Queen Mary Students’ Union Services Limited – Chair

Queen Mary Students’ Union Services Limited – Chair

Role: Chair, Queen Mary Students’ Union Services Limited
Location: Mile End, London
Unremunerated (Reasonable expenses paid)

Help us continue to develop our services so that together we can improve students’ lives.

QMSU Services Ltd (QMSUSL) is £3.9m income generating business that funds and supports Queen Mary University of London Students’ Union. The Union’s mission reads “Together, we improve students’ lives”. QMSUSL operates a range of shops, cafes, bars, gym and inclusive spaces for our members – the students studying at Queen Mary University of London. All profits are reinvested in the cultural, social, and recreational opportunities, and the campaigning, representation and support services provided by the Union.

Why does the role matter?
It is essential that as well as directly generating profits, we balance this drive for profit with ensuring that our services operate in line with our democratic processes and values. In a fast paced, increasingly digital and global context, having an effective and cohesive board will be pivotal if the Union is to deliver on its mission.

What are the challenges?
This is a role of key strategic importance and you will be working with a range of stakeholders including employees of QMSUSL, elected student representatives, the wider university, suppliers and the local community. The biggest challenge for this role is the ability to juggle complex and often competing priorities – recognising that the impact of QMSUSL could vary hugely depending on the decisions made and implemented by the board.

With more digital services, a decline in traditional ‘bar culture’, and students under more pressure than ever before, how will our events, buildings and services meet their needs? And most significantly, how will you and the board you lead ensure that current and future students are at the heart of decision making.

Your background and experience
We are open minded to your background. Governance in the UK is often described as stale and antiquated and at QMSU we are working to create an enabling and vibrant volunteering experience – making sure that training, reverse mentoring and support are at the heart of our approach. We need someone who can: work in a strategic leadership role; bring differing voices together and build consensus; recognise the value of our commercial services beyond the bottom line; challenge in an effective and considered way; celebrate and encourage our culture of support, inclusivity and empowerment.

Why should you do this?
We spoke with our other board members and their motivations and learning experiences were varied and personal: ‘working with a Russell Group University’; ‘developing my leadership behaviours’; ‘giving back in London’; ‘connecting with digital natives’; ‘using my career, and heritage, to share insights’; ‘preparing for a career shift into HE’.

I joined the board in 2015 and what I’ve found most rewarding is helping navigate between commercial profit and ensuring the students have the facilities, pricing and on-campus jobs they need.”
John Thew, Independent Director QMSUSL

If you think you could support our journey, we would love to hear from you!


If you would like to have a confidential discussion about these roles, please contact our consultant at Peridot Partners: Bill Yuksel at bill@peridotpartners.co.uk or call 07801 897 063

You can download more information and apply at our dedicated microsite:


Closing date for applications: Friday 1st February

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