SABBS – Definitely NOT where you should start your career

I don’t know who the sabbs answer to, but I do know it is not me, and I helped put them there!

Every year around this time, a lot of the students soon ending their degrees start getting irritated by the SUSU elections and the way in which some people ‘big’ them up as the most important thing ever…when they are quite clearly not.

What is the point? Get a real job.

Being a sabb has said to be like ‘gold dust’ on your CV. However I feel that the people who run for sabb positions aren’t ready for the real world, have done useless degrees, and don’t understand that cramming your CV with titles makes it worth less than the paper itself.

There are virtually NO entry requirements

When comparing sabb positions to actual jobs, one way to put value on a job is to measure the demand for it. When applying to graduate schemes, I am faced with competition of about 500 people per position. SUSU pres? Maybe 3 or 4 (could be 10 this year). Or how about the application stage? Get smashed, and hang around on concourse for a week compared to essay writing, maths tests, competency interviews and group selection days.

Talk to any decent recruiter, and they will tell you that working for a union, university, or public office, all look like a skid mark on your CV when applying to high profile, incentivised jobs. This however may not be the fault of our sabbaticals here at Southampton, but of those at lower universities such as Oxford Brookes and Southampton Solent.

Finally, it is a known fact that you should do your research about a company before applying for a job or you will get slaughtered in the interview. However, things may be different for sabb positions here at Southampton. It is rumoured that our current AU president did not know the difference between the union and the university until his first day on the job, superb.

Part of my issue is that the union is not transparent enough. I don’t know who the sabbs answer to, but I do know it is not me, and I helped put them there! Who will discipline them if they slack off? What incentive do they have to work hard, put in extra hours, or invest more than is expected into our union?

With all of that in mind, nothing is concrete. Some sabbs are amazing, but others are sadly just okay. There is always room for improvement and I am genuinely excited (for once) about some of the candidates running this year.