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Societies Officer, Mia Terra, talks us through standing in a committee election.

councilPolitics Societypresident student experienceSocietiesstudent experienceWomen in Business Society

Check out Mia's takeover video on the benefits of being a committee member over on our IGTV channel now.

Transcript below:


Hi Everyone, I’m Mia Terra, I’m the Societies Officer for the SU this year and I have popped on quickly to give you guys an incentive to stand in a committee election.  

So, I’ve been on quite a few committees over the last few years of my time at, I am an Exeter student, I do politics. So, in my first year I went to lots of society events (this was obviously pre Covid, so stuff was face-to-face), got involved with lots of different stuff, had a really good time, made loads of friends outside of my course and outside of the people I lived with - which was really useful.  

In my second year, I ended up joining the committee of the Politics Society, of which I was President. I was Vice President of Women in Business Society which was also really great. This was before Covid had kicked off again at the beginning of my second year, so we kind of did loads of really cool face-to-face events for both of the societies. We did loads of Freshers events - we did a really successful wine and cheese night with lots of other political societies which was really useful and we had a great time overall.  

I really enjoyed being on both societies, I felt like I got a lot from both of the roles - both of them were quite different, obviously quite different societies. It was really good taking more of a leadership role as President of a society. And more of a supportive role as a Vice President of a society. I found that I really managed to kind of hone some skills that have been really useful later on in my degree and coming out of my degree now.

Applying for jobs:  

So most of the examples that I have used in job interviews or applications and things have been from outside of my course. So it’s been from being part of a society or being in a leadership role - so I would really recommend it. It can seem kind of quite big and scary when you’re thinking ‘oh my gosh I’m going to be President of a society’ but you’ve got all the SU team behind you supporting you. You’ve got the SU Presidents and the President Student Experience who is your go to person as a committee member. You’ve also hopefully got the rest of your committee who are really useful and definitely utilise your committees because you can do so much more with so many more people rather than trying to do everything yourself. That’s definitely a big piece of advice I’d give.
Covid, I think, has made societies have to adapt a lot, it’s been quite challenging still being part of a society during Covid and trying to adapt what we do to an online environment definitely has it’s challenges. I would say to any first years or anyone that hasn’t been on a committee before, for whatever reason, if you are considering it, please please stand! It’s honestly the best thing you can do for your university experience!
Stuff has been really tough over the last year and Covid has impacted a lot of peoples degrees in a lot of different ways and it's going to be so lovely when things can go back to “normal” when restrictions get eased a little bit more and we feel like things are a little bit more normal. Hopefully you do have lots of societies that you know you can go to their events, you can help organise their events and we really want to try and get back that community student feeling that we had previously to Covid. I think everyone, including the students, are aware that’s not going to come back straight away, and it definitely is going to take some work, but I think we are definitely up to the challenge.
It’s been so rewarding being part of societies over the last few years and in my final year I was on the committee, I was still President of the Politics Society, and we’ve been a little bit nocturnal this year due to Covid reasons however, we shall be continuing next year so anyone that’s interested, committee elections will be open for that probably in October/September for the new committee.
And yes, my number one take-away for anyone listening to this is if you are interested in standing for any sort of leadership role and not just societies or committees but for being a Rep or a member of the Student Council or any other kind of committees that the SU runs please put yourself forward for the role.  
If you’re nervous drop someone a message on the committee, people are so lovely, it’s as easy as dropping someone a message or an email, going for a zoom coffee, or maybe a socially distanced coffee if you’re able to wherever you are. Have a discussion about why you want to be on that committee and gain some insight into what you can learn from that committee.It’s been one of the most rewarding things I have done during my time at university. I would really recommend it to anyone that’s interested.  

If anyone does have any kind of questions right now, I can see the comments so do pop a comment in there. If no one does do not worry, if you think of anything afterwards feel free to get in touch with me or with Amelia who’s the Student Experience President this year or anyone else at the SU to have a chat about what you are considering standing for.  Hopefully we’ll be able to make you feel supporting in making that manifesto or running for that position. It’s been a really positive thing that’s majorly contributed to be being able to have a really fulfilled experience at university.
So I can’t see any questions or comments coming in at the minute, so I think I’m going to leave it there.  

Thank you very much everyone for joining, I think the SU are going to be doing a few more of these with other Part-Time Officers related to student activities and societies over the next couple of weeks, so definitely keep an eye out for those.
Hopefully see some of you as committee members next year!

- Mia Terra, Societies Officer


You can check out Mia's takeover video on our IGTV channel



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