Who Got that Job?

November 7, 2003

Ruth Lawton , 45
Job advertised in The THES , January 17 2003

University of Central England in Birmingham
Student services
Head of Careers
£32,000 - £35,000 per annum

Ruth Lawton has been in careers for 17 years, having worked for Doncaster local authority before joining the University of Central England in 1991.

She became acting head of careers in August 2002 while Sally Westney, then director of student services, reviewed provision. When the job came up, she and other internal candidates applied. Lawton says: "I had six months working as a careers adviser and acting head. By that time, Sally had got to know the team and our work."

Westney, now pro vice-chancellor, says: "Ruth was successful for several reasons: her lively and engaging presentation, her theoretical knowledge about employability and how this related to higher education, and her passion."

Lawton says: "I was made chair of the student progress files committee, which has been hard work. Every student has to have a file by 2005-06.

We're piloting a version in three faculties before going university-wide."

The expansion of the annual graduate destinations survey to include all students - full and part time - is a headache, Lawton says. "The questionnaire is also more complex. My vice-chancellor, Peter Knight, has taken up our cause. He's asking, 'What is the point of a full-scale survey - why not take a sample survey?'" The careers team has expanded to cope with the extra work.

Lawton says: "The careers service is in the middle of university policy right now - we're doing a lot of training, influencing staff to embed skills in the curriculum."

The downside is the workload. Lawton became rundown and ill. "It's a long-hours culture, and I'd not got out of the habit of doing two jobs. I have to learn to let things go."

Please login or register to read this article.

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Viewed

The University of Oxford is top in a list of the best universities in the UK, which includes institutions in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

26 September

Most Commented

Universities in most nations are now obliged to prioritise graduate career prospects, but how it should be approached depends on your view of the meaning of education. Academics need to think that through much more clearly, says Tom Cutterham


Featured jobs