A Day in the Life
Ever wondered what the average (or not so average!) year at the University of Salford is like?
If the answer’s yes, then wonder no more. Over 300 of our students, alumni and staff will be taking it in turns to give you a snapshot into their day to day life.
If you’re staff, student or alumni and you fancy getting involved, we still have slots available, just fill in our get involved form and someone will get back to you.
This is my day
A Day in the Life: 25th April 2017
Dr Maggie Scott, Lecturer in English Language and Literature
My day begins with my regular commute into the city. Steve Berry’s soothing rock classics on Radio XS gently engage my brain as I drive in to work, listening out for the useful traffic reports and local news. Tea acquired from the café, I head to my office and check my latest emails before writing a reference for a student applying for postgraduate study. As Programme Leader for three of the English degrees, this is a key time for writing references and I enjoy reflecting on her growth and progress as I fashion a personal, detailed and supportive statement. Ethical approval admin is next on my agenda, as Chair of the Taught Ethics Panel for the School of Arts and Media. Auditing a set of recent forms reassuringly demonstrates good practice on modules where students engage in fieldwork and data collection.
Tuesdays this semester involve two seminars for my second year module, Attitudes to English, from 11am-1pm and from 2pm-4pm. The students are very engaged with this week’s topic, African American language, which we’ve been exploring through the academic work of Geneva Smitherman. We consider John Rickford’s take on the role of linguistic prejudice in the trial of George Zimmerman, and Steven Willis’s passionate performance of the poem 'Ebonics 101' provokes considerable debate and analysis.
Once teaching is over I head back to my office to catch up with correspondence. In my capacity as reviews editor for the Journal of Scottish Name Studies, I’ve received a copy of a new book, Traversing the Inner Seas, an edited collection of essays about cultural contact in Scotland and Ireland. (I have a reviewer in mind and hope he is available to meet this year’s deadline. We shall see!)
Erik’s excellent work was based on his 3000-word essay for my third year module, The Language of Names. I will remind current students about this year’s essay prize when I see them on Thursday, in case that proves an extra incentive as they complete their final assessments!
This is my day
It’s still the Easter break for the students, so I arrive at work later than usual and have the office to myself. I had to buy a basil plant on the way into work, so my desk smells strongly of basil.
I always have a to do list on my desk. Today is pretty straightforward. The good thing about the students not being in is that I have time to get on with the stuff I don’t have time to do when teaching, but I’m missing lecturing now.
At this time of year, the psychology students are usually advertising for research volunteers, so I often sign up if there’s anything applicable. This is the questionnaire for a study on fear of heights which I filled out this morning.
This is part of my version of Pomodoro working. The Pomodoro technique is where you set a timer for bursts of work, usually about 25 minutes at a time. My version involves writing everything I need to do on these stickers and attaching them to my keyboard. I then do ten minutes on each one.
After working on a paper I’m writing up, my next ten minutes is on the Social Policy fiction list I’m working on to encourage the students to read relevant novels.
Only one thing left to do…
This is my day
My day always starts early.
A firm believer in the importance of routine, I wake up at 7:30am every morning to do a half-an-hour run followed by yoga - then fruit and porridge for breakfast.
My routine may stay the same - but everyday is different and another exciting challenge for me. Being at the heart of the student village in John Lester Halls - being up and moving is important if you want to make the most of your day.
I make an early start today on my essay and exam revision for the upcoming and penultimate month in the 2nd year of my Multimedia Journalism degree. A degree which is physically and emotionally demanding - remaining informed and in the loop with how you can make yourself a better journalist is always at the top of my mind.
Yesterday I recieved the news that I have been shortlisted to be a part of a mentoring programme at The Houses of Parliement. Did I celebrate? Of course I did. But as always - I was quick to get back into work mode and began working on pitches to get myself the position I believe I am meant to get. Later today I plan to go out and buy myself a new suit and shirt - and a red tie (maybe even a rose) to show my obvious political bias to the Labour Party.
The theme of today is self-improvement. I always strive to be a better person than I was the day before - and work harder, but also smarter. I find that delegating what I need to do to certain times of the day allows me to be even more efficient with my efforts - and at 22, planning my hectic life out needs stability - however and whatever it takes.
I get the opportunity to interact not just with a wide plethora of people in my day to day job at Whittards of Chelsea (a posh coffee shop) - but also on my course - as I have had the pleasure of speaking to a vast amount of groups and organisations who have broadened my mind as a result.
Education can make you a better, well-rounded person - and I am thankful that the University of Salford has given me the chance to improve, and given me a chance in life to make myself better everyday.
This is my day
My day started with a 6:00am wake up and we were in the M’Lop Tapang centre, Cambodia, before 8:00am. This morning, we delivered four hours of training on first aid and recognition of the seriously ill or injured patient.
We expected ten people in the group but thirty arrived, which made for a lively interactive session!
We don’t teach CPR here in Cambodia – it isn’t right to potentially resuscitate a child to the point where an intensive care admission might be required when there is no such unit here – but that doesn’t stop us from teaching important skills to recognise and respond to serious illness or injury.
After a working lunch at the Holy Cow, I spent the afternoon talking to the outreach, education and social-work teams about the recognition of child abuse cases and the seven steps to greater protection of children and young people that I’ve learned from my work visiting different professional groups around the world.
After teaching I went straight into a videoconference discussing global health and immigration.
The team here in Cambodia are really pleased to have received a grant from the British Medical Association information fund, providing much-needed educational resources During April 2017, our visiting team from SicKids charity, The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and Salford University will be helping to create a new library in the health centre.
The first half of my meeting didn’t end until after the centre here had closed, but one of the staff kindly dropped me off in the 4×4 so I’d be in time for the second half of the meeting, before doing some more work on which patients from yesterday’s clinic might need a referral to the children’s hospital in Siem Reap – a twelve hour bus journey away.
It’s been proper bi-directional learning today. I’ve learned loads about treating medical emergencies in resource-poor settings and have been able to pass on knowledge and skills to hopefully further develop the skills of the super multidisciplinary team here.
That bi-directional learning brings me back to snakes. I’m none too fond of our slithering neighbours. I say neighbours as they are, apparently, all over the community here.
Ravy – the amazing Nurse Practitioner here – has been teaching us about snake bites today. Something I didn’t know much about but I’m glad I learned.
