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WUD at Work

What does a WUD leader do?

Our 10 programming committees, each led by a student director, plan and organize over 1,000 events each year to enhance the Wisconsin Experience of our peers. Three Wisconsin Union Officers oversee the committees, ensuring every event is well-planned and meets a need on our campus.

We're excited you want to help lead WUD into another year of great programming!
Before you apply, check out what our current leaders have to say about their positions below. You can also watch our 1-minute interviews here for more tips!

 William Rosenthal, Distinguished Lecture Series Director

William Rosenthal, Distinguished Lecture Series Director

What Do You Do As A Director? 
"As the Distinguished Lecture Series Director, my job mainly consists of organizing meetings, delegating and following up on event logistics, and communicating with the agents who represent the speakers we want to book to appear on campus. I also sit on a Union Council subcommittee."

What Have You Liked Most About Your Position?
"The most enjoyable part of this position is helping my committee reach its goals by sharing my knowledge. Additionally, I love seeing my associate directors gain confidence and develop their event planning skills." 


Swetha Saseedhar, Global Connections Director

Swetha Saseedhar, Global Connections Director

What Do You Do As A Director?
"As a director of Global Connections, I have the opportunity to work with students, professors and various community members. Typically, I lead weekly meetings with my committee members in which we organize a discussion around global issues and cultures and talk about programming. The best part of the meetings is listening to the diverse opinions and stories of our committee members. Other than weekly meetings, I spend my time meeting with the Associate Directors of Global Connections and leaders of other student orgs planning for future events and having discussions on how we can collaborate to better the campus and community."

What Advice Do You Have For Students Applying To These Positions?
"I would encourage students applying to speak about their passions, and what truly motivates them to get involved in being a leader in UW-Madison's Division of Social Education (that's what the Wisconsin Union is!). I encourage them to have broader visions of the way in which they would like to have an impact on the UW Madison community."


James LaPierre, Film Director

James LaPierre, Film Director

What Have You Liked Most About Your Position?
"Without a doubt, the best part of my position as WUD Film Director is getting to know all of my committee members. Each of them brings their own film interests and expertise to the table, and together we're able to work as a large group to bring an innovative, diverse, and exciting lineup of films to campus." 


Victoria Fok, Publications Director

Victoria Fok, Publications Director

How Has Your Position Challenged You?
"My position requires a lot of multi-tasking and strong organizational skills. As Director of the Publications Committee, I have to simultaneously work with 8 editors, as well as coordinate tasks to my marketing, special events and finance Associate Directors. Keeping such a big committee running smoothly entails a lot of spreadsheets and consistent communication."


Halle Luksich, Music Director

Halle Luksich, Music Director

How Does WUD Fit Into Your Life On Campus?
"I take 18 credits and have another job, and the best way to fit everything in is to delegate. Every committee and leadership team comes with a bunch of skill sets, and sometimes other people are more equipped to get something done than I am. Getting to know the people on my team makes it easy to know who will want to and be able to get something done and do it well."

What Advice Do You Have For Students Applying To These Positions?
"People applying should be ready to take risks.  Directors have a lot of power to make changes, and sometimes acting before anyone else can be scary but worth it."


Omar Jandal, Society & Politics Director

Omar Jandal, Society & Politics Director

How Has Your Position Challenged You?
"Society & Politics has made me aware of the value of civil discourse and the degree in which it is needed in this day of age. The experience has allowed me to meet with a diverse group of people, as well as learn to value and respect all sides of an issue."

How Does WUD Fit Into Your Life On Campus? 
"Wisconsin Union Directorate provides the support, resources, and environment to make things happen on campus. WUD has allowed me to make meaningful connections and learn skills that I have been able to leverage in both my personal and professional life."


Folarin Ajibade, Performing Arts Director

Folarin Ajibade, Performing Arts Director

What Have You Liked Most About Your Position?
"The hands-on experience. You really are in charge of everything your committee does. Your advisors are simply there to help - they do not make any of the final decisions." 

How Does WUD Fit Into Your Life On Campus?
"My work with WUD is very different from what I do on campus. I have a research job working on political African cartoons and I'm a double major in African Languages & Literature, and Economics. However, I've made it all work by just finding the right time to do all those things. It hasn't been the easiest thing to do, but it's been definitely been worth it. Make sure you have a well detailed schedule and make sure you are well organised." 


Iffa Bhuiyan, Alternative Breaks Director

Iffa Bhuiyan, Alternative Breaks Director

What Have You Liked Most About Your Position?
"This organization is not just 2 or 3 students; it's a group of students who work together to support each other and encourage them to reach all of their goals." 

What Advice Do You Have For Students Applying To These Positions?
"Know that this experience will be very rewarding but you have to be willing to put the work in. Be patient and see the big picture effects of what you are doing, and remind your students that what they are doing matters we might not see it at the very moment but it does matter." 


Yusi Liu, Art Director

Yusi Liu, Art Director

What Have You Liked Most About Your Position?
"Being in WUD, I have a new family. I have my own advisor, the Union marketing team, and all branches in the Union supporting me; I feel so supported all the time, I am motivated, and I am happy."

What Advice Do You Have For Students Applying To These Positions?
"No matter what committee you are applying for, you need absolute passion. Be passionate about the subject, passionate about people, passionate about the Union. When you have passion, you will always strive to be better and be happy at all the things you will be doing. Also, think outside the box. Always challenge yourself and the traditions."

 


Federica Ranelli, Cuisine Director

Federica Ranelli, Cuisine Director

What Have You Liked Most About Your Position?
"One of the most fun things about my position specifically, as WUD Cuisine Director, is that it is so new. There is a lot of room to grow and play with what WUD Cuisine can be for the student body and surrounding community. I have met and connected with so many people, from my peers, to union staff and university faculty, to community and national organizers, and to a huge WUD and Hoofers alumni base. WUD gives you a platform and tools, not a rulebook; the rest you are challenged with building on your own."

How Does WUD Fit Into Your Life On Campus? 
"There is no right answer or magic formula to find a work/school/life balance, and being a WUD Director is a time and energy intensive role, but if it is your passion, if it lights your fire, you will find a way to fit it all together seamlessly."

How has this position challenged you?
"As a relatively quiet person, who just happened to have an insane amount of passion for food, I didn’t think that I had a place in a “centerstage” position like director, where I would have to facilitate potentially contentious conversations, think on my feet in front of an audience, and speak my mind so others are comfortable doing so. But every day I am learning, trying, failing, and re-learning how to connect with and be a leader in a group of people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and comfort levels. Somewhere in the middle of failing and re-learning I found that making mistakes in front of others is not a sign of weakness, but of strength." 


Wisconsin Union Officers

Wisconsin Union Officers

What does the WUD Officer team do? These three students are responsible with overseeing WUD's programming committees. 

Deshawn McKinney, President
"The President serves as a liaison between WUD and the greater Union. It's challenging, it forces you to learn, grow, and adapt very quickly. MY advice for students considering this role is that they should be able to not only get the best out of everyone, but also give.  The Union gives you the space to mold your year into what you want it to be."

Adan Abu-Hakmeh, Vice President of Internal Relations
"My role is to foster collaboration between our committees and help WUD members become better leaders. The VP Internal is responsible for planning socials and recognition events for the WUD family."

Lily R. Hansen, Vice President of External Relations
"The VP External is responsible for overseeing the marketing efforts of our 10 committees. My role is about enticing students to join our committees and encouraging the campus community to take advantage of the great events we plan! Most of my time is spent managing social media accounts, updating the Union's website, coding outreach emails and assisting each committee's Marketing Associate Director."

 

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