Three Reasons Why…
You should go to BME Take the Lead.
1 / It provides a unique opportunity to meet other BME students who are interested in leadership and networking. Also, you can talk to and get advice from BME student leaders and external speakers.
I went to BME Take the Lead in 2016/17 and the guest speakers were Shamila Akhtar and Ade Solanke. Shamila is an author, as well as a disabled rights activist who was awarded a place on Northern Power Women’s Top 50 Future List in 2017. She also founded InspirAbility, an initiative working to raise awareness of the issues faced by disabled individuals within the Muslim community. Ade Solanke is a playwright, screenwriter and the founder of Spora Stories and Tama Communications. Whilst Spora Stories was founded to support the telling of stories from the African diaspora, Tama Communications is more general, instead focusing on offering writing and publicity services.
In terms of student leaders, both myself and Rishabh Kumar took part in the panel discussion. I was the Chair of the BME Students’ Committee, as well as the BME Students’ Representative Councillor and the BME Representative of the Women’s Committee. Rishabh was able to provide an insight on entrepreneurialism and leadership, as alongside his role as the Vice-Chair of the BME Students’ Committee and the Chair of the LGBT+ Students’ Committee, he was also the International Entrepreneurs Lead for University of Sheffield Enterprise.
Ultimately, the point of speakers was so that we could share our experiences of being ‘leaders’ and what that realistically means. You can definitely get some tips on how to handle those haters and be more confident in yourself and your own abilities.
2 / It’s super unique. Literally, I’m not joking.
While the University of Sheffield’s Students’ Union has been the number one Students’ Union in the country for a while, the number of events specifically created to focus on and support BME students are few and far between (excluding the events set up by BME students themselves). Therefore, it is important to take advantage of this opportunity and use it to your advantage.
There’s a focus on self-reflection, in terms of your own achievements and what you hope to achieve in the future. The activities and discussions are there to start up conversations about how you can take the lead in your own life and in your future career. If you’ve never thought about leadership before, I guarantee you’ll start thinking about it at this event.
3 / Snacks + the people
No, I have not run out of reasons why you should go. I just really enjoy when people provide snacks at events. The fact that they thought about whether I’d get peckish or not is indicative of how much they care.
You meet so many cool students, from so many different backgrounds that you can’t really regret going. Even if you don’t like the speakers, and Oreos aren’t really your vibe, you will definitely meet at least 3 people you’ll be really glad to have met. I was really stressed when I went, partially because I was helping to set up and was getting sweaty, but also because it was a Saturday morning and I didn’t think anyone would come. But people did turn up, and they liked the croissants, and the whole thing was probably one of the highlights of my year (I was in a group shot with Ade Solanke, please, I would have cried).
Give it a go, I mean, what have you got to lose?
(Shot of the day! I actually don’t know who took it, I’m sorry. Ade and Shamila are on the bottom right)