Apparently the snakes sometimes come to the visit clinic! I only hope I’m on an outreach visit if they do!
Professor Andrew Rowland BMedSci (Hons) BMBS (Hons) MFMLM MAcadMEd FRCEM FRCPCH FRSA
Honorary Professor (Paediatrics)
The University of Salford
Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine
The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
UK-Cambodia Partnership: From Sick Kids to SicKids
Since 2015 a UK-Cambodia partnership has existed between Salford University, The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and M’Lop Tapang (a non-profit, health, education and social care organisation in South West Cambodia).
The Partnership was set up by Professor Andrew Rowland, Honorary Professor (Paediatrics) at the University of Salford following his Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship Award, and has already resulted in the launch of a new registered charity in England and Wales, SicKids.
The UK-Cambodian partnership brings fantastic opportunities for organisations to learn from one another so that we can all contribute in a far greater way to making our communities much better places for children to live and develop in the future. We are learning a huge amount from M’Lop Tapang, which provides children and families living on and around the streets and beaches of Cambodia with much needed shelter, medical care, education, training, counselling, family support and protection from all types of abuse.
Equally we’ve been able to undertake some superb projects in Cambodia, providing professional development opportunities for a UK nurse to travel to Cambodia as part of SicKids’ developing talent and sharing skills programme.
Every child should have every chance of good health, every chance of happiness and every chance of protection from harm. This partnership is one exciting way that we can have a positive influence on those ultimate aims. Find out more
This is my day
Hi, I’m Sarah! I’m moving towards the end of my first year as a University of Salford employee. I’m currently in my third month of my second position here at the University as an Information Assistant for the Student Records Team. Here’s a glimpse into what the staff in Student Administration get up to!
It’s already been a busy morning and it’s only 10:30am! Where do I begin? I guess I should start at the very beginning. Every morning I walk the mile and half to work, arriving at around 8:30am. I work in University House, a hub of both student and staff activity and a great location on campus. As soon as I arrive in the office I check my emails and see what’s on the agenda for the day. This Friday for me means working on the referral lounge, preparing certificate and transcript orders, searching archives and working on my customer feedback project. One thing I can say about being an Information Assistant is, you will never get bored!
The referral lounge gives me a chance to interact with students and assist them various types of queries. It can often be a busy part of the day but it’s great to talk to students and actively help, making sure they have the best student experience here at Salford!
Time to head back to the office for an hour before lunch. I’ve used this time to prepare transcripts for some of our graduates. This is one of the main areas of my role as an Information Assistant. It involves extensive searches through electronic and manual archive files, so it can often be a complex task. Sometimes it can turn into a bit of an investigation piecing information together, but that does make it interesting to see the history of our graduates!
Lunch is always the half way point for me. This morning has gone so fast I feel like I’ve blinked and it is 12 noon. I wish I could tell you I’m eating something exciting but chicken salad it is, unfortunately for me it seems being fit for summer is harder than I thought!
Although we are all winding down for the weekend, it's still a busy afternoon in the Student Records office. On Monday I will be attending my first AUA (Association of University Administrators) Conference so I've had to ensure that I've handed over any information or work-in-progress to my colleagues before heading home. One area of this has been catching up with my colleagues on a customer feedback project. For me this has been a chance to take my first steps into project leadership and to work with new software.
The last item on my list before heading home is to have a quick chat with the PA to the Registrar. I've recently been coordinating an event outside of my working hours based on raising the awareness of mental health and well-being across both staff and students here at the University. This includes liaising with the DSAS chosen charity of the year – Mind in Salford. This is a great opportunity for me as it has given me the chance to get to know staff from across the University and really add to my experience here at Salford, concentrating on an issue that is close to my heart.
So that's about it for a Friday! I wish I could say I was heading straight home to relax, but I'm about to meet one of my friends from work to go for a run! Wish me luck & thanks for reading!
This is my day
Up at 5am, cup of coffee, check emails and social media of course L and im out the door and on my way to work!
Arriving at 6:20am and time to start the early shift! (6:45am – 15:00pm)
6:30 Control room duty.
Part of the day-to-day requirements involve control room duty, where I am situated in the Maxwell main security control room. I deal with the numerous cctv cameras, vehicle access barriers and security card swipe doors around campus at Peel Park, Fredrick rd. and MediaCityUK.
For most of today, im dealing with contractors requiring access to various parts of the campus.
08:40 Fire alarm tests in control room.
I am in contact with campus porters who inform security control of the numerous fire alarm tests taking place; these take place on a daily basis in all buildings around campus, and today it’s the turn of the Peel building, Newton building, Maxwell and the Clifford Whitworth library, all tested and working fine.
I am also on hand to answer any phone calls regarding security matters or any general enquiries I might receive at security control. At 10:00am I am relieved by Ian who will take over in the control room.
10:20 Fire Alarm activation!
An activation on our security control system tells us there has been a fire alarm activation in the Cockcroft building, and Ian in the control room radios us to investigate. Myself and Steve head to the Cockcroft building, and as we approach we see a large crowd has already evacuated. A check of the fire control panel tells us the location of the activation, so once the other officer arrives, Steve and myself investigate the cause whilst Dave stands by the activation panel awaiting further instructions.
This time, it is a contractors angle grinder that has caused dust to set off a detector; a search of the area shows no sign of fire, so the panel is reset to determine any further activations – it’s all clear, so everyone can enter again. Then we head back to control for a debrief with our Ops Manager Mike. We discuss the cause, the outcome and if all of the first-response activation rules were followed.
10:50 New Adelphi visit and a first aid call.
A call into the New Adelphi to check up on things, and whilst I’m there a first aid call comes through on the radio. Fortunately, the call is for the New Adelphi. I acknowledge this and make my way to Building Managers office to pick up the first aid kit, where I find a Fashion Design student already there with a cut finger! A cut caused by scissors, so not too serious. The cut is cleaned and dressed and it’s back to designing the next fashion craze… careful with those scissors, folks!!! J
I can be called upon at any time to attend any first aid calls which may need attention, from cut fingers to fainting, sickness and nausea and other more serious first aid requirements.
11:45 Faraday Building police dog training.
I receive a call from control to open up Faraday, as the GMP police dog handling unit are using the building to train their new police dogs. One by one, the handlers and their dogs enter the building to take part in the training – a great opportunity for some doggie pictures!
