Research Assistant, University of Reading
“I have really enjoyed being an active member of the BES since 2015. At the Annual Meeting in Ghent, someone suggested I may want to be on the Membership Committee as an early career representative, starting in 2018. I automatically said yes but soon after started to doubt my position and wondered if I would have the skills required for the committee.
“The first meeting I attended there were a number of very experienced individuals, some having been with the BES for decades. I sat and listened and took a few notes to gauge what would be expected of me and of the committee.
“Over this meeting I didn’t say too much, I just wanted to get a better understanding of what I would need to know. However, I was always asked if I had anything to say or any feelings on certain subjects, leaving me feeling included and empowered.
“By the time the next meeting arrived I had been and conducted a little bit of research on members’ thoughts and feelings on certain subjects, so when we covered certain topics I had an opinion and constructive information to share. These points were recognised, with some used as action points for the next meeting.
“The feeling I received from this was being part of something more than a member, I was now contributing to the society and developing it for fellow members.
“I look back and think that the thought of being on a BES committee was quite daunting as postgraduate student. I thought my voice may not mean as much as someone who has been with the society a lot longer.
“However, I realised quite quickly that I have a voice and can contribute as much as anyone else. I would highly recommend being on a committee. And feel free to get in touch if you have any thoughts or ideas on BES membership @ArronWatson86.”
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