Course Rep - Nickol Obioma

Pharmaceutical Science Rep Nickol Brings a Dose of P
ositivity to her Volunteering

For three years she’s represented her fellow students to course leaders. Students’ issues can be a bitter pill to swallow, but Nickol helps the medicine go down with a spoonful of sugar. She told us how volunteering at Uni is like antibiotics - you have to finish the course.


I’m trying to go on different journeys and do different things.

While I’ve been at Uni, I’ve been a course rep for pharmaceutical science all three years, I’ve sat on the academic Ethics Committee and the Scrutiny Committee, and last year I was a peer supporter for Rafiki.

I want to work hard for myself to make my family proud. I have goals and aspirations – my parents have faith in me because I’ve been strong through everything I’ve been through on my own.

I’ve always loved representing others – I took on two leadership roles in secondary school. When I came to Uni I wanted to keep busy, improve my CV, and learn new skills. I also wanted to be more outspoken, confident, and able to speak to different types of people.

Becoming a Leader

It’s been an amazing experience volunteering as a course rep. Other students in my course let me know any issues they’re having and I feed that back to the course leaders.  

I tried my best to support students, and get them the help they needed during assignments

I got to meet other types of humans and I would not trade that experience for anything. I had the opportunity to be a leader, to be the voice of other students.

On scrutiny committee, you get the chance to put the sabbatical officers in the hot seat. You get the chance to actually have a conversation with them. You can call them up on things to, and ask – why isn’t this finished?

Skills I’ve Gained

As a course rep I’ve gained confidence, and developed my skills of communication, teamwork, organisation, and leadership.

I worked as a team with other reps, so we could work together as a school. I worked a lot with Beth Hill, my School Rep. We’d agree on things, and realise we were coming up against the same issues. We’d meet and organise our thoughts together before going into a meeting with university course leaders.

I’ve built more confidence too. I can still struggle with embarrassment at being vocal. But with time people came to value me as a rep and were able to report their issues to me to pass on to course leaders.

In terms of leadership, being a voice for others is quite a big thing! I learned lots that I will use and practise in the future. 

Why Should Others Volunteer?

Volunteering opens that path for you to follow for the rest of your life.

It brings you out there, keeps you busy, and makes you meet people. You gain new experiences and skills that help you prepare for the future. Volunteering is something you do with your heart, you bringing that positive energy to the table matters a lot.

It’s important to gain that from other people – you learn from other people’s experiences. Get out there, explore and be you – the real you – don’t put another image out there. 

A Reference from Madeleine Colledge, Student Voice Coordinator

Hardworking, empathetic, committed. These are just a few words that explain Nickol.

She has been a Course Rep for a several years on her Programme, as well as taking on additional voluntary roles in the Students' Union (Rakifi). Nickol has balanced these two voluntary roles alongside a demanding degree, and a part-time job, and this last year she kindly offered to take on further responsibilities.

Nickol attended the University's Academic Ethics Committee as a student member last year. It can be a dauntingly formal place, with lots of technical jargon about how the University monitors the ethics of their research. Nickol has taken it in her stride, sifting through masses of papers, and thinking critically about the following: How long students have to wait for ethical approval for their research, and the approach the University should take to help students avoid academic misconduct in research.
Nickol has the ability to talk to anyone, students or senior members of the University. What a legend.

How to be a Rep

If you want to be a course rep like Nickol, speak to your programme leader at the beginning at the academic year.
29th January 2021