Currently, Partner in a 'Big 4' Global Management Consultancy firm. Previously, UUSU VP Education and Welfare 1995 – 1996, UUSU President 1996 - 1997
For the next instalment of our Student Officer Success Stories, we are proud to introduce you to notable UUSU alumnus, Evanna Fitzgerald. Many of our Student Officers go on to achieve great success, Evanna is undoubtedly one of them.
Name: Evanna Fitzgerald
Role at UUSU: VP Education and Welfare (1995 – 1996), President (1996 – 1997)
Currently: Partner in a 'Big 4' Global Management Consultancy firm
We started off our conversation by asking Evanna “what is your current job role or greatest career achievement?”.
To which she responded with insightful detail: “I am a Partner in a 'Big 4' Global Management Consultancy firm, where I sell and deliver large-scale transformations for the global banking sector. My teams and I have been involved in many industry defining projects ranging from major offshoring programmes to launching new products and services. We have reinvented business and operating models, and supported clients to achieve growth and efficiency, whilst protecting their businesses and customers.”
Reflecting on her time at UUSU Evanna told us, “I loved it! It was both challenging and exhilarating. It opened my eyes to the reality that you can take on any endeavour if you have the right ambition, attitude and capacity to learn. After my roles in UUSU, in the foundational stages of my career, I also qualified as a Barrister. If I hadn’t done the UUSU roles, I think I would have done one or the other, not both!”
Our last question for Evanna was “Do you think your experience as a Student Officer gave you any skills, opportunities or connections that helped you achieve success in your career?” We loved the succinct opening to the answer “Absolutely. The two roles that I was elected to helped shape and define my career.”
Evanna went on to detail the aspects of the Student Officer role that stand out as having been impactful. Even comparing the role of President to that of a CEO: “Being the Overall President was a crash course in how to lead. In many respects, it was like being a CEO. It required leadership of a group of sabbatical officers to deliver on our accountabilities to 19,000 students, each of us had a strong sense of purpose and we didn’t always agree. It thought me the art of influence, teaming, decision making, public speaking and negotiation.”
“The unique character and distinct needs of each campus necessitated a flexible and adaptable approach. With a team of 50+ UUSU staff, no day was the same as I also had oversight of the operations and businesses across each of the unions.”
“As the public face of UUSU, I also needed to engage with University leadership and other external stakeholders. I was media trained and created connections throughout USI and NUS.”
Speaking of her role as UUSU VP Education and Welfare Evanna told us “I learned how to support and represent those students who needed additional help, advice and compassion during their time at UU.”
“A highlight of this role was securing ~£40k into the student hardship fund (which was an unprecedented amount at the time) and advocating for students who had experienced challenges during their academic year. Having to liaise with students, faculty, and university administration to ensure students needs and concerns were recognised and addressed in University policies and practices meant I gained a wide and varied perspective of University life.”
Evanna left us with this fantastic sum up “All these experiences lay the groundwork for my career and fast-tracked my journey towards growth”.
We are extremely thankful to Evanna for taking the time to speak with us and share such great detail of her past and present experience.
Do you want to take the first career step that Evanna did? Nominate yourself or a Student Officer role today at uusu.org/elections.