Sunday, January 14, 2007

An Interview with Manjinder Sidhu, VP Admin 05/06

I talked to Manj about her experience as VP Administration.
Prior to taking on the role of VP Admin she had been involved with SAC (Student Administrative Commission) for several years.

1) What skills that you had did you find most valuable in your
capacity as VP Admin?

-organizational/communication/interpersonal skillz
-goal-setting abilities and the drive to get them accomplished
-leadership skills to guide/motivate your team for the numerous projects
-mediation and conflict resolution skills
-a strong work ethic
-dedication to the AMS and the desire to see it thrive and move foward
-recognition of the nature of the work of the VP Admin portfolio (it is not an EXTERNAL/GLITZY-focused portfolio!)
-understanding there is no "i" in team but realizing that you also need to get your hands dirty

2) What skills did you wish you'd had, in order to be a better VP Admin?

-does wanting more time in a day count as a skill that i could have? if so, oh i wish that i had
-but seriously....i wish i had more social skillz! i was kinda a recluse and i think this excluded me a lot from bonding with council/exec (especially cuz i dont like beer gardens)
-being more of a politician --> i'm a pretty straightfoward kinda person and abhor playing political games but this lack-of-finesse can kinda get you into trouble being able to be "political" is a definate asset to can make things run more smoothly

3) What was the biggest challenge you faced as VP Admin? (there were a couple..)

a. understanding that what you do or say no longer is just as simple as it sounds. it was really hard understanding that whenever i was asked a question, i could not answer it simply as "Manj Sidhu, an individual" but i was answering it as "AMS VP Admin, representative of 40 000 students". you're no longer a single individual with opinions but you're a representative of the student body and your statements have to be inclusive for all. so if you're asked "what are you thoughts on the pro-choice or pro-life issue?" your reply has to be a delicate balance that shows that you support your constituents....this was a challenge!!!

b. learning to balance the AMS with the rest of your life....while being in the AMS is a great oppertunity, the AMS so easily can take over the rest of your find yourself spending way too much time in the SUB/in your office/in meetings...and then your friends/family/loved ones (or anything that is outside the AMS clique) seem to fade into the woodwork and relationships start eroding. it isn't intentional on your part but finding the balance between the AMS and non-AMS aspects of your life was a huge challenge for me.

4) What would you identify as the biggest issue for an incoming AMS VP Admin?

-hmmm....though question. i think david has done a great job this year with the portfolio (lots of projects completed and doing great with SAC, etc) and although i dont know what issues were big this year for him or the exec...but it always boils down to the students and what they think of the AMS. Yes, there are over 300+ student groups on campus but do all of them love the AMS? Do they fully understand what the AMS does for them? Or do they only see the AMS as being a burecratic organization that makes them jump through hoops? This is a general big issue that i think always needs addressing...through all exec portfolios

-portfolio specific issues to VP Admin: lack of office space for the ever-growing student groups on campus (how to accomodate?), the decisions between spaces for students vs. space for rent and of course...relationships with AMS student groups

5) What advice would you give the incoming VP Admin?

a. work your ass off (otherwise you're screwed)
b. don't let the AMS take over your life
c. set five goals at the beginning of your term and then follow through
d. have some fun. =)