Written by Natalie Webster, third-year English Literature student and current Blog Editor.
During my time at Chester I have been the Communications Officer for Swing Dance Society (14-15), the Vice President for Chester University Thespian Society (15-16) and then President for the Thespian Society (16-17). CUTS is actually a society that was founded by myself and some friends and we have put on three successful Shakespeare plays and a short play festival since it began. I have gained invaluable experience from these positions and would like to share what I’ve learnt.
- Time management
Never in your life will a hobby take up so much of your time! Being a committee member is usually a task that you’re extremely passionate about; you want to provide the best experience for all members of your sport or society. However, you also have a degree to do! You might also have part-time work and other volunteering activities, so it becomes difficult to squeeze everything in. Having to prioritise, delegate and compromise are key skills you learn from this and skills you can take forward into your career.
- Transferable skills
Throughout my time as a committee member I have learnt how to make and keep to a budget; advertise and promote; utilise social media; liaise with off-campus companies and charities; negotiate with the Student Union and every stage of planning and organising events. I have taken away so many skills from these activities that I believe will be invaluable to my future.
- Having fun / getting things done
Sometimes when you’re having a committee meeting, you just want to chat about nonsense, drink coffee and eat party rings. However, there are things that you need to get done so finding a balance is essential. Work hard, play hard.
If you’re a committee member, and especially if you’re the president, it falls to you to ensure that your sport or society is successful. You will be responsible for the wellbeing of your members during activity sessions, and are the one responsible if anything goes wrong. You need to make sure that you are on the ball with registers, health and safety checks, room bookings and all of the other admin that allows a group to run smoothly. Though it may seem daunting, it’s a brilliant first step into the world of responsibility.
It may all seem like a lot of hard work, but the benefits by far outweigh the costs. If you weren’t there running the sport or society, it would not exist! You facilitate the group that allows yourself and others to enjoy the past-time that they love. When an event goes well, you raise money for charity, or even if one of your members says ‘thank you’, it all becomes completely worth it. There are even awards nights run by the SU to reward your work and commitment.
If you’ve never been a committee member and are considering it – just go for it! If you are a committee member, remember all of these skills that you have learnt and make sure to mention them in applications and interviews.
Are you a University of Chester student that would like to share your experiences? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas!