For the past year, Shorena Esartia has served as the Vice President of External Communications at the Students’ Association of Bow Valley College. Originally from Georgia, she has studied and lived in several different countries. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations. Her lived experiences have resulted in her valuing multiculturalism and freedom of choice.
Now, with her one-year term coming to an end, she reflects on her time spent with the Student’s Association. Before being elected as VP External, she served as a member of Student’s Council, which gave her the opportunity to work alongside the VP External.
“I had been observing the work of the previous VP, so I was familiar with what she did. Of all four positions, VP External best reflected my previous experience, interests and education,” she says.
While a member of the Executive Committee, her main responsibilities have been to advocate for students on an internal level, communicate regularly with all levels of government, and representing SABVC at provincial and national conferences, such as the Alberta Students’ Executive Council (ASEC). ASEC is partnered with 15 post-secondary institutions across Alberta, and is one of the loudest voices of advocacy for students across the province.
Shorena says that good communication skills have been an important lesson to learn, and paramount to her success on the job.
“You are representing a diverse student body, and needing to speak with students, Bow Valley executives, and members of the government. Success is dependent on your ability to communicate and the connections you make.”
While Shorena served as VP External, she was able to solidify a number of important connections for SABVC. Under her, SABVC joined the Calgary Students’ Alliance, a municipal advocacy group comprised of members of other Students’ Unions and Students’ Associations.
“I consider this one of my greatest successes,” she says.
“Going forward, we have an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with other schools.”
She has also advocated for the introduction of free feminine hygiene products for students, a service that she explains is in-demand, and popular among students. Every term, she says, SABVC should work to push forward.
“It is important to build on the successes of years’ past. Differing priorities can have really bad consequences.”
At the end of the year, Shorena is graduating with a Business Administration Diploma. She believes that the skills she has learned on the job will push her forward in her career.
“Numbers are important in business, but it’s so much more. I have learned a lot in my time here,” she says.
“From making a speech, to self-presentation, to speaking to different groups of people, a lot of what I have learned here can be applied in business. I’m grateful for this year of experience.”