Building a new professional student union
Not sure about your career path choice? Need a summer job? Like to meet other professional students – even ask them advice?
Students enrolled in Fish Health and Aquaculture at BIO have confronted their need for more information by deciding to establish their own student union (linjeforeninga). Eight enthusiastic, engaged young people in years1-4 of the 5-year programmes have established a Board. In addition they have established two working groups: one interfacing with industry, the other responsible for events.
Two Board members, 4-year students Charlotte Asserson and Ida-Kathrin Gjerstad Nerbøvik, enumerated some of the types of information they feel could be channelled via the union:
- Presentations of work places
- Interviews with previous graduates about working life
- Summer job opportunities in this area
- Short learning opportunities abroad
- Links to other student groups such as STIM, and Biologisk fagutvalg (BFU)
Asserson and Gjerstad Nerbøvik feel that better information flow will encourage students in their studies – especially those that may not be sure they have made the right choice. They also feel that students are not exposed to the commercial / working side of things soon enough. Practical work experience – such as that gained through summer jobs – is important both for motivation and focus as well as for building up an attractive CV.
The first event the union already has on its books is a Career Day, 16 February 2012. They will be collaborating with BFU to present BIO-related career possibilities. Other event possibilities include regular seminars with industry leaders and experts from UiB and other research institutions.
There are around 80 students in all years combined in both programmes. This is a significantly sized group that will definitely benefit from an organised approach to information dissemination. The union is just in its early planning stages, but has already attracted support from the teachers and some industry partners. The idea is on its way to realisation!
UPDATE Nov. 2011:
The Union has already received positive feedback from a number of companies, which would like to contribute with business presentations and excursions to their aquaculture facilities.
In addition, the group now has an E-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org where you can send questions for more information.