13:38pm Radio call for suspicious activity at Peel cycle shelter.
A radio call comes in from control regarding suspicious looking males lurking around the bike shed at the back of the Peel building. Myself and Steve make our way in that direction, all the while we have our colleague in the control room following the ongoing situation on cctv.
As we near the cycle shelter, we are spotted by three lads who hurriedly make their way down past the Newton building, past the New Adelphi and eventually down University road and off campus. A quick check of the cycle shelter shows no damage or thefts; a high profile presence can be enough to deter potential thefts from occurring.
A final patrol of the campus before I work my way back to security control to hand over to the late shift and pass on any information from the days events. I mention the situation with the lads at the cycle shelter and ask the team to keep an eye out for any further incidents.
It’s finish time, and now for the drive home and an end to my day. As you can see, my day is very varied at times.
My role here at the University is really enjoyable; I mostly look forward to the daily interaction with students and staff around campus. I always try to lighten any day with an injection of humour into any given situation, and if I can send you on your way with a smile, then all the better.
Salford Security is here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.
This is my day
As Marketing Projects Manager within the Marketing and External Relations team my remit is varied. I provide marketing support for a range of projects, from our partnership as sponsors of Manchester Science Festival, to the Nations and Regions Media Conference which took place at The Lowry just last week.
I also work closely with the Alumni and Development team on producing their Alumni and Impact magazines, as well as working on things like their Legacy marketing materials. In addition to these projects I am closely involved in planning and marketing the wide range of activities that are taking place as part of the University’s 50th anniversary year.
I’m sure most people working at the University will agree, there really is no such thing as a ‘typical’ day but today feels particularly special as I am off to the House of Lords as part of the 50th anniversary project team to showcase the University at an event hosted by our Chair of Council, Baroness Beverley Hughes.
Before this event takes place, my morning is spent clearing emails that have accumulated following a few days out of the office working on the Nations and Regions Media Conference, sharing images from the Conference and distributing follow-up surveys. By midday I’ve got my House of Lords invite in hand and am heading down on the train to London. The event ‘Responding to the Industrial Strategy’ is for invited guests, including policymakers, MPs, School Principals and industry partners, to debate the role of education in building the skills economy and is a great opportunity for Professor Helen Marshall to share the University’s vision and development of industry collaboration zones.
I work closely with the events team on a lot of my projects and so we are all getting to the House of Lords early to set up. As soon as we’ve cleared security at the venue we have the glamorous task of putting up banners, laying out collateral, organising name badges and guest lists and generally preparing for guests to arrive. A lot of time is spent putting up and taking down banners when you work in marketing.
The event goes without a hitch and by 9.30pm we’re packed up and out of the venue. Now I just need to get the photos from the photographer, add them to our ‘thank you for attending’ follow-up correspondence and make sure that these are ready to send out the next day to the guests who attended. Events like this are a great way for us to reach out to people we are working with, or who we are aiming to work with, to create opportunities to develop and grow – and the 50th anniversary provides the perfect platform for this. It’s been an interesting and busy day and the evaluation of this event will continue throughout the week to make sure we maximise all opportunities that arise from it. After this it’s on to the next project, with more 50th events on the horizon – it’s going to be a busy year!
This is my day
My alarm sets off at 4.45am, which is standard time for a field excursion. After a quick check of weather, equipment, and flight planner, I pack the car, programme my route and set off, north bound towards the Lake District. I arrive at Bassenthwaite lake as dawn breaks and met with the project's industrial collaborators. After pleasantries, we introduce ourselves to the local land owners (double-checking we have permission and also so they can put a face to our names) and start to survey the River Derwent as it drains out of the lake. The lake (and river) level is very high (1.7 meters higher than normal flow). This project, like many projects I work on, links to flooding; both past and potential future flooding.
After Bassenthwaite, we carpool to Coniston; pausing briefly to collect some lunch from the Coop in Keswick. The next fieldsite is the catchment of Church Beck. Historically a copper mine, now potentially a significant sediment input in to the river and lake. The weather is typical of the Lake District; forecast for sun with broken cloud, yet we are sheltering in a hail storm. With brief rest-bites between rain showers, the drone flight is completed as light starts to fade. With more fieldwork scheduled for tomorrow, it's a hotel in Coniston for this evening.
After check in, we re-group to analyse the data collected today. Ensuring what we have, what we will need and to begin the first phase of post-processing the drone data. The data allows us to produce elevation models which will be plugged in to flood risk assessments, amongst other research.
As time encroached onto 6pm it's time to order dinner, a drink and get wifi access as there's no phone signal in this part of the world. Then, it's a race between the day's emails and the chef... by 7:30pm dinner is done and so am I.
This is my day
Good Morning! It’s 10 o’clock in the morning, and I am sat on my desk for 1 hour now. It is Friday, and I am doing the usual tasks a Social Media Assistant does: scheduling tweets and writing blog posts. I am writing content for the University of Salford School of Build and Environment social media accounts.
To make sense of my story about a usual ‘Anna day’ I will give you little background information about myself.
I am a full time MSc Digital Marketing student but in my free time I work as a Social Media Assistant at the University of Salford.
Today, my ‘wake up’ experience was different than the other days. First of all, the alarm rang, I battled the urge to ignore it and continue sleeping, I looked through the window, and it was sunny! Amid all the warnings about that Doris storm approaching and threatening to destroy the island, today was sunny! That was +1 for the day.
I made my usual weekday breakfast, oats and coffee, and sat down to quickly eat it while admiring at the energy my flatmate had in the morning. Tonight she is celebrating her birthday, and we are throwing a party at our flat. I get shivers when I imagine how the flat is going to look like after the party but soon ignore the thoughts and focus on helping her prepare (far less energetic than her – it’s 7 o’clock in the morning after all).
After I had helped her with almost nothing, I started getting dressed for work. I was so happy that I could bring lunch with me today and skip the usual triangle-shaped sandwiches from the shop. So much with my excitement – while I was in the lift leaving my building, I realised I forgot my lunch. Still, it was sunny outside so nothing could ruin my mood.
As I walk to the office, I can see that people were more lively than usual, the sun makes miracles. I went to a small gig last night, and one of the songs is still stuck in my mind, and I was singing (in my mind).
