Pictured at the BICS National Forum 2017 are Patrick O’Flaherty, NUIG Student’s Union Coordinator, Richard Lynch, I Love Limerick, UL’s mascot Wolfie, Michelle Whyte, Vice Chair of BICS and Clubs and Societies Coordinator UL, John Haigh, UL Music Society and Seamus Twoomey, UL Clubs and Societies Office. Picture: Aisling O Connor/ilovelimerick.
Last week, the Board of Irish College Societies (BICS) annual forum was held in the Jonathan Swift Theatre at the University of Limerick. Michelle Whyte, Vice Chairperson of BICS and Clubs and Societies co-ordinator, described the forum as “an educational and networking event that’s held every January to empower the student society volunteers.”
The theatre was filled with a multitude of students from all around the country who had travelled to the event with students in attendance from colleges in Dublin, Tralee and Waterford.
The presentation that was held during the event that aimed to help students to do well in their BICS portfolio and interview.
Speakers at the BICS National Forum 2017 included Richard Lynch who advised the students how to effectively have their voices heard and get their society events and activities out to the public. Next, Pat Divilly, a nationwide speaker in terms of mindfulness, nutrition and personal fitness, spoke to the students about time management and finding balance. This was particularly useful for volunteers who had to hold down part-time jobs. Finally, Claire Concannon, International Fundraising Officer for Concern, showed the students how to effectively fundraise.
Richard Lynch spoke about why he started I Love Limerick, delving into personal experiences and how they led him to where he is today. He also discussed how to be a successful volunteer in a society, “At the back of ever society there should be something community driven”, adding, “You don’t need money to be creative but you have to really love a challenge.”
The atmosphere during the talk was very relaxed and there was regular laughter coming from the crowd. Nearing the end of the talk Richard left some time for people to ask questions and many students took the opportunity to ask about the different ways they could improve their organisations and effectively publicise their events.
When asked about how to network he illustrated the importance of kindness and respecting the people you work with, “You’re only as good as the people around you. See what’s best for your organisation and leave your ego at the door.”
By the end of the talk, the students seemed satisfied with his speech and how he answered their questions. A few of the students even came out to talk further with him afterwards, thanking him for coming and discussing further queries.
The overall event was a success for both speakers and students as everyone left learning something valuable about contributing to both their organisations and their communities.
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