How long have you worked at UOW?
4.5 years in total. My first stint at UOW was back in 2011-12 as an intern and then Project Officer, then I left for 4 years to work in Sydney as a Human Resource Advisor in the media industry and returned to UOW in March 2016. I haven’t looked back since.
What’s your/your team’s role at the University?
I’m an Employability and Employer Programs Officer within the Graduate Career Development and Employability arm of PVC Students Division. I facilitate career learning development programs, including Univative (a student to business consultancy program) and the UOW Mentoring Program. Both offerings provide students with meaningful professional experience to enhance their employability, and to prepare them for the workforce. To diversify my own skill set and experience I am currently acting as Business Development Coordinator within our Unit until September, which involves connecting employers with UOW students for part-time, casual and graduate work and for formal experiential learning through internships and placements.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Assisting students in boosting their employability skills, knowledge and overall confidence. To play such a big part in the personal and professional transformation that students undergo within the programs I coordinate is truly rewarding. I’m in awe of each of the students I work with (domestic, international, undergraduate and postgraduate students) for their dedication, determination and ability to step outside of their comfort zones. They definitely exceed the learning expectations of each of the programs.
What’s the most challenging?
For me my biggest challenge currently is returning to work part time after having my daughter. I’m almost 8 months into the transition but I’m still finding it hard to find my optimum balance. I want to be the best mum and wife I can be but I also want to maintain the high professional standard I established when I worked fulltime. It’s all about managing the pressure I put on myself and my overall feelings, guilt being one of them because I don’t want to let anyone down. It’s important I set clear expectations with my family and my colleagues on what I can and can’t achieve. I thought my time management and multi-tasking was good before… but now its next level!
Proudest work achievement at UOW?
Receiving the Vice Chancellors Award for Outstanding Service for Professional Services Staff in 2017. While it was an individual award for my work on revamping the Jobs on Campus program, I very much see it as an accolade for the wider Graduate Career Development and Employability team; we are a very collaborative unit.
What goals are you/your team working towards in 2019?
We are working towards scaling Univative and the UOW Mentoring Program with an aim to offer more students with the opportunity to engage in meaningful professional leaning experiences, by partnering with local employers.
What’s your fondest memory so far of working at UOW?
In 2016 I ran my very first Univative program and on the last day of the program the 40 student participants formed a circle around me and gave me 3 cheers. I remember welling up with tears and just feeling so elated that I had achieved what I had set out to achieve at the beginning of the program. That is, having impact on each of the students by making them valued and supported.
On a daily note, having lunch on the beautiful campus grounds or over at the Botanic Gardens with colleagues. Just enjoying our home-made lunches, light chit-chat and one another’s company.
Random fact about you or hidden talent?
I have toured the USA twice for dancing, was a backup dancer for the Robbie Williams Tribute Show and was an Illawarra Hawks Cheerleader for 4 years (many moons ago).
What’s your favourite place in the world and why?
My favourite place in the world is the Cinque Terre in Italy. I adore it for its beautiful surroundings, easy/slow living and of course amazing cuisine. I also got engaged in Riomaggiore (the first of the five towns), so the Cinque Terre holds particular sentimental meaning to me.
Something on your bucket list you’d care to share?
I’d love to either design and own my own fashion label or settle for being stylist to Beyonce. Fashion is a passion and creative outlet of mine.