Messages, massages and masalas

May 5, 2006

Name: Arti Kumar

Age: All I will say is that I have a birthday with a big "0" approaching fast.

Job: My title - senior careers adviser - is misleading because it's now a small part of what I do. For the past few years I have been working with faculty staff to design, deliver and assess new modules that integrate personal and career development at all levels of the undergraduate portfolio. Two days a week, I wear my Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning Fellow hat since Luton University won a Cetl for developing personal development planning processes and employability. I am leading the assessment centre's project under the Cetl banner and getting involved in various other strands bridging the student experience. As a holder of a national teaching fellowship, I have a personal project too. I work flexibly with students and staff across faculties, with employers, external networks and individuals to achieve what I believe in.

Background: BA in contemporary studies and an MA in education from Hertfordshire University. My diploma in careers guidance was gained at South Bank University - all while raising my three sons. Previous jobs include magazine journalism, airline stewardess, dental surgery assistant, education administration and teaching Indian cookery.

Biggest bugbear: The increasing volume of time-wasting e-mails. I still distract myself with them three times a day.

Worst moment in university life: One that I can tell you about is receiving a parking ticket even though I was in my legitimate space (which I pay for) - because my valid permit had fallen off the windscreen.

What is your office like? Private and pleasant really - except that I often cannot see my desk for paper, and piles of files are beginning to accumulate on the floor. When I finish writing this I am going to tidy up.

Which university facilities do you use? The Learning Resource Centre. I would like to use the sports massage offered by our students in sport and exercise science.

Do you socialise with people at the university? I usually attend summer concerts, Christmas parties and the odd celebration. We have an annual social team day - we went to Belfast one year on a great deal with easyJet.

Most difficult people you deal with: I don't have any, only people with difficulties - and I am usually expected to help sort them out!

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