What committee are you part of and what roles have you held?
I founded Aber Crafts in the beginning of the year, and am treasurer of Task soc.
What made you want to run for a committee role?
Both of these societies started at the beginning of this year, so I didn't actually run for elections as much as I started one society and was asked by a friend to help with the other. I had the idea of starting Aber Crafts late into my first year; I have GAD (generalised anxiety disorder) and ASD (autism spectrum disorder), so had largely avoided talking to anyone aside from the two people I already knew from college during that year. I made many attempts to improve this, during one of which I was having a look through the list of societies, trying to find one in which I could be creative and maybe do some crocheting, a comfort hobby of mine. Doing this, I found out that there weren't as many creative societies as I'd hoped, so I decided to give myself a major challenge (and hold myself to it by giving myself responsibility for others too) and make one!
What has been the most enjoyable part of being on committee?
I've had a great time organising so many events, workshops and lessons, and encouraging more students to be creative! I've had opportunities to organise so many events that I never would have had confidence (or even option!) to do in the past. I've met more people this year through my committee position than I have in my entire life... in fact, I probably spoke to more people just at freshers than I had my entire life before that. I've even had chance to build connections outside the bounds of the University, as we've ran/are planning events with many local businesses and professional crafters!
Can you tell us about a time where your role was challenging?
Between May and September, I essentially had to go directly from being a complete shut-in who'd manage to force themself out to about two socials that year and would rather just stay inside crocheting, to running a society of over 80 people; I think that was the biggest challenge, that I essentially threw myself right into the deep end, socially speaking. However, I never would have guessed how well that actually worked! I managed to run some huge events, introduce myself to so many people, and now I can just chat to people in public like it's nothing, something that may seem simple, but I've never been able to do before this year!
Do you feel that being on a committee has been beneficial in terms of preparing you for the future?
Oh hugely. I've developed social and teamwork skills I thought I'd never be able to have, as well as building connections, working on organisation skills, working with finances and even get some extra work experience in graphic design through the flyers, posters, social media posts, etc.! I've never been involved in much outside my job and uni/school work until this year and being a part of this committee has not only given me something extra to put on my CV in itself, but has also provided me with other opportunities I wouldn't have otherwise had! Not only that, having stalls at freshers and re-freshers has given me some very useful skills that help me sell at market stalls and whatnot! I've sold my designs online for 4 years now, and only thanks to my position in Aber Crafts have I gained the skills and confidence to sell in person!
What piece of advice would you give to an incoming committee member?
Be respectful of your fellow committee members! This year I've been super lucky to work with Birte, Poppy, Chloe and Fresno, they've all been fantastic, as enthusiastic as I have about the society, and very patient with my over-organised and hyperactive shenanigans! I'm extremely grateful to them for all the hard work they've put in to helping run the society, so make sure if you're voted into a committee, be a team player and always listen!