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Graduation unsung hero: Rona Freeman

rfThe Unsung Heroes feature gives an insight into an individual staff member’s contribution to graduation week, covering 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.

Behind the scenes with...

Rona Freeman, Office Manager, Deputy Registrar's Office
Role at graduation: Registration and Robing Team Leader and part of the Seating Team


My usual job involves…

juggling ….. I work across the Deputy Registrar’s Office, which comprises Institutional Governance Services, Health & Safety, Internal Audit, Legal Services, Security Services, Strategic Planning & Analytics and Strategy & Change and all these areas make my usual job very varied. A large part of my role concerns HR and finance but I also work with such diverse areas as the feedback and complaints team, car parking team, and the Chaplaincy, as well as arranging polling stations on campus.

But during graduation week…

I work with the seating team, seating graduands as they enter the Butterworth Hall, checking vacant seats following the close of registration, and getting the graduands queued to go onto the stage at the appropriate time. Some of the seating team remain in the hall during the ceremony and it can be very interesting hearing the honorary graduate speak.

I also work with the registration and robing team, helping graduands pick up their tickets and guest tickets as well as making sure that graduands are robed correctly.

I really enjoyed…

the graduands and their guests and my very small part in helping to make their ceremony a happy experience. And it’s a good opportunity to work with staff across campus.

Graduation week is unique because…

our degree ceremonies take place on campus; not every university is lucky enough to have the facilities to do that. The Estates grounds and garden team put in a huge amount of effort to make sure the campus looks its best – and we all hope the sun shines.

Not everyone knows that…

the awards and ceremonies team undertake a vast amount of work to ensure that the ceremonies run smoothly, and still manage to keep their sense of humour.

In three words, what invaluable tip or advice would you give graduands?

Choose shoes wisely!

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