“A degree is something I have always wanted, and I am so proud of myself for finally going for it in my thirties.”
When I left high school, aged 18, it seemed that everyone around me had a clear vision of their careers and passions. I found myself with a lot of different interests but simply no real calling. I worked at a call centre, as a cleaner, a receptionist and a management assistant – all in the space of a few years. My wanderings were not confined to employment, and I decided to move from my home country of Belgium to London. Imperial was the first place I worked, and I was here for a few years in the role of executive assistant.
During the pandemic, I struggled with my mental health and felt like I was failing in life. When scrolling through LinkedIn and other social media, it seemed like everyone was doing incredible things or changing the world. I wished I had a special talent or a skill that could make a difference. Friends or colleagues would tell me I am organised and caring but I thought these talents to be boring and nothing special. When colleagues would ask me about my career journey, I always felt defensive and started with: “I only have a high school degree but here I am, working in London!”
Since finishing university, my career has been in project management, specialising in technology. I started out in the financial sector. After a few years, when the sector faced another financial crisis, I decided to find a happier environment and moved over to higher education in 2016. Since then I have worked for two universities in IT, supporting the delivery of large-scale digital transformation activities. (more…)
“Step-by-step we have built the COVID-19 testing service so that people can keep safe while continuing to study and research.”
I started working on the COVID-19 Asymptomatic Test and Trace project in August last year. After a successful pilot, the College needed to scale up from 50 tests a day to mass testing of 500 staff and students every day by the start of term. Initially, I was just helping to plan the work, but this quickly turned into designing the testing process.
Increasing our testing ten-fold in five weeks was a real challenge, but the speed at which the team came together was quite special. We broke the project down into workstreams and refined what we were doing day by day. We focused on building a booking system, sourcing testing venues across campus, recruiting and training a testing workforce, and liaising with the lab team as all our swab analysis would be done in-house.(more…)
“My role as a CATO Coordinator allows me to be the main point of contact for clinical academic trainees and researchers (medical) for advice and information on academic careers, recruitment, training and funding. (more…)