Rep of the Month: Zhe Long Ou

Academic Reps play a key role in improving students’ academic experience, working hard to make sure your ideas and concerns are heard at the highest level. If you're studying Geography, make sure you get to know your Senior Course Rep, Zhe Long Ou.

academic repsRep of the Month

Second-year Geography Senior Course Rep, Zhe Long Ou, has been selected as Rep of the Month for April to recognise his contributions to improving the academic experience for his coursemates. From forwarding important student feedback to senior department staff to providing more support for his cohort, Zhe Long hasn't stopped working this year!

Why did you want to become a rep?

I became an academic rep in my first year at Royal Holloway after a little encouragement from President, Maia Jarvis, in her previous role as VP Education. It’s a fantastic and rewarding initiative and I wanted to get involved in the process of improving the education experience not just for myself but the rest of my cohort. I’ve always been involved in similar initiatives, by being a council member and prefect at school and student ambassador at sixth form college.

What are your plans for the rest of the academic year?

For the rest of the term, I will be gathering feedback from second-year Geography students who were on a week-long field trip towards the end of last term. I’ll be asking how they found it, what did they enjoy, what could be improved, and how the excursions and sites of interest will add to individual field trip reports. I will also be chairing the final Undergraduate Staff-Student Committee (SSC) meeting of the academic year and asking students to share their experiences and feedback for the year. I will be asking for feedback around exams and dissertations and if students have any suggestions for the staff-delivered revision sessions in preparation for the exams.

How will your experience impact your future?

Being a rep will definitely help to boost my CV and job applications and will also support me when applying for a university postgraduate degree in the future. It provides a real-world case study of skills that I can demonstrate both on paper and in interviews. Being a senior course rep this year has given me extra responsibility and I have really enjoyed taking a step up into a more senior role. It has given me the chance to develop skills such as public speaking, chairing meetings, and experience of preparing for meetings with members of senior department staff.

What’s the best thing about being a rep?

I would say the best thing about being a rep is being able to work with the amazing SU Voice team, including being guided through SU training and rep development sessions throughout the year. It’s great being able to create lasting academic change with other reps which will benefit students now and in the future. I’ve really been able to understand students' concerns and a highlight has been seeing their voice being taken seriously during their studies at Royal Holloway.