One of the great things about the Undergraduate President role is how varied it is, with new challenges and projects popping up all the time.
I usually start between 9 and 10 and have at least a few hours of meetings dotted throughout the day. Sometimes these are internal to Cambridge SU, so things like weekly team catch-ups with the other sabbatical officers, strategy sessions with our senior management team and 1-1s with my staff support. I also usually have quite a few meetings within the broader University community, including a slightly unholy number of University committees, 1-1 meetings with University senior management like Graham Virgo (who Anjum and I meet with weekly) and meetings with student groups to help support and elevate their work.
When I’m not in meetings, I try and keep on top of emails and fit in time for focused work, like planning and implementing campaigns to deliver the core goals I committed to in my election manifesto. That often involves things like sending emails to key University decision makers, writing up campaign timelines, meeting different University figures, researching and writing committee papers and talking to different community and student campaign groups.
I also try to keep students as informed as possible about our work so some of my day usually involves posting on social media about key projects we’re running and replying to messages from students to answer questions and take issues forward. Speaking to students directly and hearing about their experiences and what they’d like us to be working on is a really fun and useful part of this role. I try to do this by making myself as visible online as possible, as well as holding a weekly in-person ‘Free Coffee and Cake’ drop-in with Anjum. There’s usually at least one evening event each week (don’t worry, you’re allowed to take that time back another day!) like College Forum, where we bring JCR and MCR officers together to discuss key issues and co-ordinate intercollegiate goals and campaigns, or Student Council, where elected student leaders vote on key policy decisions and discuss major University issues.
Sometimes there’s a fun special University event like a fancy honorary degree ceremony. This year Anjum and I attended the one for UN Secretary General Antonio Gutterez which was really fun. These sorts of events usually have great food and are a really nice chance to meet cool people!
When meetings are all done for the day, I try and tie up any loose ends, make sure I’m ready for the next day and then log off for the day, usually at 5 or 6 (although in busy periods this can be a little later).