And we are back in the office, reading an e-mail from my colleague who kindly asks me to describe my day.
It is Friday, and it is the only day I work from the office. I think Friday is the best day to work from the office because I can feel the weekend vibes in the air.
I listen to the music coming from one of the desks in the office; it is a nice playlist.
As I mentioned, there is nothing fancy about my lunch. It is just a sandwich from the shop. Pinky promise to myself - cook more. I decide to stop by a little coffee place next to the office and drink a cup of tea for 30 minutes while reading Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment.
After lunch, I focus on working on a blog post about “Killer Resources for Architecture students”. I am a Digital Marketing student, and it is very interesting to see how other students ‘have fun’ while researching for their assignments. Speaking of assignments, here is the part where I need to mention that I am stressing about my enormous group assignment due to next Friday. Fortunately, I have this great book full of all the information I will need. Fingers crossed!
As the work day is close to its end, I have to mention that I enjoy working here. It is a great combination of keeping me busy doing something meaningful and working on something I like which is related to my previous (Journalism) degree and my current degree. Have a great weekend everyone; I am looking forward to meeting my friend from France for a meal and my flatmate’s birthday party after that.
This is my day
So I’ve been in Ramallah this week. It’s been brilliant, hectic fun in which rehearsed flexibility has been key. I’ve been here with the British Council, on the first visit of a programme which seeks to develop and embed entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial thinking into the practice of Palestinian universities, such that the graduates of these universities could then operate with entre/ intrapreneurial mindsets and capabilities. It’s a really interesting programme and has stemmed from my visit to Bethlehem and Ramallah in May last year – I blogged about it here.
What was an initial visit to present a paper I co-authored with Helen Marshall, our Vice Chancellor has, by means of a couple of workshops and many conversations with the British Council, turned into a genuinely exciting programme of work, in which projects aligned to the endeavour of developing entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial teaching and learning are being shaped by an inter-institutional team from the UK. This last point in itself is exciting – its great to be collaborating with colleagues from other universities – its particularly rewarding since we’re all from the same mission group (University Alliance); the development of resilient graduates through distinctive real world learning is, I think, part of the special character of our mission group – its certainly there in bundles at Salford.
Anyhow, on this visit we’ve been working with colleagues from seven Palestinian universities to kick off their projects and position our full programme as a large piece of action-research in itself – watch this space for further details on that front…
However, whilst the formal content of the three full days we’ve been here has been fun at full tilt in itself, I actually want to pull out a brief moment outside those workshoppy spaces and places; it came after the first day of workshops, on the evening of our second day here…
It’s the first time I’ve worked with Dr Joan Lockyer from Coventry University, and Dr Gillian Jack (or amusingly, and pleasingly briefly, Dr Jack Gillian, as the first version of her airline ticket read – cue 15 minutes of being exceptionally nice to lovely BA staff at stupid o clock in the morning) from the University of South Wales. We’ve all reflected on how well and how quickly we have meshed as a team – in early instances of team teaching I have found it a rarity to be comfortable enough with material and unfamiliar colleagues to be able to happily ditch well-laid plans and the rosy cosy comfort blanket of rehearsed text, and play, improvise and shift things around as the need arises. However, we’ve done just this, and the outcome has been all the more robust for doing so.
Anyway, at the end of the first day of workshops, there was a palpable and shared sense of ‘that went pretty well – we’re onto something here – I think its going to be a good outcome’ between us. A slightly tentative breath out, but not all the way, not just yet. Given that we’d been indoors all day, and were riding on the kind of high one has when walking into sunshine after a concentrated indoor task, we decided to take a walk up the road from the hotel and into the winding Ramallah streets and the Souk.
It was an ambling walk during a hazy dusk, wandering where the pathways took us, round countless street vendors selling corn, and spices and sandals and strawberries – mountains of strawberries, and sneakers and hot tea and coffee and strange vegetables stacked house high on carts and boxes and all of this visual and olfactory feast was cloaked in a cacophony of car horns, and shouted wares and unfamiliar music and chatter and in the background, the droning song-speak of mosques as the call to prayer floated out chants and guiding hands called a hundred thousand times over; incantations which grounded the whole scene in a tradition which blended with the thump from stereo speakers in the street.
You can see a full slide show of the trundle here.
Afterwards, we had dinner in our hotel and then put the world to rights over a glass of wine (that last bit implies the singular, rather than the plural – I’d be sandpapering actual truths into a more respectable form if I let that stand; there was wine and it was definitely in more than one glass.)
The conversation between Gill, Joan and myself was broad, deep and thoroughly enjoyable, seamlessly flowing (like said beverages) across subjects as diverse as Kantian thinking, hermeneutics, phenomenology, to politics, to genetics and inter generational genetic memory, to solipsism, deterministic thinking, to embodied knowing and consciousness, to play theory and social constructivism, to soft networks and organisational structures. Sadly, we didn’t manage to get to the X-factor, but there’s a limit, y’know? We did, over several scribbled napkins, also capture the essence of an idea about a potential shared venture of a book – even managing to arrive, after some time, at a working structure and tasks forward.
It was very good wine.
My reflection on all of this – the intense day, the seemingly aimless wandering (which was just as much about being mentally led by the sights and sounds of the souk, as the physical activity of the pootle) and the highly enjoyable and, as it turns out, productive conversation over dinner, is that, I don’t think the remarkable dinner conversation could have happened with out the contraction of the day, and then the release of the walk – both episodes contributed to the final chapter of the day and were foundational in its architecture. Again, similarly to my post last week, it’s partially about a subjective experience of time – contractions and expansions giving rise to different body-mind states, each of which offers opportunity. Another reminder to myself to recognise, search out and nurture the gifts which are always, always there.
This is my day
This is my day
Today is Tuesday 21st February 2017. I am halfway through my sabbatical, which was supposed to start in September 2016, so that I could focus my attention on the academic journal publications and my PhD students' completions. My sabbatical is well on target, despite a number of other commitments that had to be prioritised: - our Joint European Masters in Digital and Social Media Marketing (JEMSS) project needed finishing and reporting on, at the same time I had five of my PhD students coming to their thesis final drafts, submissions and viva assessments.
