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Interview with the Student Union´s Presidium

Read more about Sophia Fröberg Liljenbergs´s position as President and Jenný Jensdóttir´s position as Vice President at the Student Union.

What made you apply for this position?

The interest for me was sparked during my time as president for JUSA. I worked close to the union and saw the potential of being part of developing students’ life here on campus. I thought of it for quite some time but when Jenný said she was going to apply to be vice president I had no hesitations left about applying. – Sophia

Honestly, in a lot of sense it was Sophia. She had already decided to apply for president and the interest of applying for vice started more. I have had an interest in JSU from my time in the student association LOK and saw this as a huge opportunity to learn more and give back what previous student representatives have given me and my education. – Jenný

What topics and tasks have you been working with the past year?

My area of work is mostly education which has taken a lot of time. I have had a close relationship to the student representatives from each education committees and we have been developing the education together. I have also worked a lot with revision of different documents and developing more internal structure for JSU. – Jenný

I have been foremost working on our internal structures and documents but also focused much on developing the relationship with JU. I was in charge of negotiating the contract the union has with JU and reviewing the main areas we work with and how we want to continue working with them. – Sophia

Describe an ordinary work day

There are no ordinary workday! The thing that comes again every day is the representing students and always trying to put that perspective to all conversations. Every week we have meetings with students and people from JU where we are working either with solving problems for students that has appeared now or working with more strategic questions with JU. A lot of our work is long processes which takes time and development which the future students will have great benefits of. – Jenný and Sophia

Do you work 40h/ week at the office?

Yes and no. The goal is to work around 40 hours a week in general, but some weeks are much more and then we need to make sure to get the rest needed. There are always work to do so we could work 24/7. However, this is nothing we recommend both for your personal health as well as that you need to keep your energy on a sustainable level to last through a year or two. Some days we can work from home, for example when visiting family, and at sometimes you need to work evening as well as weekends. There is always a possibility to sleep in a morning if you have worked during a weekend so it is pretty flexible. – Jenný and Sophia

Best parts of your work?

The best part is when working with the education committees’ members with helping students and seeing their appreciation and the results! The next best is to poke on Sophia when she is tired and grumpy… - Jenný

I must agree with Jenný that one of the best parts are to see the results of your work. However, you also need to be patient as some results of the work you do will not be showed until after your mandate. But the feeling that you are developing something to the better is one of the best parts of this job as well. And of course, working with Jenný is great as well – especially when she makes a small dance every time we get food. – Sophia

Best memories from the past year?

Honestly every time students, teachers and employees of JU are giving the feedback of me doing a good job. It is often easy to remember all the things that hasn’t gone so well, but harder to remember all the great accomplishments you do. So, when sitting on a meeting and people refers to your idea and says that we should go with that one, I always dance a bit inside. – Jenný

One of the best memories was getting the confirmation that we where allowed to use campus arena during the kick-offs again. It was a long negotiation and to be a part of reaching our goal was great. – Sophia

Do you need any specific knowledge/ previous work experience to be in your position?

What you need is a will to learn and being able to take responsibility. You also need to dare make mistakes and ask for help. You also need to understand that you are part of a team as one of two in the presidium. You do not have decision power on your own, but it is together you lead the student union and represent students towards JU.
To represent all students, it is important that you learn about all the faculties and how it works differently on them. It can also be very beneficial if you have been involved with student associations, committees or interest associations before. – Jenný and Sophia

Who can apply for your positions?

All students at JU!

What have you learn/gain from this year?

We have gained experience on how to lead and develop an organisation. This has included administration tasks, budgeting and employee questions. As the tasks are so various and many you learn to prioritize as well as stress and time management. We have learned how important it is to balance working life with your social life.

We also got to develop our skills in crisis management due to the situation with corona and at the same time learned that all experiences are not fun, but challenging and some decision you need to take you rather would not have wanted to take.

Our communication skills have definitely been developed and we have also seen how that is a never-ending area of discussion and development within an organisation no matter how small or big.

During our mandate we have also learned how long time changes take and that you need to have patience and dare to see beyond your own time of the better of all students.

We could go on for quite a while but if you want to know more just send us an email or stop by our office. Gaining all of these different experiences and having fun meanwhile makes this a unique experience and something few people can put on their CV.

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