News Article

In conversation with Sara, your Student Academic Representative

"As a representative, you are your own brand” 

In conversation with Sara, your Student Academic Representative 


 As a final year undergraduate student, you would have encountered the purple and orange KCLSU signage at some point during your time at King’s…KCLSU is your Students’ Union!  

Reflecting on the past few years of your student life at King’s, we hope you have felt a sense of belonging in some way to the KCLSU student community.  One way we work to create a strong sense of belonging is by ensuring that you are heard and represented at the University when it comes to your academic concerns. Being the oldest students’ union in England, 150 years in the making, means we take every new academic year as an opportunity to learn from our members to see how we can help them in building a university experience that meets their   vision of university life when studying at King’s College London. 

Here’s an account of Sara Bhandari, an academic representative who explains her journey of advocacy through university life. Sara’s perspective showcases the power of collaboration to improve the academic community at KCL. 

“In a world fueled by innovation and interconnectedness, I can share with you that the role of a representative has evolved beyond traditional boundaries; it's about building relationships, fostering trust, and creating a positive impact among your peers.   

With the digital age replacing face to face interactions, the role of an academic representative becomes pivotal in bridging the gap between staff and students. It's about understanding the needs, desires, and challenges of the people you're representing, and establishing a genuine connection that goes beyond formal interactions!.  

Being an academic representative allows one to advocate for something you or the cohort believes in. Whether it’s relating to a problem with module content delivery or suggesting for cohort wide wellbeing activities, reps have the power to express their wants and needs.  

But every opportunity comes with its own set of challenges, such as  handling objections, and overcoming skepticism. I have embraced them all and leveraged them as an opportunity to grow. Successful reps embrace challenges as part of the journey, learning and adapting to become more effective advocates for their cause.  

As a representative, you are your own brand. Your actions, values, and interactions contribute to the perception people have of the brand you represent. Building a personal brand involves consistency, reliability, and a commitment to the values you stand for. It's about becoming a trusted and recognisable figure in the eyes of your fellow students.  

Being a representative is more than a job; it's a journey of self-discovery, growth, and impact. It's a dynamic and rewarding path that requires adaptability, authenticity, and a genuine passion for making a positive difference. As representatives, we have the power to shape perceptions, influence decisions, and leave a lasting impact on the lives of those we connect with. Embrace the role, hone your skills, and watch as your journey as a representative unfolds into a meaningful and fulfilling experience.” 

Sara’s experience is just one of the many interesting KCLSU academic reps (nearly 1000 of them!)  Last year, we heard your feedback through the National Student Survey. This year, we want you to come out stronger in numbers and tell us how we did. 

Fill out the NSS here  

Pro tip: You will get free KCL merch if you head over to one of the completion hubs! 



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