If you ever see me sitting in front of my laptop, looking stressed out, there is a good chance it has something to do with my exec role. It sounds quite counter-intuitive considering that societies are a fun way of spending your time, right? Don’t get me wrong, being an exec member has made up many of my enjoyable moments at university. However, the endless stress begs the question concerning how much effort one might have to put in her exec role.
Most people who have heard me talking about how passionate I am about the magazine which I edit wouldn’t have said I ended up getting involved with the society under which the magazine is being published by accident. And I bet neither would you.
Back to the very first days of university, when I was a confused fresher, I saw a Facebook post: “Apply to be our freshers’ representative!” I thought that sounds alright, without having a single clue about what the role entails. After doing some research about it and leaving most of my questions unanswered, I decided to apply out of sheer curiosity. I was unsure about what exactly a student society is and, in general, about how things work at Warwick. I had my interview and after a few days they let me know my application was successful. I was officially the freshers’ rep for the society’s magazine. Happiness was quickly followed with the reality of having no idea what my role entails or how the society runs. I’m now in my second year as an editor and I couldn’t be happier about my exec role. I, for one, would not have expected this.
The endless stress begs the question concerning how much effort one might have to put in her exec role
However, it’s definitely not easy. Alongside my co-editor, I design both the magazine and the website, find new interesting topics for our writers and edit the articles we receive. This is just the beginning of what my role demands. I have left out the less exciting details of organising printing and setting word limits. This covers a mere half of what holding an exec position is like. Whilst fulfilling what your role entails, it is important to remember that each exec member is part of a larger team and you must act accordingly. Firstly, you need to take part in the society’s events even if you did not organise them. An social secs must take a break from circling from time to time and attend the academic events. Second, you have to be ready, willing and keen to help if any of the exec members need it.
An exec role can be quite daunting and many of us may fail at our jobs on occasion. It must be remembered that it doesn’t matter whose fault it is if something goes wrong, but how the team as a whole manages and solves the issue. Lastly, you have to leave your grudges and annoyances at home. The publicity officer may not be your cup of tea or the social sec may have annoyed you at the last circle. A society will only work when the exec is willing to put effort and time into it. This time may include instances to solve conflicts that may appear between you and other exec members. Stuburness must be pushed aside, admit your mistakes or reconsider your priorities as an exec. Work as a team, it is all for the best!
A society will only work when the exec is willing to put effort and time into it
After reading this you might be asking yourself why would you want to the extra pressure added to your degree. But trust me, being part of an exec is an extremely rewarding experience. From your degree, you’ll get a considerable amount of information which you might or may not use in the future. But by getting involved in societies, you will gain plenty of transferable skills which you can use for the rest of your life. The key to being an exec member is to stay organized. Making a schedule provides a way to to make sure you an have plenty of time for your degree and your societies.
Considering how much effort my co-editor and I have to put into the magazine, the work we do can definitely be compared to a part-time job. However, I could never regret it as it’s enjoyable and may help (hopefully!) with my future career. My activity within the society has helped me discover the industry I would love to work in enabling me to focus in this direction. I would encourage everyone to not worry about time issues and instead plan ahead and get involved!