What’s it like to be an Executive Officer at Loughborough Students’ Union
If the Rachel four years ago could look ahead and see herself as the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Executive Officer, she would think you’re lying!
Hi, I’m Rachel Wan, one of the elected Executive Officers over at Loughborough Students’ Union. My responsibilities include:
- Being the student representative in stakeholder groups including various working groups at the University
- Leading on all things equity, diversity, inclusion, welfare and mental wellbeing at LSU and Loughborough University
- Empowering the Welfare & Diversity Committee at LSU
- Acting as a member on the Board of Trustees of LSU (as it is a charity!)
I’m from Hong Kong and this is my sixth year in the UK. I graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Retailing, Marketing and Management and did a marketing placement at StudentCrowd. But in my free time, I like café hopping with a good book and company.
Now, you might ask – how did I get into a high-level leadership role at the age of 22?
As part of the democratic process of electing executive officers of a Student Union, I nominated myself during the Exec Election process that begins in March. I campaigned to my fellow students on why I felt I was the best candidate for the role and was voted in.
Throughout my university years, I also dedicated a lot of my spare time to volunteering with LSU in the roles of Vice Chair of a society, Course Rep and International Officer within the Welfare & Diversity section.
So what does a normal day look like for me?
I’m going to be that annoying person and say no two days are the same. This role is very dynamic and it changes depending on the priorities, so you need to be adaptable. But a lot of my role includes:
- Voicing student interests in meetings with external stakeholders and Loughborough University
- Chairing Welfare & Diversity meetings
- Raising student concerns
- Strategising and implementing the EDI Enabling Strategy at LSU
- Working with students to make Loughborough a welcoming and vibrant community
If this sounds exciting to you, this could be the role for you!
This job is great because you’re only in post for a year so you really get the motivation to just put your foot on the pedal. The most important aspect of this role is being empathetic, especially when dealing with sensitive issues that you might not have gone through before. Most of the time, the best you can do is provide a lending ear and it will mean the world to someone.
I also really enjoy the culture of working in LSU, the atmosphere is very fast-paced. It’s a great vibe in the office and we look out for each other!
Freshers is always a hectic fortnight, but I really enjoyed welcoming students to campus as it was quite quiet when I started the role in the summer. My goal was to just be here, there and everywhere to make sure my face was out there so students know where to go when they need support. My favourite part of the role so far is the variety of tasks I get to take on, I tend to get bored fairly easily so various tasks keep me motivated.
My best advice is to go for it! I remember doubting myself and not sure if this is what I want. But someone said to me: “You’ll regret not running. You’ll keep on thinking oh what if I did, and oh I could’ve.”And this is my same advice for you.
If this is something you’re interested in, feel free to send me an email at email@example.com if you want to learn more about the role or to shadow me for a day.
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