Emma Langan - Student Council Representative
Who are you and how did you get into where you are?
Hello, I’m Emma and I'll be your Student Council representative for the BDA this year. I'm currently a second-year Postgraduate Dietetics student at the University of Chester, with my previous degree being in biological sciences at the University of Liverpool. I wanted to go into dietetics as I wanted to combine scientific research with public interaction – so here I am! I feel very honoured to have been voted in to this Student Rep role in June 2017 and I will do my best to represent you and make our student voice heard within the BDA. Please feel free to get in contact with me regarding any concerns you may have or any ideas that you would like me to bring to the BDA.
Watch Emma's video
Click image to watch Emma's short introductory video
Why did you put yourself forward to be voted onto Council?
This time last year I didn't expect to be representing student dietitians for the BDA… but my friend suggested I should apply for the role as I am always wanting to make a difference to my course at Chester University and love attending events and representing others. I see a huge potential for students within the BDA – we are the future of the profession after all! For example, students should be getting involved more with their local BDA Branches – great for networking and CPD. We should also play a key role in bringing the expert dietetic voice to the forefront via social media channels – we use the evidence-base after all, whereas many others don’t. I have always loved to motivate others, so undertaking this role will allow me to network with dietitians and students across the UK.
What is your role on BDA Council?
My overall role on BDA Council is to act as a bridge between students and the BDA by bringing the views of students to the Council table and allowing students to be heard loud and clear. I hope to further promote the brilliant opportunities available to us students by being a BDA student member; such as access to PEN to help us through our coursework, online resources, latest news in Dietetics Today, not to the mention access to local CPD events and networking opportunities! In doing so, I will hopefully help to grow the number of BDA student members – now over 1,000 members!
In the past year, I've had a lot of ideas to bring to my course (too many in fact!) and so I hope this role will allow me to expand on these and other ideas and opportunities to help all BDA students as well as working closely with the BDA staff team.
For students, I would like to be that person who is relatable and approachable, and so if anyone would like to contact me regarding any questions or potential ideas to bring to the BDA (no matter how small!) then please contact me via the details below.
What are the aims of your role?
Overall, for me it’s about getting more students involved in all things BDA.
- Events - I'd like to encourage more students to participate in local (and even national) BDA, branch and even group events as these opportunities can enhance our professional experiences and improve our networking skills!
- Writing in Dietetics Today - I'd like to help students write more articles in our member magazine Dietetics Today - for example encouraging students to write up their experiences on placement, events or to even discuss interesting research findings.
- Online student community - I'd like to liaise with different BDA student members across the UK to help develop a useful student dietetic community.
Lastly, given today’s environment, I believe that the dietetic profession has a huge role to play in shaping the future and preventing further nutritional health crisis. We students are the next generation of dietitians, and so I would like to help make your experience as a BDA student as important and motivating as possible.
Who inspires you (dietetically and non-dietetically) and why?
To be honest, all dietitians I have met have been inspirational! Although I have only been studying dietetics for one year, I have realised that to be in this profession, you must be caring and dedicated and share a common vision with the rest of the dietetic profession. That is: to improve the health of the UK through changing the diet and behaviour of others, and raising public awareness to help reduce and prevent life-style related diseases. Some inspiring dietitians have stood out for me, due to their dedication to research, are Lindsay Oliver and Kevin Whelan.
My non-dietetic inspirations are teachers who have inspired me and motivated me to pursue a passion. Other people who inspire me are those who have ideas and put them into practice no matter how difficult or impossible their ideas may appear. A key example of someone who inspires me is Jamie Oliver. He started off with one idea which was to improve school meals and I believe that since then he has a made a truly incredible impact on school nutrition and the health of 1000's of children.
I'd encourage any dietetic student to please explore areas which interest you – whether that’s research, acute or public health -just go for it! Take every opportunity you can to get involved in your area of interest. And if you are unsure of what avenue you would like to explore, then the dietetic world is your oyster!
And to help you, the brilliant team at the BDA HQ are working incredibly hard to help provide brilliant opportunities and resources for you to get involved with and use as a BDA member. As you might have guessed, I am a huge advocate for getting involved with events and networking, and so if you would like advice on how to can do this too, then please get in touch with me. This includes any general advice you'd like to know about the BDA or life as a student dietitian in general.
I'm looking forward to working with you all!