June 3, 2014, by Beth Dawson

‘University is one of the shortest chapters of our lives’ – what will your story be?

Will 1 (2)By Will Knapp, Activities Officer, The University of Nottingham Students’ Union 

“If you leave university with just a scroll and a few letters after your name; we’ve wasted your time, and ours”. 

I first heard this said when I began my time as The University of Nottingham Students’ Union Activities Officer and I couldn’t agree more. University is one of the shortest chapters in our lives, yet it makes one of the largest impacts, both personally and professionally. By getting involved with the range of activities that are available here at Nottingham, you’ll have the opportunity to learn something new, develop your skills and enhance your CV.

As a student I studied history, but it’s what I did outside my course that shaped my university experience.

I was Vice President of my Junior Common Room Committee, a member of the Karnival Exec in 2012 and on the committees for both the History Society and Lego Society. I also led adventure challenges to Paris and Machu Pichu. Ultimately, it was these experiences that led me to run for the position I’m currently in and the lessons I’ve learnt from these roles will undoubtedly help me when taking the next steps in my career.

Here at Nottingham, we’re incredibly lucky to have such a wide range of activities available to every student

Some examples of what we have to offer, include:

With all of these activities, you are able to take on as much – or as little – responsibility as you’d like. From active participation through to being a committee member, all levels of involvement can have a positive impact on your job prospects.

So, what skills can you develop by getting involved?

With any activity, you will be perfecting your time management, team working and prioritisation skills just by participating alongside your studies. However, it is at a committee level where you’ll really enhance the skills that employers want to see.

There are committee positions out there that are relevant to any industry, including presidents, treasurers, publicity reps, welfare reps and environmental reps. As a committee member , you’ll be learning essential skills such as leadership, strategic thinking, budgeting, events planning and marketing. Also, through societies you’ll get the opportunity to network with industry professionals, particularly if it’s a career or subject-related society such as Chemsoc (Chemisty Society) and MADsoc (Marketing, Advertising and Design Society).

Through sports you can maintain excellent working relationships with your sponsors, while by getting involved in student-run services, you’ll develop industry experience. For example, working with Nightline will provide you with third sector experience while URN (University Radio Nottingham) can prepare you for a job in the media.

Working at the Students’ Union

As part of our five year strategy, we’ve committed to employing students where possible, through part-time work, internships and full-time work once you graduate to ensure that you end up having an incredible time at Nottingham and that you’re ready to face the ‘real world’ when it does come to an end!

Don’t take my word for it, get out there and try it yourself. you’ll be surprised at what you could learn.

Explore what The University of Nottingham Students’ Union can offer you on their website. If you want to find out more about how your extracurricular activities can benefit your employability or how to articulate the skills you’ve gained to employers, visit our website

Posted in Work experience