Liz works as an office manager in the business school of a large university. She completed her business management degree part time while working at the university.
Liz works in the collaborative ventures office and manages eight staff.
The roles involves a wide range of tasks, but most of her time is spent managing staff, conducting appraisals, supervision of all office work, delegating tasks, planning for future workflows and projects, budgeting, client liaison and meetings.
The most rewarding parts of the role are seeing a project through to completion, working directly with students and clients, and seeing team members progress and develop. The negative aspects include a high workload which can mean working overtime and working on Saturdays.
Liz initially started work as an administrator. She applied for the position because of the excellent reputation of the employer. The entry-level wages were good and there was a well-structured career path. But there was also an excellent staff development scheme which allowed staff to study part time while they were working.
After two years of working in the collaborative ventures team as an administrator, the office manager position for that team became vacant, and was advertised internally. After applying, Liz was invited to a panel interview, and was also required to sit some clerical tests. Liz feels that her success was due to the experience she had already gained in the team, but more importantly it was due to her effort to keep up to date with training and her willingness to take on extra responsibility by managing projects.
Liz completed her business management degree part time while working at the university. The fees for the course were covered by the university under the staff development scheme, and she also received one afternoon per week off to attend lectures. Although the degree was not a requirement of her post, it will be necessary when she applies for more senior positions. Liz feels the subject of her study is relevant to her post as it has given her a background in areas including human resource management and business management.
In the future, Liz would like to progress to managing a whole section in the school, and ultimately the school itself.
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