Rebecca Sie, Teaching Facilities Manager, Faculty of Medicine

“The COVID-19 pandemic has added a new layer of complexity to my role given the changes it has brought about – changes that I could never have anticipated six months ago! 

I worked for several years as a research scientist before making the transition to laboratory management, first joining Imperial in 2014 as a Trainee Laboratory Manager in the old Department of Medicine. I then spent some time working in Oxford and returned to the College just before Christmas last year. I had only been back for a few months when the College closed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak! 

Since the lockdown my team has facilitated the move to digital teaching for MBBS students. This was completely novel for us as we had never used video conferencing before. My team has been amazing in getting to grips with new software and a new way of working, as well as confidently offering support in platforms they had only just been introduced to.  

Looking to the autumn, we’re currently preparing for delivering in-person teaching again from September. There’s been a lot of work around how students are going to use spaces whilmaintaining social distancing and how we can ensure a good student experience given the restrictions. COVID-19 has added a new layer of complexity to my role given the changes it has brought about – changes that I could never have anticipated six months ago! 

While we don’t often have direct interaction with the students, online teaching has meant that in some ways we’re now closer, with stronger links to Programme Administration. Our team has been present in the majority of the MBBS digital teaching so that we can step in and advise if necessary, and we’ve had some lovely messages from both staff and students to say thank you. We’ve been working hard to ensure that the transition for the students has been as seamless as possible so it’s really reassuring when we get this kind of feedback. I don’t think anybody really expects recognition for essentially just doing their job, but it’s lovely to receive that kind of thanks.

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