What inspired you to join IT Services/Oxford University?
I joined IT Services Project Management team just over six years ago. IT project management combines everything that I love best – people, planning, creative problem-solving and getting stuff done. This job is vastly different from where my career started (running my own deli and tearoom) but I really love it. It fits with my personality and values.
What was your journey to the position you now hold?
After graduating from University with an Arts degree my friend and I started our own business running a deli and tearoom in Derby called ‘The Butler’s Pantry’. As a small business owner, the stakes were high – I had a team of six people and had to keep the money coming in so they could keep their jobs, which was a lot of pressure. Catering for events was a big part of the business so I worked long hours. There was also book-keeping, customer service, baking plus networking and negotiating with suppliers.
I am proud that the business was a success for the four years that we ran it, but I was glad to leave the responsibility and pressure behind in order to have a family. After that I worked for BT Open World providing customer support with dial-up networks. This was where I discovered my aptitude for IT which took me by surprise! I then worked in first line tech support at Derby University. My colleague saw something in me and encouraged me to apply for a role in a newly formed project management team in IT Services at Derby University. I absolutely loved it and haven’t looked back since.
What do you enjoy about working here?
I’ve been involved in a broad range of projects since taking the job at Oxford University and I really enjoy that variety. It is also interesting working with a broad range of colleagues both from within IT Services and other staff such as academics, administrators, and museum curators. No two days are the same. The flexibility that IT Services offers in terms of working arrangements is also essential for me because I commute from Derby. I have a nice balance of working from home and then coming into the office when I need to for specific meetings or events.
What advice would you give someone thinking about applying to work at the University/IT Services?
Forget whatever pre-conceived ideas you might have about working at Oxford University and look at it with an open mind. The University has the history and the reputation as a world class institution, and it is also a welcoming and exciting place to work with brilliantly supportive colleagues and opportunities.