A reward - and discount - culture

November 2, 2006

Name : Adam Bell

Age : 22

Job : Scholarships administrator. Designing and implementing the Excellence Scholarships Scheme offering rewards for students in sport, performing arts, creative arts and volunteering. I'm secretary for the Office for Fair Access working group to develop Edge Hill University's access agreement and finance package.

Background : BA (Hons) in English language and linguistics at Lancaster University. I've just started a part-time MA here.

Working hours : I work 8.45-5.00 Monday to Friday, some weekends and evenings for open days.

Number of staff you work with : Four colleagues in the tuition fees team, but we are in a large open-plan office that has about 30 people.

Biggest challenge this year : Creating a scheme from scratch in the changing environment of student finance, based on what "might" happen.

How you solved it : I kept things simple for the first year with scope to enlarge. I liaised with all parties, benchmarked against other institutions and tried to keep general communication consistent throughout.

Worst moment in university life : My first day was a bit hair-raising, not helped by the fact that I'd forgotten about attending a training course and so missed the morning session. Things improved from then on.

What is your office like? It's very busy at the moment with enrolment. I do like the open-plan aspect and the views from my window are good - lots of trees and landscaped areas.

What university facilities do you use? I use the university's £3.9 million Sporting Edge complex to play squash, badminton and football. Discounts for staff are a real perk of the job.

Do you socialise with people at the university? I have a good group of friends around my age in the office - we sometimes go out for drinks after work.

Who are the most difficult people you deal with? I can't think of anyone - come back to me in 12 months.

Best excuse for bad behaviour : Not heard any at work yet and don't want to print the ones I heard at university.

Do you interact with other departments? Yes. The Offa group draws membership from all faculties, major services and the student union. My scholarship work involves liaising with academic staff to create the selection committee, marketing to promote the scheme, finance to set up payments and admissions to organise correspondence with students.

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