Alice: How to be a leader and juggle a busy schedule

Alice was inspired to study a Bachelor of Education (Secondary), majoring in physics and study of religion, after an educational trip to Timor Leste, where she taught middle school students English and maths. She started uni straight after high school, and is the first in her family to attend university.

'Just a second, let me check my calendar.'

This phrase pretty much sums up my uni life! Between studying full-time, working 3 casual jobs, being vice president of USQ’s Student Representative Council and tutoring high school students in the afternoon, I have become a ‘master coordinator.’ But even though my calendar is full to the teeth with weird scribbles, sticky notes and highlighted events to signify something as important or urgent, I wouldn’t trade the leadership experience that I’ve had for the world.

To me, leadership is about putting your head down, getting stuck in and taking on some extra responsibilities. Being a good leader is not so much about being the boss of everyone, even though sometimes someone has to make the tough calls; it’s about working as a team to get a job done and being a role model for others.

I was very shy during my first semester studying at uni. I didn’t go to many events; I just went to uni for the lectures. But in Semester 2 orientation week I took a risk. I went down to the Student Life headquarters and asked ‘can I come along to orientation just to help out?’ And I haven’t stopped getting involved since!

In 2014, I ran a Meet-Up group and worked as a Student Ambassador and an orientation leader. I also put my hand up to be the vice president of the Springfield-campus SRC so I could help make a change to student life on-campus. I love all of these roles, but I often get told by my parents and friends that I’m absolutely nuts.

I think that it’s because of these leadership opportunities that USQ became my second home. I met some of the many friends I now have at USQ and have learnt how to put up a marquee in under a minute! I love working on events, getting there early to set up with everyone and staying late to pack up. It’s a great feeling when we see all the hard work and effort by the team come to fruition.

One of the events I helped organise last year

One of my favourite things is seeing new students getting involved in leadership opportunities at uni, because they start off all shy but, before long, they end up popping up at every single event just like everyone else. And suddenly their calendars look like physics textbooks too!

Even though being a leader means being busy, it is a lot of fun and I really think that everyone has the potential to be a leader in one way or another. Sometimes you just have to take a small risk and then BOOM! You’re a role model for future students and being asked left right and centre to come and lend a hand. The hardest part of being a leader is having to say no to something because it clashes with something else in your calendar.

So, don’t be scared to get out of your comfort zone and take on something new where you can embrace your inner leader. Whether you want to be a Student Ambassador, Meet-Up leader, Student Representative Council member or a student club president, the leadership opportunities and experiences are invaluable and look awesome on your résumé!


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