Human Nutrition and Dietetics students tuck into BDA experience

Mon, 02 Nov 2020 16:19:00 GMT
Elaine and Joanna help form part of the committee at the West of Scotland branch of the BDA
Elaine and Joanna help form part of the committee at the West of Scotland branch of the BDA

Third year Human Nutrition and Dietetics student Elaine Penman was recently appointed to the student role within the West of Scotland Branch of the British Dietetic Association. Elaine will be joining fourth year student Joanna Taylor, who has been involved in the committee for the last two years as an ordinary member. 

In this interview they open up about their experience and why they would encourage other students to get involved in voluntary work during their time at GCU.

How did you get the role with West of Scotland branch of the British Dietetic Association?

E: ”I was obviously aware of the BDA as a student attending past events. I knew that the role would be coming available over the summer and had actually written a piece for our course page about the role so people were aware of it. I then decided to give it a go and apply myself.”

J: “This will be my third year involved with them. The committee roles in the West of Scotland branch have a term of two years – so every couple of years they were advertising for the student role. Myself and another student both applied for it and there was also an ordinary member role going at the same time, which they didn’t fill – so we just tossed a coin for it. I ended up in the ordinary member role and I’ve been in it ever sense, while also sharing the duties of the student role.”

What’s been involved in the actual role?

E: It’s mainly an administrative role at the moment. I look after promotion of events and help organise feedback on surveys. I’m also responsible for the attendance certificates, some of the promotional material and resources.”

J: “I’ve been helping a lot more recently with social media, which involves assisting our PR officer. We’ve got Twitter and Facebook accounts so I schedule posts and advertise events and survey links for engagement.

I’ve also been involved in setting up EventBrite for us and also engaging with the BDA to get students involved in events as well. I’m also responsible for taking minutes at meetings when the secretary isn’t available, so just really anything!”

How happy are you to have each other on the committee this year?

E: “I was absolutely delighted when Joanna had said she was staying on with the committee, especially with how busy she’ll be with her honours year project and placements. It’ll be great for us to share ideas and Joanna’s obviously been involved for two years. She actually took my induction, so she’s really shown me the ropes.”

J: “I was really glad to hear that Elaine was coming on board, she’s really proactive and talented at all sorts of things. I get to catch up with her now and again and really enjoy her company, so it’s going to be great!”

Would you encourage other students to get involved in something extracurricular like this during their time at university?

E: “Obviously the Common Good role within the University is key and being able to add any experience linked to your profession is really important. I think it’s also vital for your own personal development, it allows you to gain skills and interact with people out with your course. I think it’s just a great thing to do – I’m a big advocate for voluntary roles!”

J: “It’s definitely good to maximise your time at university. It really helps you to meet people because I think a lot about getting jobs when you graduate is about who you know, so it’s very good to expand your network.

Volunteering in general is vital for your CV and helps you to stand out and show your interest in your topic area. It’s also a good thing for getting references and most importantly it’s just nice to meet new people.”

By Ross Clark
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