Elena Virlan, Centre Manager, Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre 

“I have always had a passion for helping people and using my organisational skills to implement new processes.”

I have organised an exciting programme of events and activities for Postdoc Appreciation Week (PAW), which takes place this week. This has been achieved in close collaboration with my colleagues in the PFDC, Postdoc Appreciation Week Committee and several Imperial postdoc reps. This is a great opportunity for the PFDC and Imperial to show their appreciation for the postdocs who make the College a leading research and educational institution. 

Organising events such as PAW gives me a great sense of fulfilment and responsibility and I’m looking forward to developing new initiatives, focusing particularly on wellbeing. 

I have always had a passion for helping people and using my organisational skills to implement new processes. A combination of the two has been visible throughout my career and educational journey so far. I graduated with an undergraduate degree in Event Management and Marketing and a Master’s in Psychology of Mental Health. I decided a career in Higher Education would enable me to combine aspects from both my degrees, so I started by working in Careers, first at the University of Reading, then at Imperial from January 2018. 

I am now a Centre Manager in the Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre (PFDC), where I manage the department’s finances and communications, along with a wide variety of events and projects. I love being part of a small team where everyone is supportive and enthusiastic about giving postdocs and fellows the confidence to achieve their career goals.  

Our work has constantly received positive feedback, and this summer we were awarded the President’s Award for Excellence in Collegiality, which I am glad to have contributed to. This recognised how our work embodies the spirit of the Imperial community, which we continue to showcase every day. 

I like leading a varied life outside work too! I’m always on my feet, whether I’m walking, hiking, or running. I’m currently training for the Royal Parks half-marathon and raising funds for Mind. I also love travelling and making the most out of London, whether it’s by seeing a new play, trying a new restaurant, or meeting new people in a social meetup. At the end of the day however, I am an introvert who likes to wind down doing a puzzle, reading a book or watching a silly comedy (Seinfeld is currently on my binge list!). 

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