Apologies for the radio silence!
Things have been a little bit hectic over the past few weeks as I have:
- Left my role at the University of Oxford
- Moved to London
- Started a new role at Queen Mary, University of London.
Actually, I did this in an incredibly short period of time, considering I left my Oxford role on a Thursday, packed on a Friday, moved on a Saturday, and started a new job on the Monday. Yes, I am just that crazy.
But frankly, I am not the type of person who likes gaps between employment. Not for any CV reasons, but because I find it keeps me in the work mindset. Had I taken a vacation in between roles I would have spent a significant amount of time worrying about starting anew.
No, when I take my annual leave, I know I can switch off 100%.
I will update more as I settle into the new role. But I can say that I work in Academic Standards and Quality, working towards course monitoring, course creation, and loads of other nitty gritty bits of administering taught programmes for undergraduates and postgraduates. It is a shift away from student welfare and I will discuss my reasons for that later.
But, for now, I want to say a big thank you to my colleagues back in Oxford who made my time there so memorable. I can, hand-to-heart, say that staff who work in student welfare have some of the most difficult work but they undertake it with patience, compassion, kindness, and warmth.
I am not going to wade into the devaluing of professional services staff rampant over the past couple of weeks (see recent Spectator and Guardian articles on the useless, wasteful, "empty" administration"). I found it too mean, degrading, and ignorant to waste my breath trying to stand up against it. Those types of people will never want to hear about the value of admin.
All I can say is that my colleagues in the past have exemplified the value and worth of professional services. And I have no doubt that I will feel the same in my new institution.
Oh, and one thing - do not call someone professional services "non-academic". Why title someone by what they are not?! RUDE, RUDE, RUDE.