Co-President of UWA Student Managed
“The main aim of any club is to benefit the students.”
Make sure you understand all aspects of the club before coming in and implementing changes. It can be very exciting starting your role as President and you have probably come up with a list of new ideas, but it's important to talk to the outgoing executive committee on what they tried and tested and what worked/didn't work.
Have a strong executive team. There is a lot of work that goes into running a club and you can't do it alone. Depending on your club's constitution you may have the ability to choose your exec. Don't pick someone just because they are your closest friend.
Set yourself clear goals at the start of the year and plan how to achieve them.
Continue the existing relationship your club may have with the faculty and other clubs. It is important to have a strong relationship with the clubs you may view as your 'rivals.' For example, if you are the President of an engineering club and there is another engineering club on campus you have to remember that the main aim of any club is to benefit the students and your events will benefit the students more if the clubs collaborate.
Don't be afraid to ask for advice. Being President can be scary and you might not know exactly what's going on (especially when you're asked what size tent your club wants on O-Day) so don't be afraid to message the Immediate Past President as they have a lot of experience and are always happy to help.
Build a relationship with your predecessor.
Reach out to the outgoing committee member who held your current position in the previous year. Note that they might have taken on full-time work and hence be time-poor. If they can offer the time below, here’s what to ask for:
(1) One off, written response
Ask them for their top three learnings from the role.
(2) One off, 30-minute meeting/call
Conduct an 80/20 analysis on their time in the role. Ask them which actions they conducted that yielded the most benefits and where they felt they spent a lot of time to little avail.
(3) Monthly, 30-minute meeting/call
As above during the first meeting, then ask to check in with them to get feedback on your progress each month following. Say, ‘Thank you’ … a lot!