When I was asked to write about my experience as Vice President Education and Welfare and reflected about my time in office, I can honestly say it was the best job I have ever had.
When I started my third year, I was thinking about running but very often I would think that no one would vote for me so why should I bother? Well, I learnt so much just from the campaigning week that even if I had received zero votes I would still recommend the experience to you.
The elections process taught me so much in just a few weeks. Juggling my degree, extra activities and planning a campaign was scary, but once I thought about it and why I wanted to run it all seemed manageable. I wanted to run for the students that weren’t academically the best and needed someone who understood that to support them, the ones who were trying their hardest and the ones that just wanted to have a go. I am so pleased that I did and was given the opportunity to represent and support all students.
At first, the job seemed so scary. Everyone around me knew what they were doing and I felt like I was just fumbling through it, but once you get your handover from your exiting sabb and get your feet under the desk during the summer, it starts to fall in to place. Going into office, I knew I wanted to work on mental health campaigns, so I started planning and researching to make sure I could deliver the best support and campaigns possible. From there I learnt about so many other issues that students were faceing, so as a team we spent the summer planning what we wanted to do. You're never alone in this role and the team are always there to support you from ideas to execution to just brainstorming and getting it all down on paper.
The leadership skills I developed during my time as VPEW were amazing and they make up a big part of what I will take forward into future jobs. The Students' Union team are brilliant at making you the best version of you, the support you get during your time in office is second to none.
One of the things I loved was you can make your job your own. Of course, with VPEW there are certain meetings you will attend but there was never any pressure to be like past Sabb or this idea that you had big boots to fill. The role was entirely yours to do what you wanted and I loved that.
The role, this job, really helped shape me into the person I now am. The confidence I grew, the skills I learnt, and just the strength and resilience that I developed in my one year alone was one of the best things for me. I felt like I learnt and grew more in one year of being a Sabbatical officer than my whole degree.
Being a Sabb really is the best job you can ever do, I would highly recommend it to each and every one of you if you want to find a job that you will love every single day.
-Brooke Pilbeam, Vice President Education and Welfare 2019-2020.
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