30 January 2017 - 3:57 pm

The role of perseverance in Leadership

My Campaign Manager, Jas, had an extraordinary patience with me. She’d film over and over again my campaign video until she felt it seemed right. She had faith in me, as she had faith in the previous International Officer that she campaigned for, and she was right, because I won. Winning was the result of perseverance and the beginning of a journey of perseverance and this is what I am going to talk about. I will jump over my personal experience of running as I have already written something on it in another USE blog . Thus, I will delve directly into the world of Students’ Union Leadership.

There are many reasons why people run to be an SU Officer: gaining leadership experience  in the best Students’ Union in the country, paid position to do what you are passionate about, campaigning platform to achieve change, or all together. As many others, I had run with a manifesto and I had run having in mind some specific objectives I wanted to achieve. I have come far enough in my objectives by working with Rishabh (USE Intern) on the amazing International Entrepreneurs Scheme, by working with ISC on World Week #WeAreInternational and, currently, on International Cultural Evening, by lobbying the University to implement a Guarantor Scheme for International Students as well as organising a talk and drop-in sessions with specialist advisors for EU students to understand better the implications of Brexit.

Working as an Officer made me understand the breadth of my role: the interesting relation between being a Trustee, a Representative of students, and an Activist for what I wanted to achieve. This year taught me confidence, initiative, diplomacy, but, above all, perseverance. I knew that perseverance was important to achieve my dreams. That’s mainly the reason why I ran in Officer Elections twice and overcome my fear of failing. But it was probably this year in this role that actually taught me how important perseverance is in leadership. How important it is to persevere in a vision, whilst being flexible at the same time with your methods.

There are so many skills that you gain from this job that probably for other officers, it is something else that resonated with them as a big learning experience. I do believe that, no matter the skill, perseverance is essential to win, to go through the year, to achieve your objectives and to create a personal life vision. And I also think this is a journey every enterprising student should try. Happily (or sadly for me), nomination period to stand to be an SU Officer opens on Monday 6th Feb (and closes on Friday 17th Feb at 5pm). So it is time that a new generation of Leaders awake and take a stand, time that a new generation works day after day to win the elections and create change. I’m assuming that if you’re reading this blog from the USE page, you would like to discover the Leader in you, so why not give it a try? Nominate yourself. Persevere. Be a leader!

PS: If you do decide to run, I have also written a blog on 6 things you should know before running to be an SU Officer

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  • About the author

    Ana-Gabriela Popa

    Ana-Gabriela Popa

    MSc Leadership and Management student at The University of Sheffield. Enterprise Intern. Global Citizen. Feminist. Avid reader. Series binge-watcher. Formerly International Students' Officer at Sheffield Students' Union, Chair of International Students' Committee, Vice-President Marketing at AIESEC Sheffield, Widening Participation Intern at USE. BA International Relations and Politics graduate.