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What is your role?

As Union President, I am the prime representative of the students in Loughborough, relaying your views to the university, union and wider world. I am

ultimately responsible for the direction of the Union, all Union activity and its finances. I also coordinate and direct the Executive Committee acting as the Students’ Union’s driver of strategy; challenging, motivating and encouraging them to improve your student experience. It is my job to uphold our relationship with the University, and therefore, I sit on numerous Committees and working groups across the institution to formally represent the student body and ensure their needs are being met.

My remit is really wide and for this reason it can be hard to pin point my main work activities because I never have an average day.

What have you been focusing on this year?

I have been focusing on various things – from helping steer the unions strategic vision for the next 5 years to restructuring how the union and the exec team works.

I have also been working on building on relationships with the University and this is an area that I am particularly proud of.

What is the biggest challenge of your role?

The biggest challenge of my role is being able to finish what you want to achieve in the short time frame of the role. Everyone wants to make the most out of their year and make an active change but sometimes the processes to do so may take a lot longer than the time we are in office. This is especially hard when you have your daily duties and quite some time to get used to the role. To be President, it is important that you have the ability to work under pressure and tight deadlines, prioritising and completing tasks, and this can be extremely difficulty when the role can be incredibly busy.

Leading a team of outstanding individuals, who you are friends with but have to take the leadership role is quite a hard task. It can be incredibly challenging having difficult conversations with your Executive Team, but that’s what comes with managing people.

What makes a good candidate for your role?

A good candidate needs to have self-belief and confidence; you are in charge! You have to command respect from your peers but crucially Union and University staff. You have to have an in-depth knowledge of how Loughborough works as well as articulate and well presented. Most of all you have to be an approachable and likeable figure, people want to be represented by someone they like! Passion to improve the student experience at Loughborough is key; it is imperative that candidates have enthusiasm for the values and purpose of the Student Union.

Jon Ako
Jon Ako
Union President 2016/17