Rep of the Month: Toby Bates

Congrats to rep of the month, third-year student and Business and Management School Rep, Toby Bates! Check out all the great things Toby has been up to as a rep, including supporting students with CV and cover letter writing, lobbying for more in-person workshops, and ensuring all modules in the department were consistent on Moodle.

To celebrate all the hard work and dedication of our Academic Reps, each month we highlight one rep who has really gone above and beyond to improve the experience of the students within their department.

Academic Reps are voluntary positions elected by you, the student body, and they exist with a specific remit to represent you and give you a voice in your educational experience. Individually and across the four levels, these reps achieve a large number of positive changes to students’ education on a regular basis.

This month, we're celebrating third-year student and Business and Management School Rep, Toby Bates! 

Toby has worked hard all year to improve the academic experience for students in the school. At the start of the year, Toby held talks for new and continuing students to help them settle into the new term, supported students with CV and cover letter writing, lobbied for more in-person workshops (in line with government guidelines), and ensured all modules in the department were consistent on Moodle. Since returning after the Christmas break, he has created surveys and an academic rep group chat to help everyone stay in touch, started to improve engagement for CeDAS and the library as well as supported the school in becoming AACSB accredited.

Why did you want to become a rep?

Since I first joined Royal Holloway, I wanted to improve my own uni experience as well as help others get the experience that they wanted. Compared to the course rep role, being a school rep is more of a hands-on experience and it’s different in the sense that it’s more ‘behind the scenes’ where I attend bigger meetings and represent students at a higher level.

I wanted to represent students and make their voices heard, especially through the pandemic as most of us didn’t know how what would happen from an academic perspective. We’ve never been through anything like it so it's important to make sure that all students are represented and heard so that their learning experience is the best it could be.

What’s the best thing about being a rep?

As a school rep, I’ve been able to work with lots of different people which has been really helpful for the future. Since becoming a rep, I've developed my communication skills, for example, I can speak to senior staff with more confidence and am more comfortable in front of a camera.

How do you see being a rep impacting your future?

As I say, communication is a big thing, having a sense of responsibility and being able to keep myself organised is something I can take forward. Even while studying for my degree, I’ve been able to balance lots of things without sacrificing my well-being and although it can be hectic at times, it simulates the real world. In the school rep role, there are a lot of niche things to understand which will help me when I enter the world of work after leaving university.

What’s your biggest achievement as a rep?

I would say helping the department become AACSB accredited during the recruitment process is my biggest achievement as a rep. Although it was a very stressful time, it was worth it! The School of Business and Management Royal Holloway will be more recognisable, which not only helps current students and their futures, it will benefit students to come.

Well done Toby!