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Representing and supporting students to develop and achieve

 Jump to a past Officer:

Harry Lonsdale, Students' Union President, 2019-20
Jade Haley, Students' Union President, 2016-17 and 2017-18
Wes Hudson, Students' Union President, 2014-2016
Euan Morrison, Vice President Education, 2017-18 and 2018-19
Lewis Arnold, Vice President Education, 2015-2016
Sam Harris, Vice President Education 2012-13
Lee Collyer, Vice President Student Experience, 2012-2014.
Famous Faces who were SU Officers (not necessarily at Worcester)

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Harry Lonsdale, SU President (2019-20)

Back in 2019, I decided I really wanted to be President of Worcester Students’ Union for one reason and this was to make a positive change for all students and to help everyone feel included. I felt it was important to make sure students are ultimately happy, can make new friends, have new opportunities and to have a great academic experience.

The campaign week itself was tiring BUT I met some amazing people through the process which was worth all the hard work! It was a great experience, and you develop your skills in campaigning, public speaking and how to represent others.

During my time as an Officer, I was able to run several different campaigns which were all supported by the fantastic SU staff. You can make this role your own and the more energy and passion you put into it, I promise you the more you can do and get out of it. I helped lead on a new wellbeing garden as well as the Hangar developments and the COVID-19 response for all students.

I am now in working for Worcestershire County Council in the Economic Growth and Investment team as a Project Officer. I work on a project called Enterprising Worcestershire which is aimed at helping new business start in the Worcestershire area managing different contracts, projects and social media campaigns. I think the main thing being President gave me which has helped me with this role is the ability to project manage several different things at once. This allows you to be as dynamic as possible which is something businesses are looking for more than ever now.

I could not recommend running for any of the officer positions highly enough as the skills and friendships I have gained from this will last a lifetime!

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Jade Haley, SU President (2016-17, 2017-18)

Being an Officer was undeniably the best thing I have ever done. If I had left University after my final year, I don't think I would have been half the person I am today if it hadn't been for being President. I got to do some of the most amazing things like discussing Tuition Fees live on Sky News and hosting a panel debate at the Hay Festival with the Vice Chancellor. Public speaking was something I constantly avoided before this role and over my two years in office, I found a new confidence for public speaking. My organisational skills improved significantly, and even my writing style improved from writing many, many, MANY reports. After my time in office, I gained an MSc in Forensic Psychology and I am now an Investigator for the Police in a Child Abuse Investigations department. I have been in this role for a year now and still utilise many skills I developed from being President.  I deal with the public on a daily basis, need to have high attention to detail and work collaboratively with many agencies. All these skills I have definitely came from my time in office and it really helped me feel more prepared for the real world. I think anybody considering running in the Elections should just take a leap of faith and go for it. Better to try than not try at all and even the campaigning element helped me gain skills which I then used in the role.

You are always 100% supported in the role from both the University and the Union. Working with Sophie and the Students' Union over the two years I was there is something I will never forget, and I know I will always look back and be proud of what we all achieved.

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Wes Hudson, SU President (2014-15, 2015-16)

Why I applied to be a Full Time Students’ Union Officer

I had a wonderful time whilst I was a Student at Worcester, because of this I ran to be an officer so I could help make changes and improve things for future students to ensure that they had a great student experience.

What I got out of it

Being an officer gave me a chance to meet many new people not just in Worcester but up and down the country and around the world. It gives you a nice feeling inside when you see the changes that you've made.

What I’m doing now

I've moved on to a larger Students' Union as a Student Engagement Coordinator. I organise Volunteering, Societies and Student Reps. They pay is quite good and is giving me a way of saving money to do a postgraduate course.

How being an SU Officer helped me get the job or prepared me for it.

Being an SU Officer is a great opportunity to learn new skills and develop the ones you already have. It gave me a great chance to bump up my CV and really get ahead of other people applying for jobs. 

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Euan Morrison, VP Education (2017-18, 2018-19)

As I went through University life, I found myself getting increasingly involved in the Students’ Union. In my first year, I was actively engaging in a few different clubs and societies and definitely enjoyed a trip to The Hangar (or Pear Tree as it was then). It was after the 2015 Full Time Officer elections that I started to think about the roles in the SU a bit more seriously. I then slowly found myself putting myself forward for more and more. First within the Rugby club as Secretary and Chair before running for a position on Student Council. Student Council was the thing that really got me interested in the internal workings of the Union and University and after a bit of encouragement the opportunity to work full time in that environment seemed too good to turn down, so I decided to run for Vice President Education!

I can say with certainty that I am a more rounded person as a result of the role. It gave me opportunities that you couldn’t match in any job in any sector. There are few roles in which you can leave University and from day one you are a Trustee of a Charity, Governor on the Board of a University and represent more people than your average local councillor! These are positions of a level that most people work for 10+ years to get too.  I have had such a variety of experiences from the role it’s difficult to put into words, I got to develop policies, speak in public and even engage in national politics. From delivering a Code of Practice for Academic Representation to leading Worcester Students at a political march of over a million people, the range of experiences alone has helped me focus on what I want to do in future jobs. I have a better understanding of what I enjoy, what I don’t and what I’m good at in the work environment. You find yourself in an incredible network of people and it’s a role that you get out what you put in. With the fantastic support the SU team provide there is loads you can achieve, as I felt I did!

Since leaving the Union I have completed a Masters in International Development at Utrecht University. As part of that, I undertook research into accessible public transport for people with disabilities in Bengaluru, India. I had considered this before I became VPE but the experiences I added to my CV from my time at the SU undoubtedly helped me receive an offer for the course and the opportunity to work and research in India.

