Wednesday 19-12-2018 - 18:00
The CEO Networking Event is taking place on 23-24 January 2019 at Cardiff Students’ Union.
We spoke to Daniel Palmer Chief Executive at Cardiff Students’ Union, to find out more about why Cardiff is such a great city to host the 2019 CEO Networking Event, and why the Union applied to host this upcoming event.
Tell us more about Cardiff Students’ Union, and why Cardiff is a great city to host this event?
Cardiff Students’ Union (the Union) is an integral part of Cardiff University and plays a vital role in delivering a supportive, fun and comprehensive student experience. The Union’s vision is to work with every Cardiff student to enhance their university experience and we pursue growth in student engagement and satisfaction as strategic priorities. The Union engaged with 73% of the University’s 33,000 students last year and consistently achieves circa 90% satisfaction from its members. The Union is based in a purpose built Union building at the heart of the University campus and within the civic centre of the City of Cardiff.
Cardiff is the capital of Wales and is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK. The eleventh-largest city in the United Kingdom, it is Wales's chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural institutions and Welsh media, and the seat of the National Assembly for Wales.
How did you get to where you are today as Cardiff’s Chief Executive?
Like many in the ‘the movement’, my job now can be traced back to involvement in my students’ union (Canterbury Christ Church) as an undergraduate, through sport and student media, mainly. I was Christ Church’s first ever Education and Welfare Officer (the role was Entertainments Officer the year before) which led me to taking a job as a student adviser at Kent Union after my sabbatical role ended. I worked at Kent Union for 6 years (punctuated by a year as an NUS Regional Officer) and was fortunate to have an inspiring and motivating boss (the excellent Jim Gardner) who pushed me to constantly improve myself and supported me through an MBA programme. After leaving Kent I have held 3 SU CEO roles: at UEL (interim), Portsmouth and from 2013 onwards, Cardiff.
If you’re reading this you’re either a CEO or close to being one (if you want to) so you don’t need advice from me on how to get on in life. But (I’m going to anyway) I think to get anywhere in your career you need luck, hard work, some self-sacrifice and to make sure you’re in an environment where you keep learning. And to be professional without being boring. And make sure you spend time thinking about the next challenges and opportunities facing your organisation. And…okay I’ll stop.
What drew you as a Union to wanting to host this particular event?
I recently discovered that NUS haven’t held a UK-wide event in Wales since 1976* so I thought it was our duty to do something about it! Also, we undertook a major renovation of the SU building between 2012-16, and we now have lovely spaces to host events such as these. We are taking this responsibility seriously and are working hard behind the scenes to make sure that this event shows off what a great city Cardiff is, the interesting things we’re doing at the Union and celebrating everything Welsh!
*Speculation posing as fact
Why do you think it is a good idea for Chief Execs, Deputies and Senior Managers to attend this event in particular?
I’ve not known a year when it’s been more important for senior leaders in SU’s to come together mid-year and discuss the state of the education sector and the troubles facing NUS. All senior SU leaders have a responsibility to face these challenges and shape what happens next. On a more operational level, it’s a great opportunity to see another SU in action and we are making our staff available for attendees to have tours and find out more about our activities and services.
If you want to attend the event, check out the agenda and sign up.
You can also read our article 5 Reasons to attend the CEO Networking event.