The JEMSS project has been a great success and we have been awarded an assessment mark of 90% by the funding body. The evaluation report was particularly positive about our outputs including the Digital and Social Media Marketing book as well as the Digital and Social Media Marketing MOOC.
Industry Collaboration Zone
Today my Outlook calendar looks clear - this is due to some last minute cancellations with the Industry Collaboration Zone (ICZ) colleagues. I have recently taken on the role of leading the Digital and Creative ICZ theme for Salford Business School. The meetings have been re-scheduled for next week - however, I am always connected and first thing that I do is check our #passion4digital twitter feed and send a tweet about #SalfordAtFifty and #DayInTheLife - just to remind myself that I need to keep a log of things going on today.
Being on sabbatical means that I work mostly from home, in some ways I am more connected to my colleagues and students than being on campus. I see a Twitter direct message from one of our graduates who was offered a new job - she wants to me write a reference - which I am delighted to help with.
Search and Social Media Marketing
Having a free diary for the day gives me time to focus on two on-going projects - research publications and Professional Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). The MOOC is going to be in Search and Social Media Marketing and in the spirit of industry collaboration zones the course involves both academics as well as practitioners. For me, the concept of ICZ is perfectly illustrated by this MOOC:
We are working with a global digital marketing competitor analysis tool providers - SEMrush who will give our students unprecedented access to what they know about digital marketing to make sure that our students are informed of the latest thinking in this dynamic area.
In academic life the idea of “Publish or Perish” is still at the heart of what we do. Despite our Industry Collaboration Zone focus, the University of Salford is still measured against others in the quality and quantity of the academic journals that we produce. As someone who has worked on a number of projects, I have access to a lot of primary research data which needs to be published. Journal publications are a long process which can take years to get to print, one of the activities that I try and encourage my PhD students to start with during the latter parts of their PhD journey. As the top 10 lessons from REF 2014 suggest, publications are still an important part of academic life and will carry on being so in the foreseeable future. So, I am revising a draft paper today with Mona Nassar and her co-supervisor Chris Procter.
This is my day
I begin the day like Goldilocks with a bowl of apple and cinnamon porridge left out for me in the kitchen by my husband who is a lark.
I drive over from Kingston to Twickenham where I work on Church Street, the old highway to London (that’s me on that street after a lunchtime walk near the Thames with more fuel for the day).
I work in the Grant Management Group at LGC, a science-based company that is 175 years young this year. My role involves publicising health research findings and funding opportunities as part of a contract with a major funder.
Tasks for the day revolve around preparing content and conferring with speakers for this month’s staff meeting through to redeveloping an area of the health research website we co-manage.
I scoot off earlier than normal to attend a ski trip briefing for parents at my daughter’s school and I’m delighted to learn that you can hire ski jackets and trousers and that there aren’t any steep edges where she’ll be going.
Back home, I put in some prep for the choirs I belong to - Singing it Back on Tuesdays directed by Mary Bourne (that’s Mary in the centre in the light grey dress) and the Kingston Orpheus Choir on Wednesdays directed by David Condry.
I close the day with my son, a fellow owl, both of us immersed in reading, surfing, TV and homework (mine for a Creative Writing MOOC).
This is my day
The day starts bright and early – I grab a quick cup of tea around 06:55 at the office and have a quick scan of my emails and the Vice-Chancellor’s emails to see what has come in over night or during the previous day when I will have been in meetings.
I check the white boards in the office I share with the Operations Manager, Kate Duncan, just to check where we are up to on some key areas of work for the Office team.
Then on a couple of days a week at about 7:10 I have a breakfast meeting the Vice-Chancellor where we talk through the meetings and relevant briefings, any potential issues on the horizon and run through decisions that need to be taken on everything from large financial sign-offs through to big strategic decisions the require the Vice-Chancellor’s final call.
On the other days when there is no breakfast meeting I use the time to try and keep on top of my own emails.
Quick Catch Ups with Colleagues on VCET Work
A large part of my role is around informal conversations and keeping business moving when issues arise. I am also a point of reference relating to VCET and UMT decisions and the progress of work VCET members are working on – I have a chair next to my desk which is regularly used by colleagues from all parts of the University to grab five minutes and have informal catch-ups on business.
Today one of the people who dropped in was Jackie Njoroge, Director of Strategy, to have a quick desk conversation on progress with a number of strategic initiatives to ensure there is join-up on work underway.
Projects and Task Group Meetings
I have a number of project, steering and task groups that I work on, one of the meetings today was with the Marketing and External Relations on the 50th Anniversary and a number of public affairs campaigns that we are running. I am involved in helping co-ordinate a number of our external relations activities, with a particular focus on increasing the presence of Salford’s leadership regionally and nationally.
Working with the VCO Team
I had a number of catch ups with members of the team today, reviewing correspondence from sector bodies, looking at changing diaries and planning the logistics around international trips. Things are very fast-paced in the VC’s Office and due to the demanding external environment and the sheer breadth of work covered internally by VCET members we support, we have to remain agile in managing VCET time and communications.
I often have a number of external meetings, either representing the University on behalf of the VC or working with the City Council or organisations such as University Alliance on our public affairs and sector policy issues. Today, however, was an entirely internal day!
This is my day
Today is a good day. The sun is almost shining; the temperature is not too cold – perfect for an afternoon full of sport and physical activity! We have nine British Universities and Colleges Sport fixtures, four campus league fixtures and three Give Sport A Go Sport sessions running this afternoon, endless opportunities to get students active.
My morning consists of a quick check in with the team, a coffee stop in Atmosphere and then straight into a busy morning of meetings and planning. Today’s focus, and for many days after this too, is Varsity 2017. This year we are hosting Varsity on our campus, meaning over 300 students from Chester will be travelling to us on 22nd March to compete against over 300 Salford students in 22 sports fixtures across the day. That’s over 600 students, 5 venues, nearly 40 hours of sport and copious amounts of blue and gold face paint packed into one day! As you can imagine, an event like this take some coordination.
This afternoon is action packed and a chance for me to get out of the office for a bit and see some of the sports and activities happening. With the Sports Centre’s support we are putting on a yoga taster session for the new nursing students, our Netball girls are convincingly beating Chester, the campus league football lads are all playing and we are having a live streaming run through in preparation for Varsity. And, if the day couldn’t get any more Varsity focused, we are also filming some footage for the promo video…
A quick dash back to the office for a last email check before I leave for the day and head out to play hockey myself – I can’t be letting the students have all the fun today!
