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My Warwick Life: Emma Birkett

The new My Warwick Life feature gives an insight into University members' life at Warwick, considering both their work and social life on campus. Here, we hear from Emma Birkett, Business Development Manager at Warwick Conferences.

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

a whole range of activities! My day can range from catch up meetings with internal departments to keep them informed on how our services and facilities are transforming, to manning an exhibition stand, at an externally facing trade show. The fundamental reason why I enjoy my role so much is its variety.

I had a really useful meeting recently with …..

Peter Hedges and Trevor Brown from Research Support Services. The purpose of the meeting was to see how Warwick Conferences could support our researchers more effectively, in any conference or event they wish to incorporate into their research programme. Peter thought our support would be well received with the researchers both pre and post award, he would be happy to champion us by making introductions to the researchers who may benefit from our expertise and guidance. It was really interesting to discover the actual number of applications submitted and how many of those are awarded annually.

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

as many departments within the University as possible. This would be to ensure we are fully supporting their objectives when hosting their conferences, events, catering and accommodation. Alongside this I would like to forge relationships with the organisations other departments collaborate with externally. All with the overarching aim of enhancing the University’s reputation and maximising its income.

I recently attended the Departmental Administrators meeting in the Rootes Building ….

This event was sponsored by Warwick Conferences. The reason for hosting and attending this meeting was to engage with colleagues who use Warwick Conferences on a regular basis. We showcased a wide variety of food options that could be available to them for their next event. The meeting was a great opportunity to network and ensure that Warwick Conferences can not only supply facilities but offer advice and recommendations to ensure the success of their events. During this meeting we welcomed feedback from the group and have taken away some ideas to explore further.

I’m really enjoying working on ….

expanding our portfolio to include an Event Management Service, amongst other value added benefits. I have started conversations with a number of colleagues to establish how an event management provision would be received. At Warwick Conferences we have identified that the events hosted by internal departments can be rather time consuming and a strain on their resources. Having the Event Management Service would ease this pressure and encourage key members of the department to bid for more academic events to be hosted at Warwick and in turn raise the profile of the University.

I recently learnt more about….

Warwick in Africa. I hadn’t fully appreciated the work the Warwick students had done in Africa over the past few years until I saw the BBC documentary shown recently. It is clear the initiative has made a massive difference to a number of schools and African students in deprived areas. It has not only enriched their quality of education but it is also apparent that a strong bond has grown between the students and the Warwick teachers. Fantastic work!

Warwick’s unique because….

of all of our people –the teams I work with across the University have a will to make progress and be “the best that we can be.” Everyone I cross paths with is passionate and professional in their role. This is the essence of a successful team. I am proud to be a part of this culture.

The best thing about working at Warwick is…

the brand. The profile the University carries from being a strong research institution, among the top world universities, to the award winning team at Warwick Conferences.

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

to see a more joined up approach to enterprise. Many departments engage with us independently. When creating opportunities and building relationships on behalf of Warwick Conferences I am mindful of other internal departments that could benefit from this contact – which may result in an introduction.

I’m really glad I got involved with…

‘Team Conferences’ - we competed against the Sport Department in a rounders and netball match. It was a good effort by ‘Team Conferences’ however we knew that our skills were best placed in the office instead of on the court! As we work closely with the sports department on a number of joint ventures this was a fantastic team building activity, giving everyone the opportunity to meet and network away from our normal office environment.

I used my Warwick Learning Account vouchers for….

salsa classes a number of years ago; it was a great opportunity to learn something new and meet other colleagues at the University.

I recently went to the Arts Centre ….

My colleagues and I hosted an evening with clients at Radcliffe for dinner and took them to the Arts Centre to see ‘Tango Fire’. The clients were extremely impressed by the facilities at Warwick Conferences and also the fantastic show hosted at the Arts Centre. It gave us the opportunity to subtly showcase our facilities using an alternative approach.

I’m an occasional user of the Sports Centre for….

a Zumba class or two with some of my colleagues in the department. It was great fun!

I recently had lunch at…

Scarman. Whilst carrying out a site visit with prospective clients I hosted lunch in Scarman so that they could sample the outstanding food offering. I am confident of the standard and service offered when taking any client for food across campus. I look forward to experiencing GUSTO the new restaurant in the Arts Centre. There have been fantastic reviews already.

I usually travel to campus by…..

car. Due to the nature of my role I often need to drive off site when visiting clients. However, whenever possible, with no off-site appointments, I am very fortunate to live 2 miles from campus so I walk!

If you'd like to be featured in a future My Warwick Life piece, please email and we'll email the questions out to you.

Emma Birkett