Could you represent students' academic interests?

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Jackie Yip was elected as your VP Education in February 2018. We chatted to Jackie about why she ran for the role and what doing the job entails.

Find out more about the Elections  Nominate yourself for a role

Nomination deadline: Tuesday 5th February 12:00 (midday) 


Why did you run for the role? 

I absolutely adored my time at University, even when I never believed that I would ever fit in or would enjoy it. No one from my family had ever attended before so it was quite a big step for me! I ended up having the best time studying music and really made the most of every opportunity. I understood that maybe not every student had such a great time though, that they still didn’t feel as though they fit in and still didn’t enjoy it. So, I thought there is something I could do to give back to the University and Union that had given me so much! So I decided to run to make a difference and try to improve the student experience for everyone!

Did you have any reservations about running? How were these resolved? 

I was terrified to run! It is scary having to put yourself out there, speaking to 100’s of people about why they should vote for you! I think what helped me resolve these fears I was having was that I had nothing to lose by trying and actually, lots to gain. It is natural to be scared but realising that you could be part of making things so much better for students using your own experiences was a huge motivation for me. It also pushed me to be bolder and to have some confidence and faith in my ability!

What did you want to achieve in your role? 

I have made so much change already, from increasing your book allowances to making sure all lectures are recorded. But I am probably most proud of taking the step to run and make these changes, to have a say in our student experience and showing students that you can be anything you want to be at Cardiff!

I wanted to bring the Union to students, not just waiting for them to approach us but to make an active effort in getting more students involved by being more accessible to them. As well as improving and championing academic interests of all students, it was important for me to show to people that it doesn’t matter where you come from, everyone is welcome at Cardiff and that everyone can achieve anything during their time here.

What’s an average day like? 

There is no such thing as an average day for me! Everyday can be a mix of meetings, publicity shoots, presentations and planning! One minute I could be handing out cups of tea and coffee to students during exam period, the next I could be meeting with the Vice Chancellor about strategic changes for the University. It’s great because every day is different for me and I love that, it’s exciting and dynamic. Representing 30,000 students will never be a quiet job!

What do you enjoy most about your role? 

I love the diversity and the responsibility. Every day can pose a new situation in which I can use my creativity and experience to make things better for all students! It’s so fun and energising, no two days are the same and you get to work with such an amazing team at the Students’ Union. It is great getting to know so many new students and getting to know all sorts of people from across the University. 

Is the role what you expected it to be? 

It is so much more than I expected! I thought I would be sat at my desk a lot more but I am always out in different places, with different people and it is a very vibrant atmosphere! It does mean I am a lot more organised too but it is so worth it.

What advice would you give to future candidates? 

That no matter how hesitant you are, just go for it! The contribution you will make, the changes you will see and the people you will work with are unmatched once you leave and its worth taking the plunge to see what could happen!

What achievements are you most proud of so far? 

I have made so much change already, from increasing your book allowances to making sure all lectures are recorded. But I am probably most proud of taking the step to run and make these changes, to have a say in our student experience and showing students that you can be anything you want to be at Cardiff!

What was the biggest surprise since taking on the role?

The biggest surprise was how much I get to decide on and the incredible amount of influence I have to make change! Also that I became the trustee of the Students’ Union and the University at the age of 23!


If you want to ask Jackie a question about her role, email VPEducation@Cardiff.ac.uk

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