You can find out more about our current SU Officers here.
Here are a few reflections from previous SU Officers on their year in office and what it has meant to them.
Being SU President gave me so many opportunities - writing strategies, planning campaigns, leading a team, the list is a long one. It was an amazing chance to make a genuine change for the better to the student experience but it also set me up very well for the career ahead of me; particularly giving me valuable early insight into leadership and how to drive change.
I am now Commercial Director for Birmingham Museums Trust, I head up our Trading Company and have leadership for our 6 historic properties. In my spare time I run Living For The Weekend Ltd the company behind Birmingham Cocktail Weekend, Birmingham Wine Weekend and, new for 2020, Birmingham Restaurant Festival.
The best thing about being a sabb was the opportunity to fully live out the student experience whilst getting paid and not having to go to lectures! I gained great professional experience and had a fantastic time with great people. It made me much more confident in both my personal and professional life. And hopefully we improved the overall student experience at Bath too.
After the sabb year, I had a year in industry as part of my course in Madrid and came back for my final year. I embarked on a global career in banking after graduating for close to a decade. Lately I’ve pivoted to the startup world, initially working for two Silicon Valley-based unicorns launching new international markets. I’ve lived and worked in 9 countries across 5 continents, and recently moved to the US where I’ve launched my own startup.
I seem to have hardly any photos from my sabb days…. Probably not a bad thing after some questionable fashion and grooming choices!
I was Vice President (Student Support) and the role focused on welfare/campaigns in 2000/01. I graduated in Summer 2000 in Modern Languages (German and French) with European Studies.
When I finished my sabbatical year, I secured a job in the City in London, working for one of the world’s biggest tax firms. I soon realised that it wasn’t for me and came back to Bath to complete a PGCE and I am now in my 17th year of teaching. My current role is Assistant Headteacher in a fairly large secondary school in charge of the school’s curriculum, timetable and I am Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead among other minor roles.
I was active with my teaching union (ATL) for several years until it amalgamated with the NUT to form the National Education Union (NEU), Europe’s biggest education union. I am now on its National Executive having stood in the elections last year to the inaugural executive.
In terms of skills I gained during sabb ... I guess you’re in a privileged position of making some significant decisions at quite a young age so I guess I recognised that you have to respect people’s experience regardless of their role. I think it gave you excellent opportunities to lead on projects and oversee events and in turn developed leadership skills. The year can be quite intense, especially living and working on campus. Work becomes your home and home becomes your work so it’s important to know how and when to switch off which is a skill for life as you have to have a healthy work-life balance. I also think it helps develop team working skills and decision making skills.