I joined Film Unit because the idea of running a student cinema was really, really exciting. I've always been into Film and the fact that Sheffield had a student cinema was one of the reasons I picked this University. I wanted the opportunity to find out more about how a cinema operated.
Straightaway, I wanted to be involved in how Film Unit was run and the direction it was to take so I started as Treasurer. It was a natural progression to become Chairperson once the position opened up. By then, I had a good idea of how it worked and felt reasonably confident I could take it on.
As Chairperson, I have formal responsibilities like to call and chair meetings, provide reports and liaise with Students' Union Officers and staff. I'm responsible for making sure everyone on the committee knows what they're doing and making sure nothing goes wrong. As well as that, I'm supposed to come up with ideas for what needs to be improved or what new things Film Unit should do.
My main goal for Film Unit was to upgrade to digital projection by Summer 2013. I formed a subcommittee to research digital projectors and work out how much money we would need. We then had to lobby the Students' Union to invest in the project. We were successful and we had the new projector installed in September 2013, ready for Intro Week. It was a huge project that took up so much time and was probably the most stressful thing I've ever done but it was really worth it.
I'm definitely better at organising things than I used to be. I'm more confident in public speaking after chairing committees and speaking to cinema audiences before a film. I'm better at diplomacy and delegating now – you soon realise that you can't do everything!
Being part of Film Unit helped me decided that I wanted to work in the film industry and it's given me some relevant experience. But more importantly, it's given me knowledge of how film exhibition and distribution works as well as some contacts that should come in useful.
The Students' Union has been the biggest part of my University life – probably more important than my degree! I've spent so much time here and made so many friends. It's been really interesting to get involved, find out how it all works and deal with the people who work here - it's been really exciting. It's been such an integral part of my Student life, if it wasn't for the Students' Union I would be different person now, without a doubt.