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President Spotlight | Adam Stanley

Adam Stanley is a 5th year Advanced Mathematics (Hons)/Commerce student who is in the process of finishing off his honours degree. Having been involved in 180DC since his second year, Adam is now the 180DC UNSW President for 2021. Outside of 180DC, Adam is a curious person who loves to learn whether that is educating himself on Machine Learning for his thesis or interests such as Roman History and Mandarin.

In this interview, we will be hearing from Adam and his incredible journey within 180DC which has spanned 3 years and 7 separate roles within the society. We also discussed his perspective on the future of 180DC and what to expect from the society in 2021.

As president of 180DC UNSW, what does your role involve?

I think the best quote to describe the role of a president is "that which obstructs your task, is your task."

At 180DC we deliver high-quality projects for clients and use those projects as a platform for developing the next generation of exceptional and socially conscious leaders. Therefore, anything stopping us from doing both of those things is what I need to do.

While this role has led me to do a variety of tasks (from contract negotiations to running training workshops), the most important part of my role is ensuring that everyone involved with 180, from the newest consultant to the most experienced return client, gets something out of their experience.

What are your visions as president for 180DC UNSW in 2021?

My vision for 180DC is to set it up so that the next president (and with any luck many presidents after that) can continue delivering exceptional projects to clients and developing our members into exceptional and socially conscious leaders.

In my case, this has involved adding new portfolios (Learning and Development, Externals) to allow our society to excel in areas where we have previously found our people didn't have the time to excel at alongside their other responsibilities.

Through doing this, I hope that future generations of 180DC will set the bar for what university students both Australia-wide and Globally are able to accomplish.

I dream of being able to look back on 180DC in 5 years and feel lucky to have been accepted into the society when I did because the standard of accomplishment my successors set was so high.

Before you became president of 180DC UNSW, can you talk about what other roles you have been involved in within the society?

I have been involved with 180DC since the start of my 2nd year in early 2018, meaning I have done an unusually long tour of duty through 7 separate roles.

I started out as a Consultant in my first Project Cycle, and picked up Events and Marketing Director on top of that during my Second. In 2019 during my 3rd and 4th Project Cycles, I double-timed as both a Project Leader and the Treasurer. During the summer of 2019 until the middle of 2020 I was a Consulting Director on what is the largest 180DC project to date (by length and scope). Halfway through 2020 I stepped up to VP of Consulting, and finally I stepped up to President at the end of 2020 until now.

This whole ride has been a rollercoaster, however I learned many multiples more about how to manage myself and lead others through this experience than just about anything else I could have done at uni so I have no regrets!

What have been specific highlights of your time within 180DC?

Because I can't decide which is the most important part of the 180DC experience (social or project), I have two favourite experiences from 180DC.

Firstly, the project that made the biggest impact on me was my first project as a consultant back in 2018. We had a client working to address a particular kind of deafness in regional NSW, and needed to secure over $150,000 per year in funding to continue operations. They also needed it within 2 months of our project ending - no pressure! So, we helped them build a model that expressed how much of an impact they are having on their community. And as a result of the work we did, the client got the funding!

This was a really important memory to me because it showed that 180DC isn't just a place to do projects and walk away, but it’s a place to actually do work that helps people.

On the social side, my favourite memory is by far the 180DC cruise. I'm not usually a person for huge social gatherings, however I feel the 180DC cruise always seems to have an atmosphere where you can speak to anyone and generally just have a good time no matter who you are.

What advice would you have for those who are looking to join 180DC in the future?

Join with the intention of learning.

180DC is a special place because it gives a unique mix of amazing mentors, strong processes and real challenges that allow you to grow significantly as a person, and the more you double down on it the more you will get out of it at the other end.

Personally I had no idea when I started that I'd get to learn what it takes to write and publish a whitepaper or lead an organisational restructure, however because I dedicated myself to the society the opportunities just appeared and I could not be more thankful for it.

Thank you to Adam for joining us in this interview! If you are interested in joining 180DC, make sure to keep an eye out for our recruitment period which will be opening mid Term 2. You can keep up to date with our recruitment and upcoming events through following us on both Facebook and LinkedIn.

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