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Champions of the Year Blog

28 July 2022

Champions of the Year Blog

As the Student Champion Scheme draws to a close for the 21/22 academic year, the staff team wanted to award the Champions that have gone above and beyond throughout this academic year so have introduced the new award, Champions of the Year. This is to celebrate and reward their successes and achievements.

Congratulations to both Saffron and Ioana on being awarded the Student Champions of the Year.

Saffron and Ioana have both shown great levels of dedication to the scheme and have been instrumental in enhancing the student experience at Cardiff. They have not only engaged with multiple projects and tasks but have also been happy to pick up work at the last minute to help their fellow champs. This level of dedication along with high standard of work is really valued by all of us and we would like to say a massive thank you and congratulations for being this years Champion of the Year.

Hear from Saffron and Ioana about how they found the scheme:

Saffron

Being a student champion has been a fascinating experience from start to finish. I have first hand had the chance to explore student experience from a completely different perspective than as a student of Cardiff University for 4 years.

Working with the student champion team allows the development of various skills. The improvement of time management and organisational skills is something I have witnessed as I’ve handled the champs work alongside my degree. The biggest development I have gained is confidence when interacting with university staff and getting involved in tasks that would not have appealed to me at the beginning of my university experience.

I like to think I have had a positive impact on the student experience for current and future students of Cardiff University. Working on various tasks throughout the year has given me the opportunity to make a difference to the student experience. However, working on the ‘Connectedness’ project within the School of Biosciences has allowed me to witness the positive impact myself and the team of staff and other champions I’ve worked alongside, have had on student experience. This was supported by the extensive qualitative and quantitative feedback we received from Bioscience students. I hope the Connectedness project can be extended to further schools in the university in the near future.

The benefits of being a student champion is it is a flexible scheme that fits around my degree. The ability to get involved in a variety of tasks and projects allows for the building of a diverse skill set. Additionally, being a champion includes meeting and working alongside a lovely team of people, whether this is the Student Engagement Team, staff members or other champions. The work I’ve done this year has continuously led to more ideas and further opportunities to get involved in.

Ioana

I have been a student champion for 2 years now and I have really loved having an impact on my fellow students’ experience, whether in the form of improving surveys, the extenuating circumstances procedure post Covid or implementing the use of a new interactive tool such as Mentimeter.

I have seen my skills expand tremendously in these last 2 years, stepping outside of my comfort zone without being terrified of it as the team has always been very supportive.

I was always a camera-shy person and I never enjoyed creative writing, however within this job I was given the chance to create numerous articles and videos and received a lot of support for it. Thus, I became less scared at approaching tasks I might have prerequisite skills for and now I feel a lot more prepared for interviews and graduate jobs.

This experience has also improved my time management skills and given me a taste of what it is like to work in a professional environment where lecturers and EPOs become your work colleagues and you are treated at the same level. I have learnt how to organise my schedule adequately to include enough time for my university commitments, while picking up interesting tasks.

I am very proud of having the chance to improve the extenuating circumstances procedure by reporting back to the university the issues and positive feedback students have expressed and I have also really enjoyed contributing to technological advancements via explaining to lecturers why and how tools such as Mentimeter should be used during lectures.

More Information

If you are interested in becoming a student champion for the 22/23 academic year, the second phase of recruitment will be taking place in September. More information can be found soon on our intranet pages.

Similarly, if you are a staff member interested in working with our Student Champions for next year, please register your interest here.