Hi, I’m Jess, your first ever Vice President Achievement and Belonging! I was a student at BNU studying Musical Theatre for two years and Dance and Performance as a Top-Up year, and then last year I was your Vice President Student Involvement.
Moving away from home to university was a nerve-racking experience. I lived in Windsor Halls in my first year and quickly settled in with my flat, we all came from different backgrounds, studying different things and it was great to be able to throw ourselves at everything that the Students’ Union had to offer. Going to Fresher’s fair and signing up for so many of the countless clubs and societies on offer was a real highlight of my first year. My advice for Fresher’s Fair is to sign up to as much as possible and really throw yourself into all the amazing free activities and then once you’ve given it a go, settle down into the ones that you’re more passionate about. There’s no joining fee or sign-up period so you can dip in and out of clubs and societies whenever you want!
Out of all the sign-ups I made, I ended up sticking to the Musical Theatre Society, BNU Dance Club, and Bucks Netball, taking part in the groups as a member and a committee member throughout all my three years at BNU. Being a part of these societies and clubs has honestly helped me have the best experience at uni. I got involved in all the volunteering activities I could alongside my society and teammates, as well as heading to The Venue for the classic Wednesday Frat House after a themed social. Being a part of these groups gave me the chance to socialise with friends and take a much-needed break away from the academic side of university.
Throughout my second year I started to venture out into the other opportunities the Students’ Union offers and became heavily involved in fundraising, volunteering and the Leadership Academy. By the end of my third year, I had been so involved in the Students’ Union, I’d racked up over 400 hours of volunteering, competed multiple times, taught the Men’s Rugby team ballet, helped fundraise thousands of pounds for our RAG Charities, been the weekly quiz host and stood in the Sabbatical Officer Elections.
With the Students’ Union having a genuine open-door policy, I’d often find myself sitting in the office, talking to the staff and other students, making new friends, developing new ideas, and often getting a lot of work done. Through the friendliness and support of the Students’ Union staff, I not only got through both my degrees but I also gained many transferable skills and grew as a person.
Being a Sabbatical Officer last year was just as rewarding as being involved with the Students' Union as a student. I got to work behind the scenes and build on the things I loved most as a student, as well as add my own flair to projects. When voting closed in the elections and the announcement was made that I had been elected in for a second year, I was so excited to be able to continue my time in office. I’ve already started planning lots of activities and events for all of our students to get involved in to help you make the most out of your uni experience.
- Jess Bradbury, Vice President Achievement and Belonging 2023-24