Emma Weskin graduated in 2012 with a BA in Creative Arts. During this time she was a member and then a committee member of sports clubs and societies before becoming Vice President Welfare with the Students' Union from 2012-2014. Read below to see how she developed her Skills For Life that she has taken into her career.
1. What do you currently and do and what has been your career path to date?
I am currently the Accessibility Advisor (mental health) for Bath Spa University Student Support. I studied Creative Arts (Art and Drama) degree at Bath Spa and from there was elected as Vice President Welfare for the Students' Union. In this role, my main priority was mental health. This gave me the experience to then working for MIND as a project manager. During those 18 months, I led a project that challenged stigma and discrimination of mental health in Somerset which involved managing 30 volunteers and one member of staff. From there I went onto work for Victim Support as a Case Worker where I worked with victims of crime. This involved undertaking tailored one-to-one support, emotional and practical help to victims of crime. During my time here I was able to become specialised in Anti- Social behaviour and set up a children's and young people project. I then returned to Bath Spa University in my current role.
2. Why did you choose to get involved with the Students' Union?
When I was a Student I didn't realise that the University and Students' Union were separate. During my three years, I was a Fresher's Buddy twice, part of the Netball team, where I was an active member of the committee - one year as Social Secretary before becoming Vice President and Coach, helped create the Wine Society and became Vice President. I took part in numerous volunteer projects as well as helping assist one of the Sabbatical officers at the time run a number of campaigns. I chose to get involved because I wanted to try new things, make friends but I also knew I needed more than a degree to get a job and all the above was a great way to enhance my CV whilst also ensuring I had a good time.
3. What 'Skills for Life' do you feel the Students' Union helped you gain?
Being Vice President Welfare helped improved my confidence, learn how to manage complicated and difficult situations, gave me the experience of working with people at multiple levels (including the highest levels in the University). I gained the skill of being able to empower people and encourage others to take the lead. I developed new strengths and how to apply them to the working world.
4. How did your experiences with the Students' union help your career?
Being involved in the Students' Union set me up on a completely new career path. My original plan was to become a secondary school art teacher but my role as a sabbatical officer gave me a chance to try something different. Without this role, I wouldn't have been able to apply for the jobs I have had since. The Students' Union gave me experience in areas where I didn't have the qualifications. By trying new things (which I most likely wouldn't have tried otherwise) I not only learnt what I did and did not like doing but developed as a person.
5. What would you say to anyone who wants to develop themselves with the Students' Union?
Do it! It has so many benefits. It can be a challenge to balance extracurricular and course requirements, but it teaches you skills and allows you to developed as a person, so totally worth it! During University there are so many opportunities - it is the best time to try new things and find out what you enjoy!