, volunteer manager, trainer, facilitator, administrator, researcher…and queen of karaoke. If you’re ready for variety, care passionately about the society in which we live, and are up for a laugh, Students’ Unions / Student Associations will give you far more experience (and motivation to actually go to work) than any grad scheme or big company.
– Hannah Winslade, Student Voice and Democracy Coordinator – University of Westminster Students’ Union / Student Associations