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Long Service Awards profile: Jill Grant

Name: Jill Grant

Job title: Project Manager – Student Support

Department: Wellbeing Support Services

Number of years at Warwick: 30


There’s no such thing as a typical day, but, in brief, my job involves...

My role is diverse, challenging and even after so many years working here, I continue to find it very rewarding. I have been lucky to work with some great colleagues throughout my career at Warwick, but in my current role, I know that all of the team make a huge difference on a daily basis to many students’ lives here at Warwick.

I manage and implement all projects for the Head of Wellbeing Support Services and Senior Wardens for the Residential Life Team – this can range from implementing the new branding across the team, involvement with sourcing and implementing a new IT package for the area, office and space moves, Residential Life Team recruitment and training, residences refurbishments, the list is endless - my role really does cover almost everything! I am fortunate that over the years, I have made many contacts across all areas, so I do tend to be the person everyone comes to for help and advice!

I started at Warwick in the International Office and after a couple of years moved to Schools Liaison Service where alongside Rosemary Stamp I was responsible for the implementation of the University Open Days and promoting Warwick on and off campus. When I started this role, Open Days were split Faculty events and were for schools to bring large groups to campus – hardly any parents accompanied their children. I am proud to say that the model that is still being used today is based on the one we created all those years ago, and as I do the Open Day rounds with my daughter, it is good to see it being used at other universities too. Rosemary and I also set up the Warwick Welcome Ambassadors Service – originally this was a group of students who lived on campus, who we could call on at short notice to do tours of campus. This developed very quickly and became the service that we know today. I was very sad to see the famous yellow uniform had been replaced with orange!

From the Schools Liaison Service I moved into a new role of Office Manager for Student Recruitment and can still remember when a very young Ken Sloan came for his interview to begin his career at Warwick. I worked with Ken in different areas for a number of years and he quickly recognised my skills and experience and played a large part in my progression within Warwick. I was seconded to implement the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY) @ Warwick Summer School and then moved to my current role in Wellbeing Support Services.

My most memorable moment at Warwick has been...

My first years at Warwick have definitely been my most memorable – I came to Warwick when I was 20 years old and with the help of some great colleagues, I have achieved far more than I ever expected. I have been very fortunate to have line managers who have recognised my skills and have given me the opportunity to prove myself time and time again. One of my greatest achievements has to be the NAGTY @ Warwick Summer Schools – these were 3 week residential events led by academics from Warwick and supported by a range of residential staff – we created and implemented a great model to take forward and really made a difference to so many students.

My favourite time of the year at Warwick is arrivals weekends – I am part of a team who plan and prepare for the start of the academic year. The Residential Life Team play a huge part in this, welcoming every student with their families to Warwick and helping them to settle quickly into the community. The campus really does come alive at this time of the year.

In my time at Warwick, the biggest change I’ve seen is...

How the university has grown from a few buildings to where we are today and how the number of students, both home and overseas, studying at Warwick has increased.

Warwick’s kept me here because...

It works and after all these years, I still enjoy coming to work. I have been very lucky to work with some fantastic colleagues who have become great friends. Warwick has also enabled me to have a career that works alongside family commitments. I started at Warwick in the International Office as a full time member of staff and as my career progressed, Warwick was flexible enough to give me the opportunity to job share and then go part time – I do have to thank my line managers at the time for their support. I continue to work part time, but as family life has changed, I now work additional hours.

At the moment I’m really enjoying working on...

Lots of different projects within the Wellbeing Support Services area. My role is very varied and my plans for the day can change very quickly. I can never predict what will happen and have to be prepared to drop what I am doing and prioritise as and when required. It is the part of the job that I love and thrive on.

I was very proud to be nominated for a staff award this year for being part of the team to implement the SALTO card access project within residences – I am pleased to say that we were successful and won the category!

It would be really useful to work more closely with...

For my role to be effective it is essential that I work as closely as I can with as many departments across the University. Throughout my time at Warwick I have always made it a priority to make new contacts across all areas – it is definitely who you know at Warwick that enables you to get things done so quickly!

Warwick’s unique because...

Of the community it creates for those studying and working here.

The best thing about working at Warwick is...

The people I have worked with over the years and the great friendships I have been lucky enough to have across a diverse group of people. I have made lifelong friends during my time at Warwick who have become part of my family life too – I got engaged, married and have had 2 daughters over the 30 years I have been here.

If I could change one thing at the University, it would be...

After many years of working in student wellbeing and pastoral support I would love to see a designated space created for these services. It would be incredibly rewarding for me and for our students to know that the need for a welcoming and appropriate space for the type of services we offer is recognised and addressed.

I attend the Arts Centre regularly...

I watch a wide range of performances from comedy nights to the cinema with friends and family.

I’m a regular at the Sports Centre for...

When I first started at Warwick, I was a regular user of the sports facilities – I can remember playing squash on a regular basis and only having to just put 50 pence into a meter for the lights to work.

I recently had lunch...

At The Bread Oven in the Students’ Union – one of the best places for lunch on campus and great value for money.

I usually travel to campus by...

Car – my journey to work takes about 15-20 minutes on a good day, but can take much longer when the traffic is busy. It is something I accept as part of my working day - that there may be delays when we are trying to improve the roads around campus. This has changed drastically from my first years at Warwick – whatever time of the day you arrived or left, you didn’t have to queue for very long!

My favourite place on campus is...

The residences – this is the students’ home while they are at Warwick and we work very hard with colleagues across a range of departments to build a community for them to be a part of.

Jill Grant