The Subcom Experience

The Subcom Experience

What is a subcommittee? You just got here and everyone seems to be throwing around this word. A subcommittee (most commonly referred to as ‘subcom’), is a team of uni students who work together to improve a society, and in turn aim to improve student life at UNSW.  

At CSESoc, we have different subcoms that help make different things happen! Whether it be organising fun social events, running industry networking nights, or making cool videos and articles (like this!) There’s a little something for everyone. Instead of hearing it just from us, let's ask some of previous year’s subcom what they got out of being involved with CSESoc!

  • Amy Creative Subcom ‘22, Creative Director ‘23
  • Anish Events Subcom ‘22, Socials Director ‘23
  • Liz Careers Subcom ‘22, Careers Director ‘23
  • Sophie Socials Subcom ‘22, Socials Director ‘23

What made you choose the portfolio you applied for?

After finding out what each portfolio was responsible for, I was interested in being part of CSESoc’s content team. I wanted to learn how to use Adobe and Canva tools and effectively brainstorm design ideas for merchandise. I also wanted the creative outlet to have some fun creating something that I ideated from start to end. Though I may not have the best drawing skills, joining the Creative team was an opportunity and safe place for me to experiment, be inspired by people with similar interests and successfully publish creative pieces of my own to help CSESoc reach its wider student community - Amy
It had the best of both worlds for me; socialising but also the networking aspect. Being the main contact for companies and facilitating sponsor drives and events sounded awesome to me 🙂 - Liz
I chose the student experience (studex) portfolio from experiencing the impact they had on others, including myself. At the peer mentoring induction, I smiled at a girl entering the lecture hall - who is now still one of my closest uni friends. I read that studex created events targeting post grads, international students and underrepresented groups. I guess I saw this as a way to help different people settle into uni by giving them opportunities to connect with others. - Sophie
Coming into uni I my main goal was to meet as many different people I possibly could, which is why I wanted to be part of the Events Portfolio. Fostering strong connections between the community is something that I am truly passionate about, and I thought that creating fun or chill events would allow me to help bring the CSE community together, which it most definitely did. - Anish

Favourite thing about being part of subcom?

My favourite part was meeting a variety of people that soon became my closest group of friends. Uni can be very daunting at first and it’s important to learn to balance the academic and social aspects to the uni experience. Being part of subcom gave me a place to be myself, get away from the stressful studies and go out with a group of friends for dinners, study sessions and roadtrips, which all added to the amazing memories that make up a great first year. - Amy
A group of students smile at the camera with mountains in the background!
Creative Roadtrip!
ROAD TRIPS for sure as well as weekly dins (made me broke, but woRTH IT) — the entire like socialising and meeting new people especially as a first year who didn’t really have much idea about how uni works you really gain like insight and guidance from people around you and also just find a community :DD - Liz
The best part of subcom is the community you’re welcomed into and the new people you get to meet. Firstly, within your own portfolio as you get to see them often and have fun bonding events together [sometimes trauma bonding too, from the chaos of running events to running up and down campus 3+ times]. Secondly, the CSESoc community, as you get to meet so many people by seeing them at the events you attend/make and the other portfolios!! - Sophie
Honestly the people in my portfolio. Yeah as much as it was fun to talk to people while they waited in line for the BBQ or dance battle people at pub-crawls, none of that compares to the amazing people that I was paired up, who made every single second of my first year exactly what I hoped it would be!!-Anish

Favourite memory from subcom?

Towards the end of the year our Creative portfolio had weekly in person meetings every Friday. Although I didn’t have any scheduled classes on that day, I chose to come to uni every week because I loved being able to spend time to goof around with my crazy subcom members and directors. We always went out to eat around uni and in the city after the meeting and did fun food reviews. Loving the friendships we had within our team, our end of year Creative roadtrip featured almost everyone including my directors (my cse parents) and my directors’ directors (my cse grandparents) which was just an amazing time and one of my favourite memories.
Outside of just Creative and because I have too many favourite memories, CSEsoc’s weekly BBQs was the best time to mingle with subcom members from other portfolios, as well as other students from the CSE community, and that is how I met my closest friends and CSE family. - Amy
My favourite memory as subcom was when we went to malatang after one meeting (despite how insignificant it seems). It was later in the year and just being able to see how far we’ve come as a portfolio - from being shy and slightly awkward at the start, to now laughing about gym stories and Timmy (my director)’s soup technique - Sophie
Careers Networking Night (I got a little bit wAY too asian flushed for an event with industry sponsors—but we don’t talk about that)— helping to organise the event was super awesome, we got like a really cool catering place and there were heaps of panellists (from Atlassian, Amazon and more) who we made questions for; just altogether such a fun event to organise and also be part of - Liz
Careers at networking night!
The *small* fire we started at one of the CSESoc Weekly BBQs👀. -Anish
A small fire at weekly BBQ (Wednesdays 12pm-2pm) in front of K17

How do you think being in subcom impacted your uni experience?

