Leave your comfort zone

I’m Ioana, a third-year Airline and Airport Management student. When I started university, it was at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic during the lockdowns and travel restrictions, which was both not ideal and very exciting. This meant for me that I was stuck in halls and had to figure out a way to handle my free time. Since I didn't get the chance to enjoy the typical university student experience, I figured I should involve myself in activities organised by the Students’ Union, which eventually led me to find out about the rep opportunity.

Becoming a rep within the Aviation & Security School meant that I was able to leave my comfort zone and it helped me improve my confidence and problem-solving skills, which are very important in the aviation industry. Without becoming a rep, I wouldn't have known about the School Officer role and would not have had the confidence to become president of the Aviation Society. All these roles were possible by getting acquainted with the way the University and Students’ Union work together to provide a positive environment and lots of opportunities for the students across all campuses.

I would encourage everyone to show an interest in the rep role since it will help you to network your way through the university and will give you the chance to get even more involved in the activities organised by the Students’ Union and your respective School. Not only that, but you will also be able to improve the course you're on and help make changes for the better, for you and your cohort.

I believe my favourite moment so far since becoming a rep is being nominated as rep of the year at the annual Union Awards. I don't think I would have been able to achieve this, becoming a Gold accredited rep and being elected School Officer two years in a row without help from the Representation team. They were always there to support me in everything I needed and always made me feel like a valued member of the team. If you have the chance to become a rep for your course, then really you're already one step closer to getting more out of your university years.

- Ioana Filon, School Officer for Aviation and Security 2021-22.