Caroline Brown, School Manager of the School of English, Communication and Philosophy moved 400 miles to take up a post at the University.
I joined Cardiff University in 2003 as a Graduate Assistant, shortly after completing a BA Honours degree in English Literature at Cambridge. As a native of Edinburgh, and someone who had only visited South Wales very briefly prior to taking up my appointment, I found moving 400 miles south to a new city and new job something of a shock (although the warmer weather was a pleasant surprise!)
In taking on the role of Graduate Assistant I was fortunate in being given a fantastic opportunity to learn about different aspects of higher education administration and management, and to undertake hands-on projects across various parts of the institution. For the first six months of my appointment I was based in Human Resources where I was involved in recruitment matters and equality and diversity policy development, before moving into the Registry for a short period.
During the merger with the University of Wales College of Medicine in 2003-04 I was seconded from my Graduate Assistant post to a Project Officer role and was once again based in Human Resources. I found it both challenging and fulfilling to be able to contribute to a project of this scale and complexity, and worked across a range of areas including policy development, organisational restructuring and trade union liaison. Whilst employed in this capacity I spent time in both the Heath and Cathays campus sites, which was invaluable in gaining an understanding of the cultures and systems of both organisations.
Following the merger I moved into my current post as School Manager for the School of English, Communication and Philosophy. The School is a large humanities School with a considerable staff and student population. I take responsibility for 18 administrative and technical staff and work closely with the Head of School and the School Management Team to ensure the smooth running of our teaching, research and administrative activities. The School Manager role is one which I find absorbing and very varied, and I am proud to work in a School that is creative, diverse and dynamic. Each year we host a variety of conferences and events and our teaching and research areas encompass a broad range of disciplines and themes including ethics, cultural criticism, linguistics, visual communication, illustration studies and medieval literature.
During my time at the University I have enjoyed being involved in arranging two fundraising balls for Tenovus through the Social and Community Action Network. Outside work I spend time with family in Edinburgh and am a keen dancer and jewellery-maker.
I feel very privileged to have contributed to the recent history of Cardiff University and look forward to continuing to work in a vibrant, dynamic and successful institution.