Beyond my studies at the University of Bolton, I have taken on several roles to enhance my employability, gain new skills and a clearer understanding of the students’ needs. In my second year I decided to take on a new role to see if I could go beyond Bolton (and indeed the North West) to meet and greet other students and find out about their positive experiences.

Like all Universities across the country, certain roles within the student union are elected roles, students vote for their representatives. These roles were promoted early in the year and I decided to campaign for the role of NUS conference delegate. There was a lot of reading, and campaigning to do. It was all very new and slightly daunting to persuade students that I was right for the job. It culminated in a very hectic week, but after the speeches and canvasing the results were in and I was successful. Then came the hard part!

Cara Bradbury with Dr Kondal Reddy Kandadi

I travelled with our current SU president to Glasgow home of the conference (it moves location every couple of years). There was little time to rest as we were thrown straight into proceedings. In essence, the conference is a place where topics can be discussed and debated by approximately 700 delegates (representing thousands of students from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). Every issue was raised, from student fees to the environment. Delegates also voted for their preferred choice for many roles at a nationwide level. Some of the speeches from the candidates were truly inspiring, all doing excellent work for students across the UK.

There was of course drama, conflicts of policy, and everything else that is to be expected from a group of passionate people supporting students from a variety of backgrounds and institutions. If I had to take only one thing away it from this experience, it would be that hard work and persistence can pay off, and that everyone’s voice deserves to be heard and recognised.

Glasgow, NUS Conference 2018
Glasgow 2018

It is doubtful I would have ever been given the opportunity to attend the NUS conference if I hadn’t already taken on other roles and responsibilities, from Student representative, completing the Bolton Award and being a member of the University’s validation panel. All of my hard work paid off and I was proud to represent the English department and the University of Bolton at a national level.

Cara Bradbury

Second year student