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Beth Button

Beth Button

I am currently the Education and University affairs officer at Cardiff University; a job I never would have imagined being in when I first arrived at Cardiff.

My job involves representing all 29,000 students of the University on academic issues, coordinating the student academic rep system, attending meetings to ensure the students' voice gets heard, and lobbying the University to make change for students.

When I initially came to study in the School of Social Sciences, I was going to study straight Education, having my heart set on being a primary school teacher, and only decided to undertake joint honours and make my degree Education and Sociology as an afterthought. Studying education and sociology however, opened my eyes to the fact that there is more to education than just teaching, and to the world of politics that surrounds it.

Through my time at University I became really intrigued by the influences not only on education, but what influence education can have on society. I started to get involved with the student representation system in the school and I developed an interest in how students can shape the education system they are within. I became a student academic rep and then went on to chair the student staff panel for two years, undertaking various projects such as redesigning the way the induction process is run, lobbying the school to improve the feedback students receive, and running focus groups to ensure that students' views were being heard.

Through the opportunities within the School and the support the staff gave me over the year, I was able to develop my passion for student representation. I turned what for three years was an extracurricular activity into an opportunity to continue it as a full time job, through running in the student elections and being elected to represent 29,000 students on educational issues.

Through my job, I have been able to further develop my interest in how we can engage students in their learning, and I am planning on pursuing a career in student politics. I really feel without having studied social sciences at Cardiff and having the opportunity to be challenged, engaged and shown there's more to a subject than you originally think, I wouldn't be fortunate enough to be doing a job that I am immensely passionate about and really love!

Find out more about studying Education at the School of Social Sciences

Find out more about Beth's role as a Cardiff University Sabbatical Officer