Meet Alice Smith, voted Manchester’s most powerful student
She’s treasurer of the women’s rugby club, is a young ambassador for Endometriosis UK, AND she’s been on the Young Apprentice
3rd year Politics and Anthropology student, Alice Smith was voted Manchester’s most powerful student 2017. She won by a landslide, with 90 more votes than Mehmet Arslan, who came in 2nd place. We caught up with Alice to see how’s she’s coping with her new found fame.
How does it feel to officially have been voted as Manchester’s most powerful student?
“It feels a bit ridiculous to be honest. I find the whole thing slightly embarrassing, I hope people realise that I’m not taking it too seriously. It’s all good fun and I do feel really appreciative though, especially because Manchester is such a big uni. I honestly had no idea I’d been nominated, I was in the dark for ages but I eventually found out it was a friend of mine who put me forward, she’s such a lovely girl.”
Have you got anything to say to Mehmet? You beat him by almost 100 votes to the top spot.
“What was he nominated for, drinking? Well, I’ve been a social member of the women’s ruby team for three years, they’re all gorgeous laid back fun girls but one thing they can do is drink. I could definitely outdrink him.”
You were nominated partly due to your work with Endometriosis UK, tell us about it.
“I was diagnosed with Endometriosis at 14 and it was really difficult. It’s a condition where the lining of the womb is found in other palaces, like the bladder or the Fallopian tubes, it’s extremely painful and can cause difficulties with periods, having sex and getting pregnant. I was really unwell with it and it really got me down. Things didn’t start looking up for me until I had my operation at 18, the work I do with them [Endometriosis UK] is to raise awareness. It’s for my 14 year old self, I felt alone with my illness and scared by how much it affected me, but it’s not like it’s rare. 1 in 10 women have it. I think it’s such a social injustice that it’s not talked about more, because it’s to do with girls and periods and wombs I think people are scared to talk about it, it’s taboo. It’s so common, and can be really debilitating.
I’m not really sure if I still count as a young ambassador because I’m turning 22 this year, but I do lots of work with the charity. My favourite moment was talking about it on This Morning. I chatted with Dr Chris, Holly and Phil. I couldn’t believe how small Phillip Schofield is in real life! But they’re all really nice. And they smell amazing, is that weird?
I’ve also been interviewed in The Guardian about it, and I have a blog, too. I started writing it during the run up to my operation, and kind of just carried on from there. Hopefully anyone in the same position that I was at 14 can find some reassurance in it. I’ve had people from all over the world contact me through my blog to talk about their experience with Endometriosis.”
You were also on the Young Apprentice, how does that compare with your Tab glory?
“I honestly find the whole Apprentice thing really embarrassing. I never thought I’d get on it in a million years, I was 16 and had a free rang egg enterprise. I’d never even had a formal interview before, I was so nervous. But I got through the first heat, then it just kept going forward. My main concern was that people generally perceive Apprentice contestants as a bit shit, a bit arrogant. It’s 180 hours of filming that go into every one hour episode – they can edit you to come off however they want. Luckily the whole thing turned out okay for me. It’s definitely given me a boost rather than hold me back – I was worried it would make me a bit of a liability, like who would want to employ the girl who made a bit of a tit out of herself on television? But luckily it worked out for the best, I was fine. It’s helped me with my work for Endometriosis UK, and now look at me, I’m in The Tab!”
We’d like to thank all 2,067 Manchester students for voting, all hail Alice.