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Unsung Hero: Ollie Sinodova

Hear from colleagues who are taking time to contribute to graduation week, find out about their role and what they enjoy about it. It's a chance to see some of the work that goes on behind the scenes to help make graduation week a success.

oBehind the Scenes...

Ollie Sinodov, Information Adviser, Careers and Skills
Role at graduation: Warwick Arts Centre Steward

My usual job involves…

Comforting lost souls at the Centre for Careers and Skills, where I help students access our resources and make the right type of appointment for careers advice. I also handle the admin side: dealing with the phones, emails and publishing vacancies on our website.
I have also been volunteering at the Arts Centre since 2011, but of course we get paid for our work at graduation!

But during graduation week I…
Don my steward uniform and radio, and become part of a team that makes graduation run like clockwork. As stewards, we seat the families, assist people with access requirements, ensure fire safety, control the flow of audience, guard the academic procession, and basically step up to prevent crises before they even start. We report to our duty manager, the brave soul who not only coordinates all of us at our separate doors, but also the procession, most of backstage, and liaises with the technical department.

I really enjoy being involved with…
Helping out families who are either separated due to ticketing issues or getting lost in our huge hall. While trying to seat everyone promptly is a huge headache if someone is out of place, seeing a grandmother’s face light up because we just managed to navigate her grandson across from the other end of the hall to join her in the celebration is one of the highlights of my day!

Graduation week is unique because…
It’s a fantastic bonding experience for the team. The amount of pressure we are under means that we have to be there for each other, and we end up eating lunches together and hanging out after work too! Stewards you work with at graduation become your friends.

If I could change one thing about graduation it would be…
The weather. Unfortunately, that’s the one thing we cannot control.

Not everyone knows that…
The duty manager makes sure that the procession enters the stage and is fully seated right as the fanfare ends. It’s the trickiest part to get right!

What would you say to colleagues considering getting involved?
It’s tremendous fun, even if very challenging! Let’s just say some crowds are tougher than the others…

In three words, what invaluable tip or advice would you give graduands?
Secure your hat!