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Behind the scenes with Jen Bowskill

Hear from colleagues who volunteered to contribute to the International Biology Olympiad (IBO), find out about their role and what they enjoyed about it. It's a chance to see some of the activity that went on behind the scenes to help make the IBO a success.

Behind the scenes with...
Jen Bowskill
Head of Student Engagement and Recruitment
School of Life Sciences

Role for the International Biology Olympiad: “On The Day” Helper!


My usual job involves…
I am on a nine months secondment to the role of Head of Student Engagement and Recruitment in the School of Life Sciences until April 2018. I lead the strategy for enhancing the student experience in the School of Life Sciences, as well as the development, marketing and promotion of School of Life Sciences degree programmes.

In advance of the International Biology Olympiad I…
sat as a member of the IBO Planning Group.

During the International Biology Olympiad I…
spent the week as an extra pair of hands helping out wherever I was needed! This included; directing the coaches of students and helpers being driven around campus to attend their separate exams to ensure that everyone was at the right exam venue at the right time, and that the separate groups of students didn’t run into each other on campus in between the exams taking place; delivering additional copies of exam papers to venues; helping with the transportation of equipment and marked exam scripts around campus; helping audio visual teams get some great shots of students taking their exams for the daily video digest of the event, and most importantly a last minute dash to a local garden centre to obtain additional plant samples needed for the Botany practical exam!

I really enjoyed being involved with… 
the whole event as it was exceptionally rewarding. It was wonderful seeing all of the competitor students from all over the world on stage during the IBO Opening Ceremony, and I had great fun interacting with the students, their helpers, and the exceptionally cheerful and friendly coach drivers on the day of the exams!

The International Biology Olympiad is unique because…
it is the only international event of its kind that celebrates excellence in Biology for young people, giving its competitors a unique opportunity to travel, meet new people and experience different cultures.

If I could change one thing about the International Biology Olympiad it would be…
guaranteed good weather for the competitors’ rest days so they could see Warwick and its surrounding areas at its best.

Not everyone knows that…
each of the three practical exams took place in a different location on campus; the 250+ competitions had to be split into three groups with each group taking a different exam at a different location throughout the day until all groups had taken all three exams. This required the student groups to be kept separate from each other at all times throughout the day to make sure that the content of the exams remained secret until all groups had sat all exams.


Hear from other colleagues behind the scenes

Jen