How running in a Bristol SU election could benefit you

The SU election period is here, and we thought it would be useful to look at how students can get involved with this process, focusing on employability and careers.

Nominations for the Bristol SU Elections have officially opened and will remain open until midnight on Thursday 28 February!

The nominations are for the main Bristol SU elections which will take place in March, electing Full Time Officers, Chairs of Networks, Chair of Student Council, Faculty Reps, returning Course Reps and Student Trustees. Find out more here.

What kind of impact can you have? This year officers have (among other things!):

  • Developed the SU Living Room in Senate House as an on-campus space for students to relax, eat their own food and connect with each other
  • Increased the number of sports in intramural leagues
  • Abolished Saturday exams

So, how can you become more employable throughout the process?

Step 1. Nominate yourself

Nominating yourself for an elected position demonstrates proactivity and determination. It shows that you care about your fellow students and that you are committed to working towards a better student life. Learning how to back yourself and your ability to do a great job, whether it’s as a course rep, a network chair, or as full-time officer, is a great way to build confidence and push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Step 2. Put together a manifesto

Writing a manifesto is a great example of research and commercial awareness skills. To get people to vote for you, you’ll need to focus on the issues that they care about, which means researching what Bristol students want from their university experience. You’ll need to talk to people, keep an eye on student media, and perhaps increase your knowledge about what’s happening in higher education across the country.

Step 3. Campaign!

Campaigning helps develop a huge set of skills. You’ll be improving your communication skills by canvassing for votes, your teamwork and management skills by organising a campaign team, your innovation skills as you think of new and exciting ways to reach students with your message, and throughout the campaign period you’ll develop your perseverance as you work towards a goal.

Step 4. The results are in!

When it comes to careers and employability, this whole process will be incredibly useful in your life after university. If you win your election, then you have the chance to enact change and represent your fellow students. You’ll engage with a range of stakeholders including senior staff at the university, and take on new responsibilities. You could develop your organisation skills, your negotiating and influencing, and your problem-solving ability.

If you don’t win your election, then you’ll have great examples of a time where you improved your resilience and learned from setbacks. You can reflect on what you did, be proud that you put yourself out there, and campaigned to the best of your ability. You can still get involved in representing your fellow students, and continue to make personal impact in the student movement.

Find out more about the elections and nominate yourself here, and ‘like’ Bristol SU on Facebook to stay up to date throughout the nomination and campaign period.