De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU)’s outgoing VP Media and Communications will be using his experience to help De Montfort University (DMU) refresh a service used by tens of thousands of students every year.
Mike Mayes, who completed his two terms as VP Media and Communications at DSU last Friday 29 June, has been tasked with overhauling the branding and communications for DMU’s Library and Learning Services.
The directorate is responsible for the Kimberlin Library, Eric Wood Learning Zone and The Greenhouse, as well as a number of other study spaces across campus.
And Mike is hoping to turn the experience he’s gained in his two years at DSU into even more benefits for the more than 27,000 students at DMU.
“I’ll be sad to say goodbye to the people at DSU,” he said. “I’ll also miss some of the opportunities and other exciting events and situations that I have found myself in through [the] job.
“No two days have ever been the same, and that has [been] really exciting.
“However, I’m also excited to see what the next chapter brings and what the next set of challenges are for me.”
From sitting on university committees to celebrating at the Demon Media Awards, Mike said no two days as a member of DSU’s Officer Team are ever the same.
Mike was first elected in 2016 after graduating from his Media Production course, and spending his final year of study as Station Manager for Demon Media’s video strand, DemonTV.
A major highlight of Mike’s time on our Officer Team was bringing some of the biggest names in radio – including Greg James, Mistajam and James O’Brien as well as Stephanie Hirst, Christian O’Connell and Steve Lamacq – to DMU as part of the Student Radio Association (SRA) Conference in 2017.
But there are others, too.
He continued: “I’ve got so many things that I can talk about. I went to New York last year with all the students to lead some trips out there.
“We managed to get about 400 students on the Staten Island Ferry, which was absolutely crazy. The locals thought we were bonkers!
“That was a really, really amazing trip and a lot of the people who we spoke to out there said they really appreciated what we were doing as a students’ union. That was a positive experience.”
Greg James was just one of the big names to head to DMU for the SRA Conference hosted by DemonFM last year.
Mike’s biggest win for students, though, must be the news that students will save close to £200,000 a year on printing thanks to his lobbying on the university’s Student Print Project Board.
“Knowing that I’ve had an input into something that has made a difference for so many people is immensely rewarding,” he explained.
“A lot of people won’t know about the work that goes on in the background, but to drive that kind of positive change and make things better for students feels great.”
It hasn’t all been plain sailing – and Mike’s advice for other student representatives is something he says he struggled with when he first took the role.
He said: “You can’t always make everyone happy, and that was a difficult thing for me to understand.
“You need to take what else you’ve learnt and the broader oversight that you’ve got, and you need to do the best for as many people as you can.
“While you can be doing the best possible thing for one group, there will always be people who aren’t happy with what you’ve done. That was a really tough lesson for me to learn professionally.”
After his time at DMU, though, Mike – who is originally from Leicester – is hoping to see more of the world.
He concluded: “All I want out of life is travel, really.
“So long as I can find myself in a job or a position where I can see more of this beautiful world that we live in, I’ll be happy.”
Mike headed to New York alongside then President of DSU, Dan Winney, in January 2017.