Making you more employable
As a Course Rep, you're building up your skills in leadership, persuasion, collaboration, and adaptability, and these attributes are going to be really useful to you in applying to placements, full-time work, or further study.
It is very important to understand that employers favour students who take part in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, with participating in student representation being one of the extra-curricular activities that employers highly respect. They love to see students putting themselves forward to represent their peers. However, they are not only interested in seeing students getting involved but also how students articulate the skills they have developed.
These are a few of the many skills you will develop as a Course Rep:
- Leadership – As a Course Rep you will be representing the needs of your peers and taking their issues to different university committees. Putting yourself forward to be responsible for those you represent is leadership, which employers consider to be a key competency to have.
- Communication – Constant communication with the people you represent is vital to be an effective Course rep. The role will help you improve your verbal and written communication skills as well as your skill of persuasion which again employers' value as a key competency to have.
- Collaboration/ Problem Solving – As a Course Rep you will be collecting feedback from students. You will be aware of the issues that students face on your course and you will be presenting these problems in your departmental meetings or any encounters you have with academic staff. Part of your role will be to work collaboratively with academic staff to solve them. This is a skill that employers love to see.
- Adaptability/ Time Management– To be able to fit your Course Rep commitments around your degree or research is a great still to develop. It is all about managing your time well. Adaptability skills and time management are great competencies to have and something that employers seek within students.
Writing about being a Course Rep on your CV
It is important to know how to use these skills that you have acquired to effectively make you stand out from the crowd when applying for placements or full-time work. Be sure to always reference your role as a Course Rep when writing applications, attending interviews and be sure to keep your CV updated! Here are some examples of how you can communicate these skills:
"As a Course Rep, I acted as a liaison between my fellow students and staff at my University. I was responsible for gathering their feedback and communicating this to the University. This role developed my skills in leadership, persuasion, and collaboration, as I was required to be adaptable and to work with staff to find a suitable solution to student issues."
"Volunteered for one year in the role of Course Rep at the University of Surrey. Skills developed were leadership, persuasion, and collaboration."
"Course Representative, 2019-20. Tasks included:
- Gathering student feedback on a range of topics
- Collating feedback into written and verbal reports
- Presenting student feedback in official University meetings & forums
- Collaborating with University staff to find solutions"
Recognition on your HEAR (Undergrad & Postgrad Taught)
As a Course Rep you will also receive recognition of your voluntary position as a Course Rep on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) at UG level which can be an invaluable way to highlight your extra-curricular activities to employers. For your role to be recognised on your HEAR you must:
- Be elected by a majority of your peers
- Attend Course Rep training or online training
- Attend 3 Student Voice Forums and 2 Faculty Voice Forums or send apologies
- Activate your Unitu account.
Course Rep Awards
In your role you are also eligible to be awarded Bronze, Silver or Gold Course Rep status, the Undergraduate Course Rep of the Year (one in each faculty), Placement Rep of the Year, Postgraduate Taught Rep of the Year and Postgraduate Research Rep of the Year.
Being awarded for your contributions to the role is also a great way to stand out from the crowd when applying for placements or full-time work. For more detailed information on the Course Rep awards and how to be eligible for them, check out your Course Rep Handbook.
Remember, your experience as a Course Rep is a good starting point to get involved in any of the wide range of representative posts in the Students' Union, from committee member right up to Sabbatical Officer!
Do something good, achieve something great! It's important to remember that you are part of the Union's volunteering ethos. For this reason, we really encourage you to register with www.surreyvolunteering.com where you can begin to record the hours you have spent volunteering as a Rep. Visit here: http://ussu.co/SurreyRepHours
These hours will show on your profile, and can be used to show employers how you enhanced your degree and developed your own personal skills through volunteering for the Union as a Course Rep. You should have received a registration link when you were elected, but if not, visit the link above to get started.
What activities can you log as volunteering hours?
You can log any time that you spend on your core Course Rep responsibilities which are:
- Time spent in departmental meetings (Staff-Student Liaison Committees and Boards of Studies or Student Engagement Forums for PGRs)
- Attendance at Student Voice Forums and Student Faculty Forums
- Attendance at Course Rep training
- Time spent in informal meetings with University staff about course issues (eg. with your Course Leader or Head of Department, or your Postgraduate Research Director)
- Time spent gathering student feedback (eg. posting on social media, sending emails out)
You need to log your hours as a "Course Rep" for the University of Surrey Students' Union, and list email@example.com as your approver.
Your hours will be sent to Hannah Jones, Course Rep Coordinator at the Students' Union, for approval. We'll check over that the hours you've logged are realistic, and then they will be approved. These hours will show on your profile, and can be used to show employers how you enhanced your degree and developed your own personal skills through volunteering for the Union as a Course Rep.
If you have any further queries about Employability skills as a Course Rep, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org