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The 3 leadership roles that enhanced my uni life

By Ashleigh 30 Jul 2019

Leadership positions and opportunities surround us at university, but it’s why we take them and what we do with them that is important.

To me, the reason behind taking up leadership opportunities is simple: it’s about giving back.

Throughout my personal and professional life, I have had a lot of mentors who have helped me get to where I am today. In particular, they encouraged me to enrol into university when I didn’t believe I was capable of doing so, and are there for me when I feel like giving up.

Leadership opportunities allow you to give back what you have received by supporting others when times get tough and making a difference in their life.

There is no better way to show your #usqpride, give back to and be involved with the university than by being a Student Ambassador. Being a Student Ambassador has allowed me to increase my professional network throughout the university, gain knowledge, and attend amazing events on-campus like Student Experience Days, Open Days and Career Expos as well as visiting local schools. Imagine having a conversation with someone that completely changes their life. By talking to people of all ages and letting them know that university is an option for them because there are so many different pathways and support services available, this is what a Student Ambassador does. Inspiring people to go to university is something I am very proud of, and for this reason, the Student Ambassador role is one I hold close to my heart.

Image of the Student Ambassadors.

Being a Student Ambassador gave me the skills and confidence to take on my most challenging yet rewarding role at USQ, the role of Resident Advisor (RA) on Res Colleges. Resident Advisor is a unique position that allowed me to live with residents and help them with academic, social and welfare issues they may experience while living on-college. Being a Residential Advisor has allowed me to gain a professional relationship with 6 other RAs and 3 Senior Residential Advisors. I look at the RA role as if we are helping all college residents climb a mountain. Our goal is to reach the top (graduation) and while some may fall and stumble, it’s the RA who will reach out their hand to help those people back up. It is an incredible role that has taught me so much about myself.

This experience allowed me to open my eyes to the importance of peer mentoring. Being a Meet-Up Student Community (MUSC) leader and a Murri Meet-Up Leader allowed me to share my knowledge and experiences at USQ with other students. These roles helped me brush up on all my professional skills while also allowing me to reach out to others who needed support.

Image of Ashleigh and work colleagues.

I have always been told you only get out what you put in and the same goes with leadership positions. I’ll be honest… throughout my journey, there have been ups and downs, but I believe it is what you decide to do in the tough times that helps you develop into the young professional you want to be.

Entering these leadership positions with the hope of helping people has allowed me to gain an incredible amount of confidence within myself. I have also been able to develop strong communication skills, which are essential for life during and after university.

I took on a lot of responsibility in these leadership positions, but was able to do so within a supportive environment, with mentors who have been there for me every step of the way. I now have a diverse network within the USQ community, which wouldn’t have been possible without these roles.

The knowledge I gained from the different leadership positions I’ve held, along with my personal goals and aspirations, have shaped what I want to do when I graduate university and helped determine the direction I want my career path to take. The leadership positions I held at university also led to my greatest achievement: securing a graduate positon prior to completing my degree! I can easily say that it is because of all the leadership positions I’ve had throughout my university years that I have the confidence and skillset I need for the workforce. These leadership positions allowed me to grow as a young professional, gain valuable experience, and get my resume noticed in between everyone else who applied for the same job.

Despite having had my fair share of leadership positions during my time at USQ, no position could ever cure my thirst for knowledge or wanting to help people become their best selves. Looking into the future, I hope to continue to take up leadership positions within my prospective career pathway, as I believe it’s the only way to constantly challenge yourself as well as learn about yourself and others.

To find out more about being a Student Ambassador, RA or Meet-Up Leader, head to the leadership opportunities page, which also highlights other great ways to get involved as a leader at USQ.

Image of Ashleigh.