Posted on Wed 07 Feb 2018 at 15:10 by Adam Tomes
There are so many things you can get involved on campus to enrich your University experience: from student groups to part-time work, volunteering to student mentoring and much more besides! All of these activities can have a profound effect on your life and may well influence what you plan to do after University. Take a look at look at these brilliant students who prove that there is so much more to University life than just a degree.
I’m Will, a third year History & Political Science student and I¹m the Editor-in-Chief of Redbrick, the University of Birmingham’s official student paper. It’s a role that keeps me pretty busy. We’re one of a rapidly diminishing group of universities that still prints a physical copy of the paper, with Redbrick producing a 40 page edition every two weeks. I'm usually to be found in the Redbrick office in the basement of the Guild making amendments, layout changes and generally trying to run things with varying levels of success; thankfully Redbrick has a great team comprised of a nine-strong committee and over 30 section editors all focused on their own specific parts of the paper. It’s my job to bring all these people together to produce a coherent piece of work. I also deal with most of the administration of running a newspaper, including liaising with Shannon and others at the Guild and dealing with any legal problems. Beyond the paper I’m still a society chair at heart and with over 320 members Redbrick is certainly pretty demanding. Over the last term we’ve had numerous events and socials, including being a big part of the recent Media Ball, attended by six of the media groups here at Brum. In the previous year I¹ve tried to get my career in shape and have undertaken three internship placements including nine weeks last summer at Spark44 Birmingham, writing ads for Jaguar Land-Rover.
I’m Jemma, Chair of Amnesty International Society. I’ve been on the Amnesty International Society committee for three years – from Campaigns Manager, to Vice-Chair to Chair. My main role is to make sure everything is running smoothly, organising meetings and overseeing campaigns as well as leading the committee. Being part of the society has become a big part of my University experience – it’s built my confidence and I’ve met the most amazing, like-minded people. I think it’s been really important for my own wellbeing to have something to concentrate on and enjoy outside of my studies. Engaging with debates concerning human rights has helped me find what I really want to do. It has encouraged me to start a Masters in International Law, Ethics and Politics, and pursue a career in Human Rights Law. I will continue volunteering with Amnesty UK as a Country Coordinator and there are also opportunities to join local groups. It’s so important to speak up for what you believe in!
I’m Paul, a final-year Psychology student here at Birmingham and also Senior Assistant at Joe’s Bar. I¹ve worked at Joe’s for almost two years now and it’s been a massive part of my university experience. A part-time job has progressed my practical skills, built my confidence and has led me to make some great friends all whilst earning some additional income! Joe’s is at the heart of the Guild of Students. We run the University’s student night Fab in addition to sports and societies nights. As a senior assistant, I lead my team to ensure the customers are getting a quality experience from their student bar and club nights. This pushes me to develop professionally outside of academia and gives me a taste of being in the workforce.
I’m Matt, Vice President of Live Music Society and Treasurer of Underground Music Society. After being Events Officer and Social Media Secretary in previous years, I’m very proud to be serving my 3rd year on the Live Music Society committee as Vice President. Even though I was a somewhat shy fresher, I was eager to perform sets of my guitar (and vocal) chords. I came to a Live Music Society meeting in my first term at UoB, and quickly found myself at home. Within weeks I had discovered friends who I today consider extremely close and important to my music career in Birmingham. Despite initially lacking confidence I was full of ideas and keen to help grow this platform. I joined the committee and started getting involved in music in every possible avenue, and was incredibly lucky to meet a fellow Politics & International Relations student who taught me to DJ and quickly became my best friend here. Fast forward to now and I’m either playing or running an event every week (sometimes more!) and myself and 2 other mates have just sold out a 500 capacity launch party for our new record label, in our first serious, independent entrepreneurial venture. Societies have helped me to develop enormously as a person, teaching me invaluable transferable skills that I hope to use in a future career in music and politics. Find your people. Get involved. Having good mates, that you¹re united with by the love of your passions and interests, could change your life.