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Your body wants you!
CSN President Chris Roberts explains why you should get involved in the student network
The CIPFA Student Network (CSN) continues to represent students at the highest levels of the organsiation. It provides a consultative body for the institute to discuss proposed changes, feeding into the development of new initiatives such as CIPFA Learning (CIPFA's online learning package which offers e-learning, blended study options, and access to materials and discussion forums); the new apprenticeship programme; and the changes to the Practical Experience Portfolio (which must be completed as the final step to qualification). In addition, the CSN provides a strategic lead to local groups, coordinating events nationally and sharing best practice, as well as organising the national student conference in the summer.
However, we need your help in three particular ways!
While we receive a great deal of support from CIPFA, the CSN both nationally and in the regions is student led and student run. We have lots of space for new volunteers, and there really is something for everyone, regardless of how much time you have to spare – from attending meetings of your local CSN or dialling into our short monthly calls on the national CSN, to helping out at a single event, to being the compere at a CIPFA pub quiz!
There are loads of benefits to being involved. You get to network with your peers, more senior colleagues, and sometimes even examiners! I’ve found it invaluable professionally, when I’ve always had someone to call – whether it was about an ethical issue, because I needed some career advice, or was looking to compare notes on a particular topic. And, personally, I have made some great friends and had some really good times – one colleague always notes when promoting conference that she found a husband there!
There are also opportunities to attend events representing the CSN, such as national conferences and even the PQ Awards – there may even be international events offering the opportunity for travel. Alongside these, as a volunteer there are also opportunities to gain really useful experiences that are great for your CV: I’ve spoken at the national conference, acted in a governance role on one of CIPFA's boards, managed a budget, developed a strategy, and had the opportunity to lead a large and geographically diverse team.
If you’d like to get involved, let us know by emailing email@example.com with a bit of information about yourself and what you’d like to do.
Coming to an event:
We’ve been working hard to organise a series of events, including the popular strategic revision events, which have previously been offered around the country. There will be refreshments provided at face-to-face events. These will be held in the following locations and dates:
• Webinar – 9 May or 16 May
• London – 10 May
• Birmingham – 22 May
• Manchester – 26 May
• Edinburgh – TBC in May
In addition, I’m delighted to announce a further national series of networking, careers focused events. There will be drinks and nibbles provided at these face-to-face events. These will be held in the following locations and dates:
• Bristol – TBC early April
• Webinar – 3 April
• Glasgow – 10 April
• Cardiff – 11 April
• London – 12 April
• Newcastle – 20 April
• Leeds – 17 May
• Belfast – 21 May
• Manchester – 23 May
• Birmingham – 25 May
There will also be an exams Q&A session, where you will be able to put your questions to the Chair of CIPFA’s Exam Panel, which makes final decisions on marking and special considerations, a real-life examiner, and someone from CIPFA who deals with exams support and administration. This will be held on 21 May in London in the early evening. This session will also be offered via webinar, and if there is interest we may be able to arrange screens at local venues to watch in a group.
Looking ahead to the summer, CSN also organises the national student conference, which is held alongside the main conference. As ever, this will be free to attend for students, with a discounted package available for those of you who want to experience the full conference. This year’s conference will be in Bournemouth, on 11 July (and 12 July if you pay to attend the second day).
All of the above events, with the exception of the second day of CIPFA’s National Conference, are free of charge. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details or to register.
In addition, Scotland CSN have negotiated a significant discount for students who would like to attend the annual CIPFA Scotland Conference in Glasgow on 22-23 March. The price is £165 but there is a discount code to bring it down to £35 – the discount code to use is Student18. There is a limited number of spaces for this offer. The student package will provide for attendance at both days of the conference plus the dinner, but does not include accommodation. This can be booked using the CIPFA website.
Getting in touch:
Even if you don’t have time to volunteer, and can’t get to an event, we’d still love to hear from you! How are you finding CIPFA Learning? What do you think could be improved? What’s already working really well?
CSN aims to represent students, so we need to know what you think. Email email@example.com and let us know.
• Chris Roberts is President of the CIPFA Student Network
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