How can being a Full Time Officer help my career?

Answer: It's a lot!

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As a Careers Consultant I see hundreds of students every year who are figuring out their next steps after university.  Many tell me how they want to work in a varied environment where they can try new things, find out what they enjoy, and explore the issues they are passionate about. In a nutshell, discovering how to carve a fulfilling career path for themselves.  For many students that first post-graduation role could be closer than they think – a full-time officer role within the Student Union. 

All the full-time officer roles offer the opportunity to make a significant difference to the experience of current students.  Across the broad range of issues students might face during their time at Heriot Watt, the Student Union is a hugely influential voice in creating meaningful change.  So, if you are someone who is passionate about having a positive impact on the experience of the thousands of Heriot-Watt students, then you should definitely learn more about the officer roles.

The opportunity could also serve to launch your career to the next level.  Employers want to see more than just academic achievement when looking for their ideal candidate, they want evidence of how you’ve applied your learning into real workplace situations.  The key skills that we see consistently being sought after include:

  • Demonstrating leadership skills
  • Being flexible and adaptable to change
  • Building (and maintaining) relationships with multiple stakeholders
  • The ability to negotiate and effectively persuade others
  • Balancing responsibility with assertive decision making
  • Implementing decisions through effective project management

All of these skills, and more, would be developed within the full-time officer roles – on top of the gratification and fulfilment which comes from truly making a difference to the experience of students you work on behalf of.  The application and election process would in and of itself be a hugely beneficial learning experience. 

The key criteria is that you passionately want to improve the experience of the student body and create a lasting impact on your university.  On top of that, the experience and skills you have the opportunity to develop at such an early stage in your career would be invaluable to both your personal and professional development for years to come. 

You can apply for one of the FTO positions here

By Camrie Hole, Careers Consultant, Heriot-Watt University


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