Gemma Reynolds was studying Business Management level 6 at West Lothian College when she decided to run for Vice President of the West Lothian College Student Association. For Gemma, being successfully appointed hasn’t meant taking time out of her studies, but finding a way to combine these with her position through a Modern Apprenticeship (MA) in Business Admin.

Gemma talks passionately about her role within the Student Association and the variety that she enjoys on a daily basis.

“I carry out a huge range of tasks on a daily basis but crucially, I represent the students. My role is very varied and includes preparing written reports, planning, managing and participating in student focussed events, providing students with details on support mechanisms available and also deputising for the Student Association President.”

Whilst Gemma loves her role supporting students on a full-time basis, she wanted a way to carry on learning and gaining qualifications and saw the Modern Apprenticeship as an excellent opportunity for this.

“The reason I chose to do the MA was that it was a way of allowing me to carry on my studies and gain a qualification whilst working full-time in my position. It is very fast paced and challenging to complete my MA alongside my role in the Student Association, but it really is worth every minute and getting the work experience in combination with the qualification is invaluable.”

Completing the MA allows Gemma to be creative and carry out tasks that benefit both the Student Association and her own personal development.

GR2“Recently I helped organise and hold a health and wellbeing fair for students as part of my MA – I really enjoyed this as I got to experience a project from start to finish and apply lots of the key skills needed to achieve my MA. My assessor Lynn has been absolutely brilliant with me and it has been so good to have someone so supportive.”

Speaking of Gemma’s performance in her MA, Deputy Head of Workforce Development Lynn Bain said:

“We were delighted to be able to offer Gemma the opportunity to undertake an industry recognised, accredited qualification whilst in post as Student Association Vice President. Gemma has immersed herself fully into her MA, she is progressing exceptionally well and is continually enthusiastic about her MA learner journey.”

Gemma is planning to run for a second year in the Student Association office and feels that her MA will not only help her with the activities involved in this, but will help her when she moves into employment or further study in the future. When asked if there was any advice she had for anyone considering completing a MA, Gemma had some positive final thoughts.

“If anyone is unsure about doing the MA then I would say just go for it. Getting the practical hands on experience as well as the theory has got to be the best part of doing my MA.”