What inspired you to join IT Services/Oxford University?
My father worked for the Safety Office, so I grew up with a general awareness of the University and its structure. In 2003 I found myself working at the Computing Services (OUCS) on a placement year, between my second and final years of my degree in Computer Science. After graduating in 2005, I returned to work for the University on a full-time basis – joining the newly formed ICT Team. In 2012, the ICT Team merged with OUCS and Business Systems and Projects (BSP) to become IT Services – and I have been here ever since!
What was your journey to the position you now hold?
My initial role was focused on supporting staff members within OUCS using Apple Mac and Windows devices, as well as managing PCs across the shared teaching rooms and the help centre at Banbury Road. With the growth of the CONNECT managed desktop, additional departments became interested in using the platform and my role shifted to concentrate on migrating these departments onto the CONNECT platform. I enjoyed the stakeholder management and planning required for these projects and sought to move my career in a different direction – away from the reactivity of support work.
In early 2020 I completed a level 4 apprenticeship in Business Analysis, which was an 18-month training program delivered via the University's 'Work-Learn-Develop' scheme. I took part in the training as it was an excellent opportunity to learn a range of analytical techniques that would complement my general technical skillset.
My current role is a Service Management Analyst, within the Service Management Office (SMO). Our team helps Service Owners and their teams with all aspects of service management – following ITIL 4 best practice. On a day-to-day basis, this means overseeing the transition between projects and new or modified services, maintaining the Service Catalogue and assisting service teams with 'change enablement' (amongst other things!).
What do you enjoy about working here?
One of the highlights of my role is the variety of work I can get involved with. This is both in terms of what each service or project does, or plans to deliver – as well as which of the practice areas this work might cover. I can quickly go from working on change enablement for a telephony project, to service transition on a Gardens and Museums project – and back again! This puts me in contact with a wide range of colleagues across the department and this is another benefit, as there are some great people within IT Services.
There are also plenty of opportunities to get involved in extra developmental activities – if you want to, and if you seek them out. My team is very keen on continuous improvement, and this is a personal area of interest for me - having recently completed training with the Focus Team as an Associate Practitioner. I’m also a steering group member for the Continuous Improvement Community of Practice - one of many professional networks across the University.
What advice would you give someone thinking about applying to work at IT Services or the University?
Don’t be put off if you don’t think of yourself as ‘technical’ - there are a lot of great non-technical roles within IT Services. Perhaps a position within Customer Services, the Project & Programme Delivery Group, or the Office of the CIO would suit you?
Of course, if you are technical – there are plenty of those positions, and one of them may be a role within a niche you are qualified for!