The June member spotlight is on Chiara Singh, School Office Manager at the University of Bristol. Chiara Singh is an Alumni Representative on the Board of Studies for the AUA’s PgCert.

Why do you do it?

Having been a student myself on the Postgraduate Certificate in HE, Administration, Management and Leadership, I can largely relate to students’ experiences and it’s been brilliant to have the opportunity to give something back to the AUA and to feed into improving the student experience and PGCert programme.

I’ve been an Alumni Student Representative for 2 years now which includes sitting on the Board of Studies (BoS) 3 times a year. This has been a real eye opener allowing me to build my confidence whilst forming connections with peers in other HEI’s and provides a different perspective from a programme delivery angle. So much work and effort does go into planning and delivering the course, including its transition to online delivery during this time.

It’s fascinating and rewarding to be part of it, especially to see how feedback is taken on board and implemented. Hugh Jones was extremely welcoming, and his positive and enthusiastic attitude in embracing challenges also inspired me to take up the position.

What has been the best bit so far?

Seeing the transformation and development of colleagues is what drives me and is really illuminating as everyone has a different journey. Having an awareness of, appreciating and respecting that diversity has allowed me to learn so much about myself as well as continuing invaluable reflective practise that was exposed to us as part of the PGCert. It has been really interesting, seeing the transition from a 2-year to 1-year course and how the assessments have changed.

The best bit of being an AUA member so far is without a doubt being part of the Japan Study Tour last year. The study tour group was brilliant, and I learned so much from them, and our colleagues in Japanese HEI’s. We bonded through a variety of experiences from running workshops for our hosts, seeing a wide variety of urban versus more rural campuses, discussions over canteen lunches and sampling traditional sake and sushi.

Would you recommend the role?

I believe opportunities can be what you make of them, so yes, if you’re looking for a way to give back whilst developing your confidence, knowledge and skills, this is a great opportunity. I have formed some great friendships with AUA members I met through the PGCert and BoS and we are planning on collaborating further so watch this space!

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