Every year University of Plymouth students decide who they want to represent them for the next academic year as part of their Sabbatical Officer team.
These four roles are made up of current University of Plymouth students who nominate themselves and stand in an election that is decided by a campus-wide ballot. If you're a current student who is interested in making a difference to the lives of other students, who wants to learn and develop new skills in a truly unique role or who feels that they could make the Students' Union a better place for students - then we want to hear from you.
If you're considering a role and wondering where this could take you, check out our interviews with previous Sabbatical Officers here.
What’s your name, what was your role and when were you in the position?
Hi, my name’s Sarah and I was the UPSU President from 2013 – 2015.
Find out more about the role of President here.
What did you study?
I studied Media Arts from 2010 – 2013, with a focus on photography.
Why did you nominate yourself/why did a friend nominate you?
I was a Course Rep for Media Arts in my first year at university, then I was elected as the School Rep for Arts and Humanities in my second and third year. It was during this time that I realised I had a passion for making changes within the University and supporting other students to campaign for the things that we wanted to see happen. Within my Rep roles, I was supported by the SU and the Education Officer at the time, so it was after talking to them about the elections that I was inspired to nominate myself for the President role. To be honest, I didn’t fully know what I was letting myself in for, but I wouldn’t change a thing – it’s probably one of the best experiences I’ve had as it helped me to realise what kind of career I wanted for myself, I made incredible friends and it has undoubtedly equipped me for the jobs I’ve had since.
What are you doing now?
I’m now the Head of Partnerships for The Prince’s Trust. We are a youth charity, supporting people into work, education, training and self-employment. I initially started as an Enterprise Executive, supporting people to start their own businesses but after four years of working at The Trust, I’ve worked my way up to the post I’m in now where I work closely with the Department of Health and Social Care to create pre-employment programmes for people who are interested in a career within the NHS or Social Care.
What skills from this role helped you get to where you are now?
My role at the SU gave me a huge amount of confidence. When I was a student I could barely stand in front of my own class to give a presentation but the elections really pushed me out of my comfort zone and showed me what I’m capable of. And that was just the start. Over the two years, I learned so much from my colleagues at the SU and University. They helped me to develop professionally and personally, and I was able to figure out what I was passionate about and what I wanted to achieve. I got an insight into HR, governance, strategy, finance, marketing, brand, communications, public relations, management, the list could go on and on. All of which has absolutely helped me get to where I am now.
What advice would you give someone who is studying at the University of Plymouth who is thinking of running?
Do it! It’s as simple as that. You never know where it could lead you, what it would teach you, the experiences it could give you. And after all, what have you got to lose? Even if you run in the elections and don’t win, it’s still an incredible experience – so make the most of the opportunity and just give it a go. Best of 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