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Sabbatical Officers: where are they now? Maja Smith, VP Education 2017-2019

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The Sabbatical Officer team are an essential part of the representation system at the University of Plymouth and are the highest level of student representatives in the Students' Union. 

The role of a Sabbatical Officer is truly unique and full of variety, and the best part is: you get to shape your goals within your role to align with your values and make a difference in areas you believe stand in need of change. You will achieve this as a member of the Students’ Union Trustee Board and therefore entrusted to develop the strategic direction of the Students’ Union on behalf of every student at the University. 

Read more about Maja's experience as a Sabbatical Officer and how her time in office helped to build her confidence and help land her current position at the University of Plymouth.



What’s your name, what was your role and when were you in the position?


Maja Smith and I was Vice President Education between 2017 and 2019.  

Find out more about the role of VP Education here.


What did you study?


I studied Primary Education in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business


Why did you nominate yourself/why did a friend nominate you?


I was Union Council chair and School Rep during my studies and loved being able to help create meaningful change for students not just within my faculty. 

I worked as Student Staff at the SU bar and was encouraged to put forward a nomination. 


What are you doing now?


I am now a Market Insight Officer at the University of Plymouth, helping deliver data and insights to support the Universities strategic direction.   

What skills from this role helped you get to where you are now?


My confidence is something that I really worked at during my time as a Sabbatical Officer. The UPSU Student Voice Team were so supportive in helping be to be able to develop personally and professionally. My time as a Sabb strengthen my resilience and made me much more adaptable to change as no two days are the same. 


What advice would you give someone who is studying at the university of Plymouth who is thinking of running?


It just takes ten seconds of madness!

I have been so thankful to come away from my time as VP Education with friends for life, and an opportunity to really reflect on what I wanted to do as a career.



Nominations are open until midday on Monday 6th February 2023. 


For an informal chat about any of the four roles come along to our Thinking of Running session on February 2nd, 13:00 - 13:30 over Zoom


If you have any questions or want advice, please get in touch with the Student Voice team here.