February’s Rep of the Month: Toby

Academic reps are students elected to represent your academic interests on your course, in your department, and in your school. They’re the voice of students on campus and work tirelessly throughout the year to make student life better; they have the contacts, the know-how and the motivation to take your feedback and use it to improve your educational experience.

Academic reps have been up to some really exciting stuff this term already. In our latest Rep Impact Update, we shouted about reps who have helped design their department’s new common room, improved their department’s webpage, organised study groups for students and made a YouTube video about tackling assignments – and that’s just the start! However, in February, Year 1 Accounting & Finance Course Rep Toby Bates (who was also elected as next year's Business & Management School Rep in the SU Elections yesterday) really stood out.

Toby got tons of nominations for his constant efforts to help the students on his course, assisting them with exam preparation and room bookings, as well as working with the SU to start the new Accounting, Finance and Management Society. I caught up with him to find out more.

Why did you want to become a rep?

“Nominating myself to be an academic rep was a fantastic opportunity to make the most of my university experience. My course is quite niche and small, so I knew I could make a big impact. I was really motivated to make a difference!"

What have you been up to this term?

“This term, I created a new Accounting, Finance and Management Society, which has just been ratified by the Societies, Sports and Opportunities Executive to become an official SU student group. The society will give students new opportunities, like internships and revision sessions, and allow people to meet up and network. I’ve also been attending Staff-Student Committee meetings, booking rooms in the Windsor Building for the exam period to give students space to revise, given my input into a brand-new module for next year, and organised a special lecture to gather feedback from students. I’m really keen to get my course to cater to what students actually want.”

How do you see being a rep impacting on your future?

“This role has helped me develop my public speaking and leadership skills, as well as my ability to organise and work with people. Taking into account what people want and being able to take action has been a really valuable experience.”

What’s the best thing about being a rep?

“Being able to make positive change – and getting Rep of the Month! I’d really encourage people to not take academic representation for granted and to put themselves forward for the opportunity.”

Congratulations, Toby! It was fantastic to meet you and hear all about the brilliant things you’ve been doing for students.

Find your academic rep on the Find My Rep page and nominate them for Rep of the Month below!

I know someone worthy!

Kate Roberts // Vice President Education