Many students are busy during university life, trying to balance a social life with study and work commitments. So why would anyone add to that workload any further by getting more involved at Deakin? Dannielle Hibberd, Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Sciences, former President of Deakin University’s Food and Nutrition Society , Recipient of the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences Student Engagement Award and the Vice Chancellors Award for Outstanding Contribution to University Life, will tell you exactly why engaging with social clubs and getting involved with the things on offer at Deakin will be one of the best decisions you ever make!
In 2015, I was given the opportunity to serve as president of Deakin University’s Food and Nutrition Society (FANS) for the year, and what a fantastic opportunity it was! Over the course of the year, I had a chance to develop many important skills such as time management, leadership, teamwork and facilitation, how to communicate effectively and appropriately, as well as the opportunity to practice and further develop my public speaking skills.
Not only did my engagement at Deakin through FANS allow me to gain all the skills listed above, but it also provided me with the opportunity to get to know the university and its staff at a deeper level. I had the chance to meet many staff members at Deakin, all of whom had very varied roles and qualifications, but shared one passion – making every student’s time at Deakin valuable and rewarding.
The role of President of FANS also allowed me to have an impact at Deakin. Working with the FANS committee, I was able to use my role to create events tailored to issues we were passionate about. FANS provided cheap, affordable and nutritious food to Deakin staff and students, raised money for charities such as Foodbank Victoria (who provide healthy food to those who are unable to afford it for themselves), conduct events which allowed students to feel involved at Deakin and gave them the chance to meet like-minded students. We also gave students the opportunity to learn about future career pathways in food and nutrition, provided tips on what they should be doing while studying to get ahead.
Looking back, 2015 was an incredible year for me. Although I was very busy balancing my commitments as President with my study and work life, I had the chance to meet incredible people, make new friends, contribute to Deakin University and gain valuable skills which I will draw on throughout my life. My engagement through FANS has now seen me awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to University Life, which is an honour. But it is the memories from my involvement with Deakin and FANS that I hold closest, and will continue to value for many years to come.
Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Science, Deakin University