Who got that job?

October 10, 2003

Susan Dyke, 36
Job advertised, THES, January 10

BRUNEL UNIVERSITY, WEST LONDON
Student Data Officer (Internal)
£21,125 - £,339 pa plus London weighting of £1,638 pa

Brunel University created the post in the records support team as part of restructuring the registry. Kate Allen, assistant registrar, said: "We were looking for problem-solvers who could interpret data as well as produce a report. We wanted someone who could work in the higher education context, take things at a national level and see how it might assist Brunel in making strategic decisions."

Susan Dyke's interview was for two positions - internal and external student data officer. When asked last month how she was finding the job, she said: "It's been a huge learning curve. I thought it would be just about stats, but it touches every area of administrative life. I'm involved in graduation ceremonies, exam boards, user support for the student database and numerous other projects. I was previously an information management trainee with GlaxoSmithKline before gaining an MSc in information science. Now I write internal reports to senior management and departments. I answer ad hoc queries on anything from ethnic mix and age to domicile and gender.

"Brunel has allowed me to test skills outside my remit - a contrast with my corporate/ industrial experience. The trouble spots are having to know everything about everything, and the hours. When work needs doing, you do it. But there is flexibility - I can take time off for school meetings or to get the boiler fixed. Brunel is a friendly campus. It's great to walk across for netball and hear performing arts students 'strut their stuff'.

But it is strange to step back into admin, which is a hive of industry."

Since this interview, however, Dyke has handed in her notice. "I felt that full-time work just wasn't fitting in with my family commitments."

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