Whether you work behind the scenes, are front of house in Bars or Retail or provide support in services like our Student Advice Centre, you’ll be working towards the same goal - ensuring our student members love their time at Leeds.
We use a lot of words to describe ourselves - words like fun, ambitious, supportive, creative, diverse and flexible. But don't just take our word for it - hear it from the people who count.
Meet Amrita from Help and Support
I’ve been here a year and I can honestly say it has been one of the most entertaining year’s that I have had in employment.I used to work in law but I soon realised I wanted to work with people in a more person-centred way; where we could talk about mental health and look at life’s problems in a holistic and compassionate way. Having been to a few gigs at the Union, I knew it would be a fun environment with a good mix of characters to work with.
I am a student advisor and my job is to empower students to overcome any obstacles that they may be facing. We run a face to face, telephone, email and skype drop in service every day for students to come and chat in a non-judgemental way about their problems. An average week for me involves speaking to students about practical stuff like housing, academic and academic worries, through to serious casework involving crime, volatile relationships and mental health. We also run campaigns on student issues – this year we have tackled student renting rights, building resilience and sexual consent.
I like that no two days are ever the same. I get to have a real impact on the lives of students. It is so rewarding seeing a student open up and empower themselves to overcome life’s difficulties. You can bring your personal and professional experiences to the table and form a human connection with the people you work with. There is always opportunity for career development at LUU; I’ve gone on courses on everything from supporting someone who is suicidal to learning how to develop my IT skills.
I am proud to work somewhere where I can truly be myself. There are staff BAME and LGBTQ+ networks where you can meet other members of staff to ensure LUU maintains its core value of inclusivity. Working here I have realised how significantly a positive working environment can contribute to your wellbeing. You can take part in a whole host of fun activities: staff meditation, yoga, dodgeball, kabaddi, running, rounders, a baking league, staff singalong or even stroking a Labrador on your lunch break.
Meet Jordon from Balcony
I got into my role through becoming a Catering Assistant last September and progressing to a Supervisor position in March and Trainee Manager last month.I am responsible for the day to day running of Balcony Café in all areas, from leading the team of staff to managing stock and the finances of the outlet.I like the responsibility you are given in your role at LUU, with lots of room for progression and the ability to learn new skills in whichever area interests you the most.
Meet Rachel from The People Team
Learning and Development Manager
I started working for LUU in 2003 as a student Bar Assistant at Bretton Hall campus, When I graduated in 2006 I became the Assistant Manager in the Old Bar and then became the Manager a year later. In 2014 I decided to change my career path so I went back to university part time to study for postgrad MA in HR Management and took a HR Advisor role in the People team. I became the Learning and Engagement Manager this year.
In my role, I am responsible for providing Learning and Development Opportunities in LUU and creating a Learning culture across the organisation. Part of this role is developing the skills of our student staff and graduate roles to get them ready for the next step of their chosen pathway. My role is also responsible for measuring the engagement of our staff, effectively communicating to them and listening to staff voice. I have self-titled myself the Queen of fun as my role looks after the social engagement of staff too so I organise the staff parties and social activity. A rewarding area of work for me is the work I do on staff Health and Wellbeing I provide resources, support and knowledge to our staff and managers to help them with their emotional and physical health.
The great thing about my role is that I work with all people across the whole of the organisation and the people at LUU are awesome. They make working here extra special so I am really lucky to be in a role where I can work with them all.I get to see a lot of progression and development of people in my role too, it is really rewarding to hear about the great places our student staff go on to work at when they graduate.
Meet Laura from Common Ground
I started working in LUU May 2015 as a part-time Cafe Assistant after seeing the job offer on LUU's Facebook Group. In September 2015 I applied for the role of Cafe Supervisor, the role I had for the past 2 years. Now that I'm no longer a student, I have taken on the role of Catering Trainee Manager, a role I started last September.
My job as a Trainee Manager in Common Ground is to ensure the team is offering excellent service and products to our customers. That involves managing and training the staff as well as maintaining a safe and fun environment for them in which they can develop their skills such as stock management, cash handling and administrative responsibilities as well as making sure the outlet follows health and safety procedures.
From the start, I loved the social and vibrant aspect of working in the Union with other students and for the students mainly. As my progress here in LUU shows, another great thing about working here is the opportunity to grow within the organisation and learn important professional and personal skills that will help me in the future.
