Stephen Parkin, 30
Job advertised, THES, January 3
THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD
International Office, Student Recruitment & Admissions
£24,498 - £33,679 pa
"My last job was international officer at Queen Mary, University of London.
Previous to that I marketed StudyGroup's World High School Placement Programme in Brighton and taught English in Kazakhstan, Armenia and China.
"It has been hectic since I started at Sheffield University on May 1 because of the timing in the recruitment cycle. I spent the summer focusing on India, with a visit in June and July. The temperature in Delhi reached 45C -never has air conditioning been so welcome. I also visited Hong Kong for the British Council clearing event in August.
"In the past I have worked with high-volume markets such as China. Now I am responsible for smaller markets in Africa and the Middle East.
"The admissions cycle started last month with a ten-day visit to Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya. Sheffield has about 3,000 international students from a range of countries. They are attracted by the university's reputation as a premier-league research-led institution with quality teaching, a low cost of living and excellent accommodation.
"An international officer might spend three months a year in a target market attending education exhibitions, interviewing students, developing relationships with universities and working with the British Council.
Office-based work includes dealing with inquiries, arranging inward visits and advising departments on meeting overseas recruitment targets.
"We are a team of nine, and we have an office in Malaysia with three staff.
We get strong back-up from staff in Sheffield's other recruitment and admissions departments. This was one reason I moved to Sheffield.
"The job is challenging, but the satisfaction is great when students finally graduate."