This is my day
My day starts, as always, with my girlfriend trying to wake me, reminding me that if I don’t wake up I won’t see her this Valentine’s Day. So, after around 10 failed attempts of waking up, I slope into the living room. We exchange cards – I bought her a Bury FC related card, how romantic, and she bought me a card with a pug on it – and share our morning coffee together. It was around five and a half years ago when we first met at John Lester Court, discovering that we had both been at the same gig at a tiny pub in Bolton just a few months ago. It was this shared interest that led to our first ‘date’ – well I thought it was a date, she did not – to purchase tickets to see The Horrors as well as share some drinks with each other. Siobhan, my girlfriend, thought we were going as friends, so got a slight shock when I tried to hold her hand!
All these years later, we are sharing our first coffee of the day in our flat, which is a 10 minute walk from where we first met. She will soon be setting out for her placement as part of her Speech Therapy course, and I, well, I’m still here at Salford, now working in student communications. We say our goodbyes and I begin my brisk walk to the campus, which admittedly looks far better than when I studied here. After I arrive at my desk, I make my second coffee of the day and begin my day’s work – today parking updates, an evaluation of the January welcome period and a planning session with my team are on the agenda.
After scheduling a few tweets and responding to emails, I make my way across campus for the meeting about parking. The brisk, sunny conditions go some way to removing the dread for a 10am meeting on parking, but I am still expecting little excitement when I enter Crescent House. However, whilst definitely not exciting, the meeting does conclude with some good news, the introduction of a new monthly payment app for parking which was requested by students.
My lunch is then spent in the company of a hummus and spinach sandwich – research published yesterday revealed that one in six people in the UK have taken exactly the same lunch to work every day for two years and I definitely fall into that tragic category. My book ‘The story of Black Lives Matter’ by Wesley Lowery, however, provides some much-needed distraction from my uninspiring lunch choice.
When I returned to the office I completed an article to promote the Nursing careers fair, before attending a planning workshop led by my manager Julie Waddicor, Head of Student Experience and Engagement. The session was extremely beneficial and showed us how to deliver a successful communications plan from the initial brief to the final report. After this, my day was over and I left to go and get my woollies on in preparation for Bury FC VS MK Dons. Here, my girlfriend wanted me to insert how kind I think she is for letting me go and watch Bury on Valentine’s Day, so thanks Siobhan!
This is my day
Although it was terrifying (but also thrilling!) taking the huge step to quit my secure, long-term NHS post last year to go back to being a humble temp, I can honestly say I made the right decision!
My mornings usually start when my alarm gently rouses me from my slumber at 7 am. Then, up I spring to get ready for another working day. I have quite a way to travel to my current job, although the commute tires me out sometimes. I get to relax during the journey and listen to some tracks by my favourite band, The Smiths, and sometimes a bit of Morrissey solo thrown in for good measure!
Currently, I am a Medico Legal Administrator at a company called Pace Rehabilitation in Cheadle, which works with amputees. I very much enjoy the work that I do, but more than that I love chatting to the patients and seeing how far they have come with their progress towards mobility.
Once I get to the office, I’ll fire up the remote access and open up my emails to see what I need to deal with first. I interact with many different people and organisations during the day, including; clients visiting the centre (I cover reception at lunchtimes so have got to know a lot of them this way), solicitors, medical agencies, NHS Trusts and private hospitals. The team of clinicians I work with, made up of Prosthetists, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists, are all very lovely people who care deeply about the patients they see on a daily basis.
I process a *LOT* of paper, as some of the agencies we liaise with haven’t quite caught up with the 21st Century yet! I don’t mind though, it certainly helps to pass the time if nothing else! I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing through a new case from beginning to conclusion, and especially when it’s a happy ending for the patrons which is usually a top notch new prosthesis.
I’ll be moving on to the next adventure in a few weeks as I’m covering a maternity leave absence. This is perfect for me, as I got a stuck in a rut in my last role so being able to move around freely and pick where I want to go to earn my crust is extremely gratifying!
This is my day
I love my job (most of the time) as every day is different. I can be teaching, out of the University on a visit to a company, meeting my PhD students, updating Blackboard, conducting a survey on a new project, or planning a conference or writing a paper. Lots of really different activities.
BUT the day I get to write ‘my day in the life’ is one of my meeting days that sometimes just happens without any intervention, when you are sat in meeting after meeting. February 15th was one of those meeting days.
My day started off pretty earlier as I had to ice a cake I made the evening before for the Business School Bake Off before I came into work, so 7:30am finds me rolling out fondant icing at home in my kitchen. There was cake sale for Macmillan Nurses at lunchtime.
So I arrive in University at 8:45 for a meeting about ICZ readiness as all programme leaders have to ensure their programme meets the new requirements. That meeting was over by 9:45 - enough time to grab a cup of tea and onto the exam board meeting starting at 10am in another building.
Once the exam board is over – I run across the campus with my cake to Lady Hale to the cake sale.
I hand over my cake and run back to my office in Maxwell Building for a planning meeting with our research partners at 12pm. That meeting now takes me to 1:30pm and I need another cup of tea and fooddddd….
From 2pm until 3pm I have a number of admin jobs to complete and at 3pm I have to prepare for a student’s Internal Assessment. Every PhD student has to undertake two assessment points before they have their final viva. The first one is called the IA and there is a 4000 word report conducted in the first year and a 30,000 work report conducted in the second year. I am assessing a student at 4pm today.
So when 4pm comes, I form part of the PhD assessment panel with another colleague, the students present her work and the assessment process gets underway. This is a two hour process so we finish just before 6pm.
It is not yet the end of the day so once I get home I prepare food, go for a run, then I complete paperwork for a PhD viva that I was internal examiner for. The paperwork has to be done within seven days. I finish the paperwork and send some emails out and it must almost be wine or 9 o’clock!
This is my day
Today is a particularly interesting one as I’m spending most of the day chairing The Higher Education Conference: Innovation, Growth and Skills for OneCPD, our continuing professional development arm.
