Each and every student has a unique perspective on student life, experiences, passions and priorities.
James worked for the Students' Union for a number of years before he ran to become a Sabbatical Officer. Working for us gives you an insight into how certain areas of the organisation work and can shape your vision on what's working or what could work better. If you're currently employed by UPSU or by the University of Plymouth, why not consider taking your experience a step further and nominating yourself for a full-time role leading the Students' Union?
Read more about James' career post-UPSU and how he took the leap to work for himself and follow his dream.
What’s your name, what was your role and when were you in the position?
Hi, my name is James Stoner and I was Vice President Activities in 2015 - 2016
Find out more about the VP Activities role here.
What did you study?
I originally studied BEd Primary Teaching but changed to BSc Events Management and graduated in 2015.
Why did you nominate yourself/why did a friend nominate you?
After many years of working within the SU as the nightclub photographer at the time, many friends, course mates and housemates suggested I should at least try in the SU elections, I didn’t expect to win mind you, so it was a pleasant surprise!
What are you doing now?
In the Autumn of 2016, 3 months after my Sabbatical year ended, I decided to take my photography and videography business full time. I spend my time now capturing content for events and businesses, festivals and weddings, on the ground and from above as a fully qualified drone operator.
What skills from this role helped you get to where you are now?
This role most certainly helped with public speaking, but I would say it was more beneficial in helping me to articulate my point and to stand up for what I believed in as a student representative at the time. The role at the time had a bit more focus on student media, which as a photographer and filmmaker, was right up my street. It really helped me to see where I could take my own career alongside trying to grow student media outlets too.
What advice would you give someone who is studying at the University of Plymouth who is thinking of running?
If you want to run, even just considering it slightly, just do it! The experience is amazing, you get to meet so many people, from your fellow running mates and other candidates to hundreds of students, society and club committee members, it's great to network. However, the most important thing to do when running a campaign is to be yourself. Good luck!
Nominate yourself now! Suggest a Student
Nominations are open until midday on Friday 4th February. For an informal chat about any of the four roles come along to our Thinking of Running session or get in touch with the Student Voice team here