Posted on Tue 15 May 2018 at 12:48 by Rebecca Bainbridge
What have you done this term?
This term I have worked on the Performing Arts Showcase. This was new for this year and was overall a success. On the night there were over 150 people present which is better than expected. There was a variety of societies and students performing. This gave them the opportunity to perform when they might not always have it.
I have just finished working on the Celebrating Success Awards. The Societies category received a record 201 nominations and was difficult to shortlist due to the high standard! I shortlisted all categories to the top 3 and the societies exec voted on a winner. The awards night ran extremely well thanks to the events team! The societies exec and two directors presented the awards. Overall the Celebrating Success Awards were a huge success for societies.
My main project this term has been the Graduation Ball. The tickets sold out on 14th May and an additional 12 were released on the 15th. This is the maximum capacity for the venue and almost 100 more than were sold last year. I am currently finalising payments with various entertainment companies (details to be kept as secret as possible). The amazing ticket sales are thanks to the work of the marketing department and how they pushed advertising on social media. On the day, the societies exec will be present to help set up.
The final event I help organise is the Pride of Newcastle Awards. I have been part of the team all year and supported them throughout the organisational process. I will be hosting the awards with Marc Lintern- which is a privilege and something I’m very much looking forward to. Having been part of the judging panel I have also seen the wonderful work our students are doing and have been extremely impressed!
What has been your biggest achievement?
My biggest achievement is definitely selling out the Graduation Ball! I knew that selling tickets was a challenge as they have been slow in previous years which made me nervous when organising the ball. I wanted to organise a ball that people will talk about, meaning the incoming Activities Officer will have no problem selling all of the tickets next year. I am hoping I have achieved this by selling a record number of tickets. My challenge now is to use the budget well to make it a memorable night!
What could you have improved on?
I haven’t been as active on social media as I would have liked. I don’t often use Facebook in my personal life for sharing information so I have found it difficult doing the same for work. Additionally I could have uploaded more blogs on the website to keep students up-to-date throughout the year, however I am not as confident with using the website as I am with other aspects of my job.
I have often let emails get on top of me during busy periods eg during Awards week and the Refreshers Fair. There have been times when I should have blocked out a few hours in my diary to keep up-to-date with them. Overall however, I have replied to student queries quickly and effectively.
What piece of advice would you pass on to your successor?
Don’t get disheartened if you can’t achieve your manifesto pledges. You might soon realise that they aren’t possible or that there simply isn’t enough time. Once you start the job or planning freshers fair, officer training and replying to student emails, you will soon realise that you don’t always have time to work or making huge changes. Within the role of Activities Officer, often the work you do day-to-day helping students has more impact.
It’s not always possible to reply to students immediately for various reasons. This is especially true at the beginning of term. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from the people in the Activities Office as they know so much about the job. It is also advisable to encourage students to copy Mark Bennet and Emma Moses into your emails in case you’re not around to reply to them.