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Saranyaa talks to us about becoming a Departmental Student Coordinator...

What led you to become a Departmental Student Coordinator?

I’m Indian, and I hadn’t had a lot of opportunities to take on this kind of responsibility before I came to Goldsmiths. I was the Accessibility and Inclusion Rep in my first year - when I met Anna, the SU Academic Representation Coordinator, who selected me. It can be quite intimidating to be in a second country, but the role gave me such confidence and helped me to meet so many people. That then motivated me to apply for the role of Departmental Student Coordinator (DSC) in my second year. I was going through a tough time because of the pandemic, and the interview was really moving. Anna was asking me questions, and I told her that being a DSC had changed my life! All three of us at the interview were in tears, and when I told my Dad I’d got the position he went bonkers with happiness crazy. I’m a student trustee as well, and it has made me bloom. Goldsmiths SU is like a second home to me.

What skills have you learned and developed in the role?

The most important skill is that as a Rep, you really learn how to work! The skills I’ve learned will really help me in internships as well as in my future career. You learn how to manage your time, balancing Rep duties alongside your degree. You’ll also become experienced in speaking professionally and gain much improved communications skills in general. 

I’m much more self-confident now that I’ve been a DSC, and feel such gratitude towards the SU for giving me the opportunity. I’m also so grateful towards my peers and professors, who I’ve got to know during the role, and who supported me.

What was the most important thing you learned?

The training that we were given really helped my personal development. In particular the meeting where Anna gave us all the information about where to signpost students who are going through problems or struggling with their mental health. It makes me happy to be able to help people in that way.

Has being a Departmental Student Coordinator impacted your career plans for after Goldsmiths?

Obviously, leading the department looks great on your CV! It signals to prospective employers that you’re reliable and mature, that you’re ready for a career. If you’ve aced that kind of role at uni, they’ll know that you have a good work ethic. I’m now starting my final year as an Arts Management student, and my time as a DSC here means that I’m ready for what’s ahead of me in terms of my career.

What would you say to someone thinking of becoming a Departmental Student Coordinator? Do you have any advice for them?

I’d say: definitely do it! You’re going to love it! I was a bit hesitant to apply initially myself, but my dad encouraged me to. He said, ‘The worst they can do is reject you, so just go for it,’ if they do reject you, you can work on yourself and apply again after becoming a better version of yourself and he was right. It’s an amazing journey and it will be one of the best years of your life!

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