The day starts with attending the first part of our weekly VC’s Executive Team meeting, where we are discussing the joint commission with Salford City Council to engage Masterplanners to look at development of our vision for the campus and its immediate vicinity for the next ten to fifteen years. It’s a good discussion with some really helpful suggestions and questions from colleagues, and ultimately there’s agreement that we’re happy to now take this out to tender.
And so off to Adelphi House to meet the delegates and speakers for the Conference. There’s a really interesting group of people from a wide variety of Universities and FE Colleges, and we have a very interesting agenda. I always try to tweet on these occasions so there are a number of my musings under #HigherEdConf from the day.
The agenda was fascinating and very interesting, covering a number of the major policy areas that are under significant focus at the moment. We had a brilliant keynote speech from Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal of the University of Aberdeen, highlighting the work he has been leading for UUK on efficiency and effectiveness in the sector. A particular favourite moment for me was his description of what we do (or don’t do) with the substantial amounts of data we have in the sector; ‘weighing the pig doesn’t make it any fatter’ … which I’m sure I will use again!
Other sessions followed on the impact of Brexit (with a stellar contribution from my colleague Nancy Cooke), addressing employability concerns, supporting inclusive education, particularly for disabled students, and a fascinating glimpse into a potential future for the sector from David Field of Perrett Laver.
All in all, a great conference to chair, reminding me not only of the challenges we have to address in the sector, but the fabulous work our Universities are doing to improve outcomes for our students.
Conference over, and back to the grindstone for an hour or so, dealing with emails, catching up with outcomes from the rest of the Executive meeting and chasing down a couple of outstanding issues. All in all a very enjoyable day.
This is my day
My day begins with the usual 6am wake-up call from the room next door: my one year-old daughter shouting ‘Hiya! Hiya!’ and I go and scoop her up, cover her with kisses, and bring her into our bed so she can feed while I gradually wake up, check emails and scan the news. By 6.30am she’s sticking fingers in my eyes and up my nose, which means that it’s time to go and put CBeebies on (for Violet) and make strong coffee (for me and her dad). Once we’re all fed and watered and dressed I drop her off at nursery and get stuck in to the day’s tasks.
Today’s to-do list is long and I have no hope of doing everything, so the first thing I do is prioritise the ESSENTIAL tasks.
First up, I need to upload all the marks and feedback for my MSc students – the module is Research in Emerging Technologies, and it’s a mix of digital culture projects and audio/video research projects, so all very interesting stuff (which is great). I’ve enjoyed marking this lot, and the students have done really well!
After this, I need to deal with some paperwork in advance of an EPSRC meeting in a couple of weeks' time. I’ll be sitting on a review panel for the RCUK Digital Economy Theme, so I’ll be reviewing research proposals that have been submitted to “Content Creation and Consumption in the Digital Economy”.
I then get a panic call about a missing auto-cue. I have a team producing videos for an educational 'Escape Room' project, and they have an actor coming in to film against green screen today… but no autocue! I decide to go lo-fi and quickly put together a replacement autocue using Powerpoint, then email it to the lead videographer. Crisis averted (hopefully).
After this, I put the finishing touches to an opinion piece for the OEB Midsummit in Iceland in June, where I’ll be one of the guest speakers. Really looking forward to this event, and I’ve enjoyed writing in a style where I can take a more controversial perspective than I would do normally in an academic paper.
It’s now 1pm and I’m flagging! Sleep has been in short supply over the past week as Violet has more teeth coming through along with a cold, so I close my eyes for 30 minutes and IT’S HEAVENLY.
Feeling refreshed after the (almost) nap, I grab a sandwich and check in on the Remix Play Summit – an event I’m overseeing in Coventry next week. Lots to do here, with deadlines (today) for various materials to go off to print, so I check all the proofs and they’re good to go. I’ve checked in on our guest speakers, who are coming from as far afield as Indianapolis (!) and made sure that everybody is happy with arrangements. It’s looking as though everything’s in place with staging and materials, but I still need to finalise the marketplace and confirm the design for each room – it’s a case of making sure that the correct people are in the correct place with the correct materials at the correct time. What can possibly go wrong?
After this, I finish off judging entries for the MEDEA Awards, which is something I do every year. It’s a great opportunity for me to sit down and engage with a wide range of excellently produced and conceived learning materials, and it helps to keep my thinking fresh with regards what’s out there.
Two more (urgent) things before I go to collect Violet: read and give feedback on an MSc dissertation, then start reviewing lecture materials – and compiling new material – for my BSc Creative Media Production module. The next lecture will be on Friday, but it’s going to be a packed week so I want to get as much as possible prepared today!
By now it’s 5.30pm and time to go and collect the babe from nursery. It’s been a bits-and-pieces kind of day, but I’ve definitely tied up a few loose ends! Now looking forward to a few hours of family time, and once all is calm I’ll carry on reading a PhD I’m examining, before having an early(ish) night. I’ll be getting up at 5.30am to drive down to Coventry as I’ll be working down there for the next couple of days getting ready for the Remix Play event. I also have lots of meetings in relation to a Big Yellow Bus, open educational resources and a campus tour. ..
OOOH! Another thing to add to the to-do list: organize parking for a 40ft retro American school bus at MediaCityUK. How hard can it be?
This is my day
As part of the University of Salford’s 50th anniversary celebrations, staff and students are being asked to capture their thoughts and activities from a particular day in their life at Salford Uni. My day was 03 Feb 2017, so here are a few thoughts about what happened on that day.
The day started with a coffee and a think about the plan for the day ahead. I’m currently working on my PhD in digital marketing and I am just in the process of writing up 50,000 words for the next assessment point which is the Internal Evaluation. It was quite exciting to bring together all of the chapters I’ve written and go on a mini conference tour of my findings so far before Christmas. This included a recent book launch, where I presented on the chapter I’d written. On Friday, I was going through a list of suggested changes from my PhD supervisor Chris to my document, so that it’s ready for the next person to review. Ideally, this should have taken the majority of the day, but life as a full time academic means that I am working on lots of things concurrently. To that end, I sent 52 emails on that day relating to those various projects and supporting my students at Undergraduate, Postgraduate, CPD and personal tutees.
On Thursday, we’re starting our Search and Social Media Marketing CPD Short Course again over at MediaCityUK. This is where companies come in for 10 Thursday evenings to learn more about digital marketing. I had to finish off the course materials and email all of the people signed up to the course and then communicate with them to get them started. I’m looking forward to the course starting again as you always meet some great and interesting people and it’s always fun.
