Hey readers, happy 2nd day of blogmas! Today we are taking a break from holiday content to chat about my role as the president of the Student Occupational Therapy Association. I have learned a lot over the past two semesters, and I am looking forward to my final semester as SOTA president this upcoming winter/spring. I love being the president of SOTA and all that SOTA aims to do. If you haven’t guessed by now, I love OT and I am able to show that by raising funds for OT research, advocating for our profession, serving my community, and more in my SOTA role. Here are a few things I have learned so far as SOTA president:
Listen, Listen, Listen
I can be a bit of a perfectionist, so I have had to learn to listen to all ideas that are put on the table when planning SOTA events. Together, we often come up with better ideas than what I was originally thinking. The saying is true: two (or six, in our case) heads are better than one. Always listen and respect everyone on your team, whether you have the title of “president” or not.
Learn How to Delegate
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of being SOTA president on top of school and work, but that is why you have a team of board members by your side. I have learned not to feel like everything is my responsibility. At the same time, I have had to learn how to let go of my need to have a hand in everything that SOTA does and delegate tasks to the appropriate board members.
Take Advantage of Strengths
The members of your SOTA board were elected for a reason. They applied for a certain position because they have the strengths to do that job well. I have learned to take advantage of the strengths of my team when I delegate tasks to them. For example, our social chair is AMAZING at creating graphics for SOTA events and our Instagram page. She is always my go-to person for creating awesome SOTA graphics and custom t-shirt designs.
As expected, being SOTA president requires strong time management and organization skills. Throughout last semester, we planned and implemented 3 bake sale fundraisers, a clothing drive, a social event, and a general body meeting making no-sew blankets. As you can imagine, executing all of these events on top of a very busy semester was no small feat. I definitely used my time management skills this past semester to get everything done.
Finally, you have to be available as SOTA president. I receive emails from our advisor, faculty members, student activity staff, and others regularly, and I am expected to reply in a timely manner. I also need to be available to the rest of the SOTA board, my class, and the class below me for any of their ideas, questions, or concerns throughout the semester. This wasn’t a major learning curve for me, as I am very organized and like to keep a de-cluttered email box.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions about SOTA, leave a comment below. It has been an awesome experience, and I highly recommend applying for a position at your school.