"You'll never win if your hat isn't in the ring!" - Interview with ex-Elections Candidate, Chelsea
Thinking of running to be an Elected Officer, but worrying about not winning? We know it can be really overwhelming, and put many people off from nominating yourself. But we're here to tell you, the experience you gain from the opportunity is worth it!
- Posted Thu, Feb 9, 2023 5:09 PM
You might have seen her around UPSU - she's known for being fabulously dressed every day, the colour pink, and the dedication she has for making things better for you, the students.
What you might not know is Chelsea ran to be an Officer at her Uni - but didn't win. We spoke to Chelsea to find out how she found the whole elections experience and if it was worth running to be an officer, even if you might not get the role.
You ran to be an Elected Officer - how did you find the experience?
In 2015 I ran to be President at my Uni - spoiler I didn't win. I absolutely loved running, I was involved in every elections during my time as a student, and it's still my favourite time in the student calendar (joint with Freshers Fayre, ofc). The week was tiring but so rewarding, I met so many new people that I wish I'd meet sooner - not just the candidates but all their campaign teams too! Even though you're technically competing, it feels like a proper community effort!
What skills did you learn from the experience?
Running really helped me to be braver when going up to speak to people - I'm not very good at bigging myself up but you have to do that in an election! So it really helped my self confidence, as well as general communication skills and public speaking. Resilience was a big one too, not everyone wants to speak to you so you either adapt or move on - I still find that really useful in my work all these years later!
What advice would you give to someone looking to nominate themselves?
If you're even contemplating it, then go for it - you'll never win if your hat isn't in the ring! Make sure during the week you surround yourself with people who will make you feel good and look after yourself in the process (you can't survive on caffeine & pizza alone, believe me)
Were you disappointed when you lost the election?
I won't lie - yes. I cried. But when I reflected I was so happy I'd tried and given it my best shot, I don't look back at that time with any regrets at all! I still stand by my manifesto tagline 'Made with Chelsea' (geddit?)
How has the experience helped you get to where you are today?
After running I knew that SUs was where I wanted to be - and here I am working with students every day 8 years later! I learnt quickly that I had to do things authentically to myself to achieve what I want, and I still hold that with me daily. I didn't get to where I wanted to be at the time, but with the skills and experience gained, plus the people I met, I'm absolutely where I want to be now!
If you want to nominate yourself to become an Elected Officer, or just gain some great skills for your CV, you have until Friday 24th February!
Call: 023 9284 3628
The University of Portsmouth Students’ Union has a vision of creating a positive impact with every Portsmouth student during their time at University.