Life as a Bright Futures' President: The Insider
What is it like to run a Bright Futures' Society? What are the highs and lows? What would be recommended about the role? How do you get to stand in their shoes?
We caught up some of our nominated Presidents of the Year from 2018 to get a real insider perspective surrounding what presidential life is like within the Bright Futures network. So, in quick-fire fashion, we threw some of our Presidents some questions, and they kindly provided some expertise into the role, its responsibilities, as well as the rewards and challenges. They really are fantastic human beings. If you are interested in becoming President of one of our Societies, then please read more about the role and see the official role description here and apply!
Now, lets meet the fantastic people who helped make sure this year was one of the best yet. Roll up, roll up…
Lucy Danso, President of Leicester Bright Futures 2017/18, President of the Year 2017/18
“As President of the Year 2018, do you have any recommendations to Bright Futures’ Presidents for 2018/19?”
Benjamin Franklin stated, "Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes."
As President of my Bright Futures Society 2017/18, one of the biggest recommendations I could give is that motivation that leads to encouragement then success, thus motivating yourself and your team is so important. As President, it is not just about giving orders and wanting to see them get done but it is about getting your hands dirty too. In that way, your team will see how motivated you are, and it will encourage them to also to pull their weight even when times are hard (as we are all university students.) The motivation you have will not just be encouraging to the committee members but also it will be shown when you have events. So, no matter how many things that need to be done before the event let your goal motivate you to keep pushing thus helping to push everyone around you.
Hana Lam, President of Queen Mary Bright Futures 2017/18
“What was a particular highlight for you, as President of your Society this year?”
The highlight for me for me this year was being able to meet so many different people within my university and other Bright Futures committee members from other universities. It helped me to make some really good networks and truly showed me what a great community Bright Future has.
Alina Evsina, President of King’s College Bright Futures 2017/18
“What advice would you give to someone who is considering joining a Bright Futures committee, particularly as the President?”
Hello everyone! First of all, let me tell you that being part of the committee is not only great fun but also really rewarding – you meet many new people, get to develop your communication and problem-solving skills! For people considering joining a Bright Futures committee, I would advise to make sure that you are familiar with the vision and aim of your Bright Futures Society so that you can help develop and reinforce it, or even challenge some of the things. For people considering joining the Society as a President, my main advice is DON’T BE AFRAID! When joining the Bright Futures Society at my university at the beginning of the year, I had doubts as to whether I could bring what was needed and handle it the “right way”. The secret is that there is no perfect recipe to make things work, it is very important to try out what you can and bring in your own creativity - the MKF team are very supportive and if sometimes things don’t go the way you would like them to go, you don’t get judged, you only get supported to achieve better things the next time. I’ll be honest, one of our events this year did not get a very good attendance rate, and initially I was worried how this would affect my presidency. However, this was a good learning experience for me and all the work I have done throughout the year was still widely recognized by the MKF team. I also would say that it is great in the beginning of the year to plan out and write out on a calendar what you ideally would like to happen throughout the year. Everyone knows that no plan can be followed 100% but hey, at least it will give you an approximate plan of actions and it will help you steer your team. Last but not least, it is very important to emphasize that your committee is a TEAM. It does not matter whether one person has a huge number of tasks or one single task, if their task is not done there will be a part missing in your event – therefore, it is extremely important to value and emphasize every one of your committee members’ importance, contribution and advice. You will be the dirigeur of the orchestra, your task is to coordinate everyone’s work but remember that if your musicians are treated unfairly they will abandon, because they feel that their work is not valued and therefore not important enough. Be fair, encourage teamwork, and if you are not satisfied with someone’s work just take them aside and discuss peacefully and fairly. On that point I encourage you to join your Society as part of the committee as it is an amazing experience from which you will gain many valuable insights and knowledge!
Tristan Ripke, President of Aston Bright Futures 2017/18
“Were there any challenges that came as part of your role as President, and if so how did you feel it was best to conquer them?”
Running a society is challenging but very rewarding. Some of my main responsibilities included keeping the committee motivated throughout the entire year so that we could split the work load effectively. In order to deal with this challenge, I took a people centric approach, trying to connect and sympathise with every committee member. I explained to them why they are vital for making this society work and ensured that their hard work is recognised. This worked very well for most of the time. However, in hindsight I recognise the need to counterbalance this approach with a more task focused style to hold them accountable for an even higher level of performance, so would suggest a happy medium between the two!
If you think you are able to lead a Society, with the help and support of our MyKindaFuture Universities Team, we want to hear from you! No previous experience necessary, but a proactive, creative and consistent dedication to managing a committee team over the year is what we envisage our most successful presidents having. Drop our Societies Manager, Khadijah, an email with your basic details and your interest!
And who doesn't want to follow in their fantastic example..?