My day job is at GCU as the Senior Executive PA to the Principal and I’ve just graduated with an MSc in Human Resource Management.
I was apprehensive, but after the first couple of weeks, once I got to know my classmates, I realised we were all in the same boat and there were a few of us in the more mature bracket, combining work and study.
Completing the degree has given me a tremendous feeling of achievement and confidence. I’m the first in the family to graduate. I left school at 16, because I wanted to be a secretary. Before GCU, I worked in the NHS for 12 years and coming here just made it feel right. It was the Principal’s idea, she has been a terrific support and I thought, why not, why shouldn’t I, why can’t I?
I was learning on the job, learning from the teaching and learning from the experiences of my fellow students. When it came to reflecting on our own personal examples, I didn’t give too many as all the lecturers knew exactly where I worked!
It was hard with all the deadlines alongside the day job. I had an hour a day on the train to work and back where I would do all my reading on my laptop. I had to study at the weekend too so I’ve probably not been the best wife or friend. It’s nice to have my life back, but with a fabulous achievement at the end of it. The two years went by very quickly and I am very grateful to the University for supporting that.
It has helped me to think differently about how I go about my daily tasks and to try to be the best people manager for my team, making sure they are heard and feel valued. I like being a GCU champion and it’s just a great place to work. In my role, I need to be calm, level-headed, and always have a Plan B for every occasion.
I’m equally organised in my family life. I’m sure I drive them all mad with my lists and sometimes they must think, ‘why does everything have to be a military operation, with a schedule and a list?’ It’s just the way I am, lists and organisation – that’s the motto.