RAG - Emily Hodson

This week, Her Campus Manchester have asked Emily, one of the Publicity Officers, a few questions about RAG in Manchester.

What course do you do and in what year at Manchester?

I'm in 4th year studying English Language and French (I had a year abroad in Toulouse last year).

How did you get involved in RAG and were there any personal reasons for you getting involved?

I had a friend who was in RAG and I had been involved in some of the events like LOST and Take Me Out in first and second years. They were really great fun events and I had heard that RAG looks great on your CV as well, so combining the two seemed like a great option. It's one of the best experiences I've had at uni and it's taken me all over the country and made me loads of new friends (and even a boyfriend!) as a result. 

What is your exact role, as Publicity Officer, and what how much of your time does it take up?

There are two Publicity Officers, and my role is Communications. This means I tend to control Facebook, Twitter, emails to students, content on the website, writing press releases and getting in touch with local media to promote the events. Mem (my RAG publicity other half) deals with all the posters, images for the website etc - he's really creative. We also get to put on our own events as well, so our roles aren't limiting. Mem and I are organising Speed Dating with a twist and Blind Date, as it was such a hit in first semester! RAG does take up a lot of my time, but that's probably because I enjoy it so much. When I'm not doing uni work, I'm doing RAG work (and sometimes when I'm supposed to be doing uni work, I'm doing RAG work!).

What events do you have coming up in the next few months?

Coming up over the next few months we have LOST (where you get dropped off in a secret location and have to wangle your way back to Manchester for free); Live Below The Line (where you live off £1 per day for 5 days, raising money for people living in poverty); Blind Date (you fill in a form and we match you up with your perfect date) and things like the Harry Potter Pub Quiz, a game of Quidditch, Take Me Out and loads more. It's going to be hectic! There are also loads of international events as well like marathons in Barca and Rome, as well as a road trip race to Marrakesh. More info can be found about those at www.manchesterrag.com or on our Facebook page.

If anyone wanted to get involved or help out, who is it best to contact?

To get involved with the committee (or sub-committees of particular events), the best thing to do is email our Co-ordinator Megan at [email protected]. We are currently putting together the job descriptions for next year's committee, early enough so they can come along and see what we do and take ideas forward to next year. In terms of getting involved with events that happen, keep up to date with Manchester RAG on Facebook, and our website is always up to date as well (www.manchesterrag.com). All RAG events count towards MLP Volunteer hours and the events are always great fun.

Where does the money that RAG raises go to, and how much have you raised in recent months?

The money we raise goes to different charities depending on the event that we run. For example LOST raises money for MAG (the Mines Advisory Group) and Jailbreak raises money for KidsCan, a children's cancer charity based in Salford. A lot of our smaller events (pub quizzes, Blind Date, events during RAG Week etc) go into our RAG Community Fund, which at the end of the academic year gets shared out amongst local, North Western charities at Beneficiaries, our events evening, which is always really great fun.

Our total before Christmas was around £35,000.

What is the best thing about your job and what have you enjoyed the most?

The best thing about my job is that I get to be part of everything and work with everybody. All the events coordinators need press releases for local media, they need write ups doing for the website and they need publicity on social media, so I get to be up to date with what events we do which is fun! I also get to take part in events myself for publicity; back in October team #memNem took part in Jailbreak and we hitchhiked to Disneyland Paris so that we could get a photo of RAG and KidsCan's logos with Mickey Mouse and in front of Cinderella's castle! Obviously we still raised the money and paid the entry to be part of it, but it's amazing that just because you're part of the committee, it doesn't mean you can't still take part if you want to!

Another fantastic thing about RAG is how it looks on your CV. I know a lot of extra-curricular activities say this about themselves but from my experience, every person on the committee over the last few years that I have known, have always gone onto having work lined up post-graduation, or extra study; basically they have all ended up with something. I have an internship lined up for July with Telefonica and I owe a lot to RAG for that. It offers so many skills, as RAG works as a mini-business; we have our own accounts and the events are all created, run and publicised by students. If you can show that you're able to take on this kind of responsibility at the same time as your studies, you will shine to potential employers.

(Photo credits to Manchester RAG Facebook page)