Each year AMOSSHE members elect six people to represent our organisation as part of the AMOSSHE Executive Committee. AMOSSHE members volunteer their time and expertise to ensure that AMOSSHE works in the best way to support our members, the sector and the student experience.
What's it like being an Executive member? What does it involve, and what are the benefits for your development as a Student Services professional?
Find out from some current and past Executive members about their experiences and recommendations:
Find out more about the AMOSSHE Executive Committee.
Joining the Executive is a really positive thing to do for many reasons. Whether it be personal development, career development, increased sector knowledge, keeping up to date with current issues or a chance to network with colleagues nationally.
I have gained so much from the experience that I am really pleased I took the opportunity when I did. I have now got a stronger network of people that I can turn to when an issue at work arises and I don’t know where else to turn. Although this is possible through the AMOSSHE members generally, my relationship with the other Executive members is different, and I can have frank and honest conversations that are really helpful to my work.
One of the main reasons I wanted to join the Executive was to get an understanding of the Student Services sector outside of my role at work and I definitely think I have benefited from that. I have learnt a lot about legislation and issues affecting areas of Student Services that I do not directly manage. When I joined the Executive I wasn't a Director or Head of Department and you don’t have to be in one of these roles to be on the AMOSSHE Executive. I think the Executive benefits from having people at various stages of their career and various levels of an organisation. I got a new job a few months after joining the Executive and was able to use some of my experience in the interview to evidence my connection with the wider sector and my knowledge of best practice.
I have been one of the two Executive leads for the annual summer conference, and this has been a really fantastic and rewarding experience. I have been involved in choosing keynote speakers and workshop sessions that members will find relevant and enjoyable, and conributed to making the conference a landmark event in the calendar for Student Services professionals. I have also chaired AMOSSHE Futures meetings, which has enabled colleagues to have full and frank discussions under the Chatham House rules and received great feedback about the usefulness of the event. I led on a one day counselling conference in coordination with HUCS, which brought together both managers and practitioners to a continuing professional development (CPD) event where current issues could be explored and best practice shared. Meetings, CPD events and conferences from AMOSSHE are often the most relevant events to attend for Student Services professionals, so it is great to feel like you have been a part of that.
I was unsure how I would find the AMOSSHE Executive and a bit nervous at first. However, the other Executive members were very welcoming and helpful and I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest. It is a way to do something outside of the day job that is very relevant and will help you with it!
Contributing to the Executive team for AMOSSHE brings opportunities to both develop and make a difference. I have been able to contribute directly to the work of the association through conference planning and co-ordinating and presenting at CPD events.
I have also been able to impact for the sector in stakeholder roles with the QAA and Disabled Students Stakeholder Group with the Student Loans Company. Working closely with a range of talented colleagues on the Executive from across Student Services in higher education has also contributed much to my ongoing development and perspectives about the development of Student Services provision in higher education.
Why should someone join the executive? To connect with leading professionals in the UK higher education sector, contribute influentially to the future of our profession, put something 'back' into the sector, which sustains us, and as an opportunity for personal growth and development.
From my time on the Executive I gained valuable professional experience (for example, chairing a national organisation, governance experience) as well as a network of key colleagues in the UK and internationally, and knowledge and experience to improve local practice.
From working on the Executive I helped to open up a national debate on the value and impact of Student Services in higher education and deliver resources to support this. I also took part in stepping up the strategic influence and leadership from AMOSSHE, and arising from these, I guided the organisation within a sustainable financial framework, such as to enable beneficial future development in member services.
Joining the AMOSSHE Executive is a really good opportunity to meet and work closely with a new set of colleagues and to create dedicated time to focus on sector-wide issues (and not just a busy day job).
I was part of a supportive network, had opportunities to represent AMOSSHE at sector events, was able to influence sector thinking and policy, and gain greater experience of governance.
I contributed to sector consultations through events and regional meetings, supported other AMOSSHE members and ensured that a valuable London higher education network was re-energised and maintained. I was able to influence the strategic direction of AMOSSHE to ensure that it remained a useful member organisation that met the needs of members and kept them informed of sector best practice and sector changes.
Being on the AMOSSHE Executive is a great all-round experience. In my nine years of total service on the Executive I learnt a tremendous amount about how Student Services works across higher education in its broadest sense.
I had the opportunity to lobby people of influence in government, agencies and public bodies and higher education organisations and to raise the profile and significance of our work within and without the sector.
I have worked closely with some excellent colleagues, been able to network extensively and have engaged with issues I might not have otherwise encountered at all, or to the same extent, in my day job. Plus there is also the element of giving back to Student Services, which is a part of the higher education world I feel very passionately about.
In short – I’d recommend it!
Joining the Executive will give you a much broader perspective on Student Services issues as they arise or impact right across the sector. You will be able to use your experience - and develop it further - to influence practice and policy relating to Student Services.
This is at a time when students are questioning the cost and value of higher education - so it's a time when services and support are more critical than ever. The AMOSSHE Executive is a body that can make a real difference, and you will be part of that.
My sectoral knowledge and understanding broadened considerably and I was able to share and learn much from good practice across the whole of the UK. Being part of the conference planning and thinking through the potential training requirements of Student Services managers has certainly assisted my own career. Being part of a national network has done me tremendous good both personally and professionally - as well as introducing me to some great friends.
I hope that I have helped shape the notion of the value and impact of Student Services on the student experience. I hope that I have opened up some new ways of thinking by the presentations and workshops that I have contributed to over the years. I think that my AMOSSHE days have certainly helped forge my reputation across the sector for delivering excellent, integrated Student Services and promoting opportunity at this evolutionary point in the history of higher education. I believe that my AMOSSHE experience was a critical factor in my appointment to my current role.