Muizzy found that doing an administration internship gave her a valuable insight into the world of higher education (HE). Find out how she's used this experience to forge a career in HE administration
How did you get your job?
I worked as an intern at London South Bank University (LSBU) straight after completing my degree in business administration, which was a great way to ease myself into the 9-5 working life and to put the things I learned at university into practice. My internship prepared me for the role I'm in now as it helped me understand the intricacies of how a university works, which made me more interested in working in a university full time.
As my internship was coming to an end, I started looking for roles in administration and luckily there was an opening in another department at the same institution. I applied for the job and in less than a month I was starting my first day as an administrator.
What's a typical day like?
I start my day by checking my emails, replying to the most important ones. Emails range from students asking questions to requests for invoices to be sent for payment of modules. I also receive several emails from different academics on a daily basis.
I may then have an enrolment of 20+ students for one of the modules I administer. I deal with all the continuing professional development (CPD) children's nursing modules at the university, with occasional help from more experienced colleagues as I'm still learning. I then make sure I've updated the information on the system to ensure all the students have been fully enrolled and have Moodle, library and student portal access by the end of the day.
After enrolment, I check my emails again and listen to any voicemails I may have. While I'm doing that, I check our applications systems for any applications I've received. I have to go through each application and process them in terms of qualifications, funding and availability of spaces. I have helpdesk duties once a week, which involves dealing with face-to-face student queries throughout the day.
In the afternoon I update the funding information for my modules, which is sent to finance to be processed, before checking emails again and answering phone calls.
What do you enjoy most about education administration?
I enjoy being part of student enrolment. It isn't always a smooth process, but it's very rewarding when I'm able to help and sort out any issues. I also appreciate the generous annual leave.
What are the challenges?
I don't really have any challenges in my role. If any issues do arise, I have a very supportive team who are always on hand to help, which makes my job easier.
How is your degree relevant?
My degree has helped me develop my verbal and written communication skills. I also feel the IT-related modules have really helped me to be able to take on certain tasks in my role now.
How has your role developed?
I only started my role recently so it hasn't developed that much yet, but I've already been given one new portfolio and one additional module to administer.
What are your tips for others interested in administration?
- Get experience prior to applying so you're aware of what you're getting yourself into.
- It's important to brush up on your IT and communication skills, and to be able to work both independently and as part of a team.
- Look for jobs on the websites of companies you want to work for and follow their socials as businesses now advertise job vacancies on social media.