Subcom made my first year uni experience a lot more fun for myself because as I mentioned, the work and the friends were a break from uni life which can often get stressful. Every aspect of subcom was also a learning experience, from interview skills and learning to deal with rejection if you didn’t get into a society or subcom you wanted. I learnt to work in a team and deal with conflicts, problem solve and use the skills I learnt in Creative to create content. I also became more confident being around a group of new people, despite being a relatively shy person at first. - Amy
HEAPS. I’ve met like hella friends, and although I live like a million lightyears away having friends who are at uni has motivated me to attend in-person classes with friends and also (sometimes) study! Also reiterating but 2nd years and above have so much advice to give which is so so so helpful to avoid death by Algos or overloading a term with death-subjects - Liz
Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from subcom going in but it had such a significant impact on my first year of uni. Firstly, the new people you meet and see make uni feel more comfortable as you get to see familiar faces all across campus. Personally, I feel like I’ve grown a lot too - in terms of confidence, openness and leadership. - Sophie
I think I’ve become a much more confident and extremely outgoing person, which has helped me feel more comfortable to try different things. I have made so many meaningful friendships within the CSE community and am able to find people on campus to talk to and have deep convos whenever I need them.
I honestly think that without subcom I don’t think my first year at uni would’ve been good at all, like I would’ve just been at uni to study, I would have absolutely no social life at all. - Anish

Did you feel like you were making an impact on the CSESoc community? Favourite subcom achievement?

Being in Creative is very rewarding. I remember releasing my first banner on Facebook for a CSEsoc event and I invited my sister to the event even though she graduated uni two years ago 😀 Creative helps to bring attention to a lot of CSESoc’s events by setting the aesthetic and visual representation through the Facebook banners which then get marketed across all social media platforms. This helps to build community at our events where people are able to connect and have a great time with each other. So yes, I absolutely loved the impact we made on the CSESoc community. On top of banners, our Creative team was also responsible for producing merchandise. I remember absolutely shooting through the roof when I released my first piece of merch: a well-being sticker. Though it may seem small, it easily became one of my favourite achievements in the year knowing that it was something I worked on and created, and is now something people can use to decorate their laptops. - Amy
Amy's first banner for an event Sophie helped create!
YEAH, it was awesome to attend and organise events. Although careers subcom don’t participate in the Sponsor Drive it was super cool to help out with Events like Sponsored BBQs and the Flagship Hackathon. Not to flex but I stayed over at uni for no reason during the Hackathon— our CS building is not built for taking naps at 3am - Liz
Throughout the past year, the meaningful events we created impacted the CSESoc community the most. When planning, we always had a target or audience in mind, allowing us to know what we wanted out of our events. I think my favourite achievement was our Wellness Month, where we organised 5 different weekly events to target each dimension of health. At each of these events, it was really rewarding to see and meet different people as it just shows that we’re catering for everyone in CSESoc :))            - Sophie
Writing cute messages and making care packages to give away for Wellness Month!
I definitely felt like I impacted the community through the events my portfolio hosted, especially when people would come up and chat about a past event and how they stepped out of their comfort zone and met new people. My favourite thing to do during BBQs while people were waiting was asking them really out of pocket and random questions and prompting different people to meet each other. Whether or not these people actually became friends, I think I helped different people meet each other so in the future if they ever see each other they could remember the animal noises I made them do after asking what their favourite animal was. - Anish

Any advice for those thinking about applying for subcom?

If you’re thinking, maybe you’re not good enough or you don’t really know too much about how to draw/edit videos/organise events or you probs wont get in and you hate interviews - just apply anyways. Subcom makes up so much of the first year experience and that includes learning skills on the way - don’t be afraid if you don’t think you have the skills already. Directors tend to look for your curiosity, interest and passion for the work a subcom does. If you want to learn more and if you want to get involved with the CSE community, there is no better free opportunity then joining subcom. Looking forward to seeing you all in subcom and at CSESoc events this year ❤️- Amy
APPLY APPLY APPLY!  🎶 bE wHo yOu aRE 🎶— we wanna hear more about you not necessarily the things you have done in the past as most of the skills are definitely teachable! Specifically for careers subcom, we’re looking for people who are passionate, hard-working , dedicated and willing to go on fun food adventures with us :))) - Liz
Go for it, you have nothing to lose!! Read up on what each portfolio does and choose whichever one you’re most passionate about :)) - Sophie
Just try, like there’s no reason not to. Give it your best and I’m sure you’ll be amazing. Make sure you show your passion towards the portfolio you are applying to and ensure that the directors can see your willingness to benefit the CSE community. GOOD LUCK!! - Anish

Final Advice

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what subcommittee is and you understand why every society at O-Week will try to convince you to join their team. If you are even considering joining subcom, this is the sign that you need to take the leap forward for an amazing first-year uni experience at UNSW.

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