Hoping her new role will deliver professional expertise direct from the workplace into an improved student experience, Leanne Wilkins, Head of Talent Acquisition and Resourcing at MHA has been appointed to the board of the University of Northampton Students’ Union.
As an external trustee, Leanne will be working with her fellow board members to help guide and support the Students’ Union, in delivering their purpose and mission, as it reaches a pivotal point in its history. The Students’ Union, a registered charity with a wholly owned trading subsidiary, is currently working towards incorporated status which will help with on-going recruitment of trustees and ease some of the organisation’s administrative burden. The board is made up of three students, four employed student officers, three trustees that are alumni of the university, and four external trustees.
Leanne is hoping that the opportunity to serve on the board will not only give her the chance to inform the Students’ Union’s approach to the wellbeing and learning of students but will enhance her own skill set by drawing on experiences of acting as a trustee, and also to gain knowledge and experience from her fellow board members.
“I’ve always been interested in getting involved in things outside my lane,” said Leanne. “I’m inquisitive by nature and want to expand my knowledge and share creative ideas. I joined MHA as a recruitment manager and am now heading up both talent acquisition and our central resource management function. It’s all about people, but resource management requires a whole new way of thinking.
“This, in turn, is a fantastic opportunity to do something different and that I think will add value to students and to my career. It’s aligned to my experience in HR and people development but at the same time will broaden my horizons in terms of implementing good practice, not only from an HR background, but helping ensure the Union’s values are aligned with where they need to be in terms of student wellbeing, inclusivity, and diversity and in how important business input is to the student experience.
“There will be a period of research, learning and self-development, but I hope that I’ll be able to ask and learn from my fellow trustees and build on the knowledge I already have. The Students Union has more than 12,000 members acting as the representative voice of its students to the university and local community. I’m taking up this role at an important time as they are going through an incorporation process and writing a new strategic plan for 2023-26, which is a proactive move that shows their commitment to their role and members.”
Leanne believes the support of MHA has made a significant difference to her own professional development and to her willingness to get involved in such a project.
Like her employer, she is keen to drive the links between business and education so that learners get the support they need, and businesses get future employees with the skills they need to be a valuable part of the next generation workforce.
MHA is keen to offer support to those approaching employment, whether that’s helping young people with CV writing and interview preparation, how to position an application for best results, , what to wear, what to expect when you get there.
“You begin looking for work and are suddenly faced with a daunting situation for which you have no way to truly prepare,” said Leanne. “We’ve done various things in the past to help people understand the process and make the most of the opportunity because it is difficult, and it is stressful. I think that’s why MHA has been supportive of me embarking in this role because it’s a part of the firm’s approach to support young people coming into the world of work.
“The Students Union is looking after students’ learning and wellbeing. There’s a clear desire to implement actions that improve diversity, inclusivity, social mobility and, and this is an area I’m very passionate about, neurodiversity.
“For me, this is an opportunity I’m very excited about and my goal is to become an embedded member of the board and to offer some really valuable insights, learn from other trustees and work with them collaboratively to come up with key outcomes for the Students’ Union.”
“We were really pleased to hear of Leanne’s appointment as an external trustee on the board for the University of Northampton Students’ Union.
“Becoming a trustee is a great way to enhance and develop your skills (something which is at the core of our business ethos), but it’s also a way to effect positive change and actively contribute to your local community.”
Find out more about MHA at www.macintyrehudson.co.uk