I am now back working in Higher Education and am currently the Student Voice and Advocacy Coordinator at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Students’ Union. It’s a great sector to work in so I was excited to return! In the future, I am hoping to continue working within Students’ Unions as well as eventually having the opportunity to work in the development sector and apply all the skills I have developed within Students’ Unions!

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Lewis Arnold, Vice President Education (2015-2016)

Being Vice President Education was an amazing experience. The role provided me with the confidence and ability to interact with, and support, the student body at the University of Worcester. The Students' Union was a challenging and dynamic environment, and I was regularly exposed to opportunities that facilitated my development as a person and professional. Being able to work for, and alongside students daily was something I thoroughly enjoyed. 

Since leaving the SU, it has become apparent how important the role was for my employability as a young professional and my future career. I am now the Head of Rugby and a Teaching Fellow at the University of Worcester.  In these roles, I regularly call on my experiences as a sabbatical officer whilst supporting students here at the University.

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Sam Harris, Vice President Education (2012-13)

Why I applied to be an officer

I had been involved in Worcester SU throughout my degree as a trustee, on student council and as an NUS Delegate. It made the role of VP really appealing to me, and I got the bug for Student politics. It seems like a small world in Worcester, but I quickly realised that the SU Leadership have a massive impact on students’ lives every day. The Education portfolio was the one I was most interested as it’s the bread and butter of a University, and something that I wanted to put a mark on.
 

What I am doing now

I am Head of Talent for the National Union of Students.

What I got out of it

My whole career!

Like I said, I got the students’ union bug... Ultimately though, I learnt how to influence, negotiate, network, how to push myself out of my comfort zone and try new things. I also learned how to lead and how to be a good colleague, which has helped in every role. I’m now a member of the Leadership group at the National Union of Students. My role as Head of Talent involves leading my teams to deliver impactful Recruitment, Learning and Development and Talent Programmes at NUS and across the Student Movement. It means I get to work with amazing people every day, and lead passionate and dedicated teams.

How being an SU officer helped me get the job or prepared me for it

My whole career in learning and development started by changing the course rep training at Worcester SU. I realised how interested I was in training, and it went with me to my future role at a larger students’ union, and then ultimately to NUS where I started as a Learning and Development Consultant. Now I look back on it, I realise that the resilience I built, the confidence I gained and the skills that I picked up have stayed with me since my year as an officer and has ultimately helped me get to where I am today.

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Lee Collyer, Vice President Student Experience (2012-2014)

Why I applied to be a Full Time Students’ Union Officer

There were a few reasons why I applied to be a Full Time Students’ Union officer. Frankly, I underperformed in my degree. In such a competitive world of graduates all fighting for the same positions, and whilst I have no regrets about my experience, I felt that leaving University with an average degree wouldn’t be enough. It was during my final year that I really gave it serious thought and decided to go for it; a number of decisions had been made during my final year, in particular, that riled me, made me angry, upset and impacted upon my experience and the experience of many others. I wanted to make a difference and have a positive impact on students’ experience at University, and in the process bolster my CV. Hence, I campaigned to become Vice-President Student Experience.

What I got out of it

It sounds cliché, but the list really is endless. From the moment I started campaigning, I was developing myself and learning new things. I had never been one for putting myself in the spotlight; public speaking was never a strong point and I had to get over that pretty quickly if I wanted to be successful. From the first moment, I was out of my comfort zone. If I didn’t know already, the campaign process made me realise how passionate I was about a number of issues, particularly student groups and mental health. Once in office, I had to adapt to so many environments and situations – it all came thick and fast. One minute you a reporting to the Senior Leadership and Governors of the University, next you’re organising a student tour abroad, then you find yourself in a disciplinary meeting with a Student Group that has brought the University/Union into disrepute. It really does test your ability to adapt, you can’t be a passenger, and people all around you are looking to you for input, ideas and to make changes. The scope of things you can influence, create, lead on and improve is vast. When I look back now, I realise how so many things I learnt in the role have influenced my career and opened up so many doors.

What I’m doing now

Almost 3 years on I’m working for Creative Marketing Agency as an Account Executive for a huge Automotive client in the southern region of the UK. Since leaving the role I have held positions as an Assistant Leisure Centre Manager and Total Quality Manager of an Independent Cinema. Marketing, Leisure and Hospitality – people often ask me ‘How did you get into that?’, particularly my latest role which is a notoriously competitive industry, with no formal qualifications…

How being an SU Officer helped me get the job or prepared me for it.

It all stems back to my role as Vice-President, I had so many opportunities and experiences. In relation to marketing, I was continuously promoting events and campaigns via social media, building an audience, engaging with different groups, working with Graphic Designers to produce artwork for a host of events from Freshers’ week to Varsity and probably my proudest achievement and biggest legacy, the creation of #TeamWorc. I didn’t really think of it at the time, but I was marketing so many different things to appeal to a diverse group of people. The multitude of experiences of looking at something, evaluating it, critiquing and improving it is the same process that has given me an opportunity to be a manager in different industries. I never just accept that something is the way it is and that’s the way it will always be. It can always be improved. I’ll finish on my first point - Confidence. The experience gave me the confidence to walk into a room and convince them that I am the person for the role. Ultimately, I have been up against people far more experienced and educated than me, but now I have learned to articulate myself and apply my knowledge is largely owed to my time as an SU officer

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Famous Faces who were SU Officers (not necessarily at Worcester)