Sabbatical Officers: where are they now? Steph Wearne, VP Education 2015 - 2017


Steph Wearne, VP Education 2015 - 2017

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 Sabbatical Officer is the only full-time, salaried, representative role at UPSU, but these Officers rely heavily on the student feedback collated by part-time representatives, such as Course Reps, School Reps and Part-Time Officers, to ensure that the student voice is heard. If you're currently a part-time representative, why not consider taking your role a step further and nominate yourself for one of the Sabbatical Officer roles?

Read more about Steph's experience as a Sabbatical Officer and how her role as a School Rep led her to consider a role in the Sabbatical Officer team.



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

Hi, I’m Steph Wearne and I was the VP Education for two years from 2016 - 2018 plus Deputy President in 2016 - 2017.

Find out more about the role of VP Education here.

What did you study?

I studied History.

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

Having been a School Rep, I had experience of the representation model at the SU and Uni, and wanted a bigger slice of the pie. I also worked with the VP Education at the time and saw the great work she was doing, and I thought her job looked cool!

I was toying with the idea of nominating myself but the fear of failure stopped me, until I received an anonymous nomination. It was that nomination, and the idea that one person believed I could do it, that made me go for it!

What are you doing now?

I work as a Quality Assurance Compliance Controller for a soft drinks manufacturer in Exeter. I work as part of the team in a lab/factory who make your drinks safe to consume! I also run a small bakery business called Smuffins Bakery, specialising in celebration cakes.

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

Public speaking is without a doubt the most invaluable skill I learnt as a Sabb and 100% helped me get to where I am today. I had very little experience of it before, you might have even said I was a bit shy, and the next thing I knew I was delivering a speech to a Graduation ceremony! It’s something I didn’t learn from my degree, and I am so grateful to the SU and the students for giving me a lifelong skill that I do cherish. On a side note, a person who I networked with during my time at the SU ended up giving me my first job in the food and drink industry which has led me to where I am now!

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

My advice to anyone who is thinking of running is: ask the current position holder about their role, research other SU’s and Sabb's manifestos for inspiration, and ultimately just take the risk and go for it! You’ll have the best year/ two years of your life and if you’re lucky like I was, you’ll get to spend your time in a room full of puppies!


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