What are previous officers doing now?


Sharelle Holdsworth

Which officer role did you hold?

Vice President of Societies Development June 2017 - June 2018.

What are you doing now?

Marketing and Events Officer at Headway Oxfordshire - a local charity that supports people affected by brain injuries.

How has the experience you gained during your time as an officer helped you?

During my time as an officer, I gained a wide variety of experience which has only helped me to secure a job in Marketing and Events; a role that I have always wanted to do following my graduation in 2017.Sitting on the Board of Trustees and attending Board meetings, as well as taking part in the International Leadership and Development Level 5 qualification enabled me to develop my strategic and leadership skills. This has given me confidence to be more assertive and apply for similar leadership roles. I am currently a Board Member at Oxfordshire Voice and attend board meetings throughout the year.

What was the best part of being an officer?

The best part about being an officer was having the ability to be a decision maker, creating and changing policies for the better to improve processes at the university.

What was your greatest achievement?

Passing a policy to abolish single-use plastic straws and cutlery at the Brookes Canteen

Why should you run to be an officer?

You should run to be an officer because it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. The experience, skills and knowledge that you gain are invaluable and provide you with a whole range of transferable skills to kick-start your career. It has only grown my confidence, particularly in a leadership role and I would encourage everyone to run for a student officer role at Brookes Union that best suits their personality.


Josie Bushby

Which officer role did you hold?

I was Vice-President: Societies Development (now VP: Activities & Employability) for the term 2018 - 2019… July 1st to June 30th, to be specific.

What are you doing now?

I work in the Development Team at The Diana Award, a youth social action charity set up in the legacy of Princess Diana, in the role as Partnerships Officer.

How has the experience you gained during your time as an officer helped you?

So much, and in so many ways - no word of a lie.

To name a few:

For the role I currently hold, I regularly make use of the skills I gained as an officer, for example involving liaising, building bridges, and maintaining positive relationships with a variety of stakeholders; Effectively managing multiple demanding projects and work-streams at once; Gauging and representing needs, trends, and opinions; Reviewing, redeveloping and implementing processes; And measuring or demonstrating outcomes and impact.

It’s also no secret that it’s priceless to be able to talk about and give examples of these kinds of experiences and achievements when in an interview context! Imagine, instead of just saying you’re a competent public speaker because you did seminar presentations, you can talk about that time you were invited to host a TEDx event.

Finally, my experience with charity governance and management (and the challenges herein) was paramount to continuing a potential career within the non-profit sector. Finishing University can be confusing - in the ‘What Now?’ sense of the word - so my year working full-time in the Student Union after graduating was really invaluable.

What was the best part of being an officer?

Is it a cliché to say the people I got to work with? I’ve always enjoyed being in people-facing and person-centred positions, which my officer role definitely was, and I had a fantastic team of people in the Union supporting me to make the most of the year.

What was your greatest achievement?

As part of my objectives, I chose to work on several processes during the course of the year, both because it needed doing and because I am a nerd for development. My highlights were the improvements for societies: Digitalising the events processes (welcome to the 21st century!) and moving from a tiering structure to a grouping structure (the new system was so much fairer, more transparent, fit for purpose, and better supported the variety of societies we had!)

Big shout out Andy Pedersen, Membership Services Manager.

Why should you run to be an officer?

You should run to be an officer because it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. The experience, skills and knowledge that you gain are invaluable and provide you with a whole range of transferable skills to kick-start your career. It has only grown my confidence, particularly in a leadership role and I would encourage everyone to run for a student officer role at Brookes Union that best suits their personality.


Elena Saldana Quintans

Which officer role did you hold?

I was Vice President for Societies, followed by President (one year each, 2015-2017)

What are you doing now?

I am a Project Officer for an Airplane Maintenance Hangar for Ryanair in Seville, Spain.

How has the experience you gained during your time as an officer helped you?

I learned so much about communicating and working with other people. We organised so many events and created so many projects and proposals, the experience I gained has helped me a lot in my current job.

What was the best part of being an officer?

By far the people that you work with! You get so much support from the Union staff, Union officers, and lots of student volunteers to help you achieve your goals to make university better for everyone. You get to attend so many events and important meetings, meet so many great people, and have so much fun!

What was your greatest achievement?

To me, my greatest achievement was setting up One World Week with such an amazing team of people. I am so happy that it is still going on and diversity is celebrated.

Why should you run to be an officer?

You will have the best time of your life while making a difference to your student community. You will make friends that will be in your lives forever, and you will learn so much. Don't hesitate, go for it!