Meet Abdul from the Change and Engage Team
Community Engagement Manager
In my role, I closely work and support the Community Officer here at LUU. I support the officer on his manifesto by generating ideas that ensure support is there to achieve his aims and targets. We work with the University and partners who are keen on supporting students while they are studying here in Leeds. We are currently developing campaigns that will generate awareness and get students to take responsibility for their community by being active citizens.
I manage a team of 6 outreach workers who work in the student community. We engage with students on intervention and prevention work which include the environment, recycling, leaving Leeds tidy, student safety and issues with housing. We work closely with partners and stakeholders in the community who support us with resources and use of community venues.
I also work with Community reps who focus on student representation on Better Leeds Forum. The reps look at how Leeds can be improved for our students and make sure we work with students on issues that affect them directly. They will generate an idea from students which gets debated in Better Leeds Forum and if agreed this then becomes policy for the Union to make it real.
What I like about my role is I get to meet a lot of people on a daily basis here at LUU and the community of Leeds. This role allows me to engage with a wide variety of people and organisations that are here to make Leeds a vibrant, cohesive city by supporting the needs of the people it represents. The role is at the forefront of students enjoying their time here in Leeds.
Where do I go from here?
We recognise there's life beyond us, and we're very proud of our former staff's achievements. We hope we helped them reach where they are today.
Catch up with Kim
"I joined Leeds University Union as Advertising Assistant in 2002 and left as the Marketing Manager in 2007. I'm now the Director of Marketing & Communications at Leeds Trinity University.
The Union was an excellent place to work, shaped mostly by the people who worked towards a shared vision to help students. Creativity and new ideas were encouraged by the leadership team and everyone genuinely cared about doing a good job. What was especially unique was working alongside student officers, many of whom I'm still friends with today. It's rare that people can say their place of work is fun - at LUU it really was.
The Union introduced me to personal development plans, allowing me to develop my skills, knowledge and expertise for my future career path. I was supported to complete a professional marketing qualification (CIM), as well as develop my leadership skills. Without this, I wouldn't have progressed to my next role."
Catch up with Helen
"I was the Union's Development Coordinator for Media, Performing Arts and the Give it a Go Programme in Student Activities. I enjoyed everything about working at Leeds University Union, including the positive culture of the organisation and the people. Every department worked really well together and I always felt my input was valued. It's s a real “yes” organisation, so you always felt like you were achieving something.
I loved working with the students because they always had a great time and were determined to be the best at what they did. I'm still really good friends with a lot of them - it's been exciting to see them go on to do great things in their own careers. I'm now the Student Learning and Support Manager for the Undergraduate Laws Programme at the University of London International Academy. The programme has about 20,000 students studying for a law degree all over the world - I'm in charge of student support mechanisms and coordinate study support events in the UK and abroad.
I'm really glad I got to experience an organisation like LUU so early on in my career because it has really shaped my positive attitude towards achieving goals. I often use it as an example when talking about successful strategic planning. The best part about it was the depth of experience I gained. I learned a lot and the organisation was great for cultivating my skills. There are not many organisations that allow you to grow as an employee but LUU is certainly one of them."
Catch up with Laura
"Working for LUU felt like being part of a very exciting, fun and friendly community! Working as Information Assistant in the Student Advice Centre, I very quickly felt involved and proud to work in such a great place. No two days were ever the same, from helping students to vote in the biggest student election ever to helping potential students on open days.
Working with Student Advice when I was studying gave me my first chance to work in the advice sector (opportunities are few and far between!) and the experience led me to pursue a career in advice - I'm now a Helpline Advisor at StepChange Debt Charity in Leeds. My experience and knowledge impressed my interviewers at StepChange, and gave me a headstart on my training for the helpline. I've taken the transferable skills I acquired at Student Advice into my new role, and will always be thankful it helped me on my career path."
Catch up with Ollie
"Following a year long Internship, I went on to become LUU's Media & PR Assistant. I produced the Union’s photography and video output, assisted with local press coverage and social media, and gave marketing support on wider Union campaigns.
I really enjoyed working as part of a diverse and lively team, collaborating with designers, web developers, copywriters and PR coordinators to create innovative and rich communications. I gained skills in web, design and general marketing; hugely valuable for my future career.
I am now Administrator at the Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds, where I am responsible for marketing, programming and general admin. I wouldn't have been employed by the cinema were it not for the valuable experience I gained during my two years at LUU, which allowed me develop both personally and professionally."
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