When Chelsea Bentley started her Bachelor of Science degree in mid-July 2012, she went searching to see what Griffith student clubs were on offer to join. Along the way, she discovered the Ladies in Technology, Engineering and Science, commonly known as LiTES within the Griffith student community.
Founded in 2011 by Environmental Engineering graduate and now Senior Learning Assistance Officer with the GUMURRI Student Support Unit Jennifer-Leigh Campbell, LiTES was created to provide female students with access to support, networking opportunities and career advice in fields that are typically male dominated.
At its core, LiTES focus is “to support women in these marginalised fields, to allow them to network and create relationships with other girls in these degrees. It also provides them with the ability to connect with previous graduates in the industry”, Chelsea explains.
As female students in often male dominated work areas, LiTES gives their members the opportunity to engage with professionals who are already working in their desired fields. It also has allowed them to network with academic staff committed to developing leading players in their professions and providing them with their own experiences.
As now president of LiTES, Chelsea and her executive team is fully committed to providing ongoing opportunities for their members. Since becoming president, she and her team organised a documentary night, UniBar party, movie nights, and professional development events.
Chelsea believes her active involvement with a Griffith student association has brought many positive benefits both professionally and personally. “It has expanded my professional network much further than I ever could have achieved on my own in the small amount of time I’ve been involved. Becoming president and taking on this gigantic role and doing our best to achieve every goal we set at the beginning of the year allowed my organisational skills to increase. I have also learned the skills to relaunch and rebrand the club. As our committee members timetables are all crazy, sometimes keeping us all set on task is hard.
I’ve also made a lot of new friends through our morning teas and have strengthened the relationships that I have with my executive team exponentially”.
Being part of a student club also demonstrated there is more to university than simply studying and turning up for lectures and tutorials. “My question to students is why anyone wouldn’t join a student club. They always provide opportunities for you to meet new people and go to fantastic events. University is about more than just academics”.