Rooms and bistros with a view

April 28, 2006

Name: Shahida Ahmed

Age: 34

Job: Finance and welfare rights adviser, Edge Hill College of Higher Education, Liverpool.

Background: BSc in physics, PGCE in secondary science.

Working hours: 8.45am to 5pm, although this is flexible and I cover open days, which are often held on a Saturday.

Number of staff you work with: I am part of the five-strong Student Financial Support Team.

Biggest challenge: Keeping abreast of the massive funding changes for those starting courses. Accessibility is a focus, and we pride ourselves on making sure that those from disabled or disadvantaged backgrounds can compete on a level playing field. We have a generous bursary scheme and it's crucial that applicants understand what's on offer.

How you solved it: By keeping a close eye on reliable outlets of information and discussion forums, attending briefing sessions and contributing to an institutional working party aimed at looking at the financial support and advice we offer. I then present this information in a user-friendly format for marketing material and presentations to prospective students.

Worst moment in university life: Office refurbishment.

What is your office like? Modern and bright now with fantastic views across our landscaped campus.

What university facilities do you use? At the Ormskirk campus, we have a lake and piazza with lakeside bistro, coffee shops and a restaurant. It's a great place to while away a lunch hour. The Rose Theatre is located on campus. Every summer there's an outdoor performance that often involves a promenade through the grounds. I use the gym in winter.

Do you socialise with people at the university? I socialise with several colleagues I consider friends and who work in a variety of departments, from student services to the switchboard and the Learning Innovation Centre.

Who are the most difficult people you deal with? Individuals whose expectations are a little unrealistic.

Best excuses for bad behaviour: As a resident hall manager, I have heard many excuses for bad behaviour. A lot of them revolve around being under the influence of alcohol.

Do you interact with other parts of the university? I interact with a host of teams across Edge Hill, such as marketing, admissions, student recruitment and widening participation.

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