Key Skills I’ve Learned as a President of a Learned Society

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I have always been an initiator. While studying at the University of Agriculture Peshawar, I felt a dire need to start a learned society. Since, there were no productive activities for the students and they also had lost that interest in the field, It was the right time to found a learned society. With the help of a few classmates, juniors and teachers especially Zabi Ullah & Professor Dr Farhat Ullah (without whom, It would not have been possible), the Breeding & Genetics Society of Pakistan was founded.

While in the process of setting things up, Not only has it been great fun, but I’ve also gained invaluable skills along the way.

Building my confidence

At the beginning of university, I could never have imagined myself doing the things required to run a society. From phoning up external stakeholders to negotiating sponsorship deals, and talking in front of groups of students and staff of the university.

However, as progressed with the activities of the society, my confidence grew and grew. Jumping in the deep-end of the pool of responsibility was a great learning experience. I also got to do it with lots of other like-minded students.

Developing management and leadership skills

Being responsible for a society of several committee members was very daunting at the beginning. Honestly, I had no clue what I was doing! Fortunately, my fellow committee members were as passionate about running a successful society as I was, so together we learned together to do just that. We:

  • increased membership to over 100 members including staff from other universities,
  • organised study tours – managing 22+ students and bringing them back safe with them happy and positive about the arrangement was the true test!
  • organised workshops gathering 50+ participants
  • organised field visits with participants from other universities as well
  • and of course, our favourite – Annual Gatherings which we arranged two times bring together more than 150+ members, students and staff

I’ll admit that I can be both a perfectionist and a bit of a control-freak, but being president forced me to delegate tasks. I learned a lot about sharing responsibilities, so I now have lots of team working examples to talk about in many job interviews to come.

Practising problem-solving

While detailed planning is required for a successful event, students are as unpredictable as the weather, or traffic. Combine all three things, and a whole range of issues can arise. As President, I realised that things will never go to quite to plan. Sometimes it’s better to go with the flow and adapt to the changing situation, rather than worrying and over-planning.

I’ve had a great time interacting with students from my course, and working hard with friends on the committee. Seeing people enjoy themselves at events, and making friends from different years and institutes made the hard work worth it. I encourage anyone thinking about getting involved with a learned society committee to go for it.

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About Me!

Hi! I’m Waleed. Here, I share my musings on how to live your bestest, plus bits and pieces of my personal life and the things that delight me every day. Thank you for being here.