How did it feel to be appointed as the Biology School Rep?
I have always been the shy, introvert type. So, putting myself out there as a School Rep meant equal parts a challenge for my self-confidence and professional growth. The knowledge of my newfound role filled me with giddy anticipation and nerves. Luckily, I was not going to do this role alone. There were going to be two Biology School Reps. Now, six months into my role, I am able to see the long way I have come both as a person and an academic representative.
How would you describe your key responsibilities as a School Rep?
My first action as a School Rep was to build a reliable working relationship with the Course Reps of my School. Our mutual communication has been decisive in the effective opening and closing of the student-staff feedback loop. Not only I am a student rep, but also an international student. Due to this, one of my main goals was to improve the inclusion and representation of international students. At every meeting I attend, I always make sure to voice the perspective of international students. I actively seek feedback from students coming from abroad and include them in all conversations. I also chose to collaborate and take part in the Global Community Committee. In this group, we help in the planning of events for international students to foster friendships and inclusion within the social circles of the School of Biology.
As a School Rep, I have also been in charge of being the chair of Student-Staff Partnership Forums. Which, let me tell you, are one of the most challenging things I have done so far. As a chair, you are at the centre of the meeting and you dictate how the meeting goes. You give people the chance to voice their feedback or questions. You make sure to cover the agenda and keep track of time so the meeting doesn’t run too long.