Part of my role currently is as Associate Director for the Sport ICZ (Industry Collaboration Zone). The University has a new strategic vision based on building on our already excellent industry links and creating some exciting new partnerships and initiatives. One of these is around creating a community campus and recruiting 50 social coaches from the University. These coaches will inspire young people through sport and creative approaches. Next week, we are going to see Manchester Institute for Health Performance. We have an exciting new partnership with them and the Manchester City Group, so I was also making preparations for this visit.
One of the other projects associated with this is called Footy Fit. This is a project aimed to create a fitness app for fans of a particular sporting club. We’re working with some great sports clubs currently who are interested in the idea of fan engagement through social media and apps whilst becoming more aware of their fitness levels through gamification. We are currently writing an academic paper on this project where we have taken an action research approach. In addition, on this day, I wrote an article for a website we write for called the Conversation. The article is on football and social media relating to Blackburn Rovers. My PhD is about Salford FC and digital media, but working with and writing about other sports clubs has also been enlightening.
With all of these exciting things going on, Friday’s jobs spilled over into the weekend and I managed to read and mark a couple of MSc final dissertations whilst travelling and then get a bit more done on the academic papers and my PhD on Sunday. It is true to say, working as a lecturer at Salford and studying a PhD whilst working in the ICZ role and supporting my students keeps me very busy. I love the varied nature of my role though and when things go well and you get recognition for that, it is really rewarding. I’m excited about the events I’m involved with this year, in particular our Innovating Future Ideas Competition with 5 investors and 15 Universities and our Creative Entrepreneur event in November at MediaCityUK, where we hope to have over 500 people. We’ve already started planning these and they should cap off an amazing 50th year!
This is my day
My name is Nigel Linge and I hold the position of Professor of Telecommunications within the School of Computing, Science and Engineering. Now in my 31st year as a Salford academic, I actually graduated from Salford in 1983 with a BSc in Electronics before embarking on my PhD. In 1986 I joined the staff of the then Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering based in the Maxwell Building. Naturally, I’m still on campus but my office today is in the Newton Building.
My typical day starts with my arrival by car at around 8am where I park at the new Lowry Car Park – formerly Northern Car Park. I then enjoy a walk to the Newton building through our lovely campus which, in my view, is now looking better than ever before. Our campus has and continues to be one of our best assets.
Once in my office, I switch on my desktop PC, top up the kettle, check the voicemail and then update my voicemail message. It’s a habit I adopted many years ago which I learned from one of our industrial contacts in Conoco Oil; to change my voicemail message to reflect what I’ll be doing that day so that callers then know the likelihood of me checking messages or being available at some other time.
My office is full of telecommunications artifacts. I have a Trimphone on my desk (not connected to anything), a multitude of phonebox models on the windowsill, several vintage phones scattered around, Morse telegraph equipment and a rather nice display of mobile phones.
I’ve already had a quick look at email on my phone before leaving home but the first coffee of the day is normally consumed dealing with that initial clutch of messages. Then I move to a new project we are embarking upon with NEC and BT which involves us testing a high speed 60GHz point-to-point communications link connecting the Newton and Maxwell Buildings. I need to download performance data from the equipment on each building and add this to a log file; all of which can be done from a laptop. What we are looking for here is evidence of how well the link is performing under different weather conditions.
My next task today is to spend some time updating lecture notes. I am involved in the delivery of two new modules this semester, all of which require new teaching materials to be developed, which includes; lectures notes, tutorial questions with answers and experiment sheets for use within our laboratories. However, such is the pace of change within telecommunications, that even those modules which are being delivered again this semester still need major updates. Overall, in this semester, I have teaching commitments to five modules covering all levels of a degree together with final year and MSc projects.
The first meeting of the day is at 10am with one of my PhD students, Emad. Emad has done some really interesting work, developing a new, generic, Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) for use with online television. The bulk of his research was completed at the end of 2016 and so now the focus is on finalising his thesis. In addition, we are working on several papers. Emad presented two papers at International conferences last year, one of which has just been turned into a journal paper, and we are currently working on another Journal and conference paper – so there’s plenty to talk about!
Then it’s back to those lecture notes before stepping out of my office and the Newton Building for the first time today to attend a meeting at 12:00 discussing this year’s NSS survey. I am Programme Leader for the BEng in Broadcast Engineering which is an innovative degree delivered in partnership with the BBC and Birmingham City University. All students are BBC Apprentices and the degree has extremely strong links with the broadcast industry.
Then it's back to the office for my usual al-desko lunch, more email, and further work on those lecture notes!
Then at 2pm, the really fun part of my day! One of the new modules I am involved with is a second year Antennas and Transmission Systems module delivered to the Electronic Engineering students. This means that on a Thursday afternoon, I get to play (I mean teach) in our electronics lab. I love getting my hands on an oscilloscope or soldering iron to do some real practical stuff – that’s the engineer in me coming out – a passion which I’ve had since childhood.
Sadly, my time in the electronics laboratory is short lived because after one hour I need to leave my colleagues in order to move over to the Peel Building where I have two hours with the first year and the Technologies in Context module. The purpose of this module is to explore all of the exciting new developments in Computer Networking and Electronics and hence, to broaden the students’ appreciation of their subject. Sessions are run as interactive workshops and for this semester I have several speakers from the industry coming along to engage our students. I’m delivering today’s session though where I’m asking the question, “Can we predict the future?” I started by asking the students to list all of the technology which they’ve seen emerge in their lifetimes – generally that means within the last twenty years. We ended up with a quite a list! But trying to predict what might happen in the next twenty years is an altogether different challenge. Its rather apt to be doing this in this tenth anniversary of the launch of the iPhone – a product which seemingly came from nowhere yet which had a transformational impact on smartphone design and helped to re-shape an entire global industry.
By 5pm the session has ended and it is back to Newton Building, where, normally, I’d be meeting the second year Electronic Engineering students again for a tutorial session for their Antennas and Transmission module. However, because their first lecture was only yesterday and that’s when they got their tutorial sheet too, they’ve asked for more time and so we’ve agreed to defer that particular session until next week.
So, it’s back to the office for more email, various admin tasks, some printing and photocopying and a little more time updating those lecture notes! I’ve also discovered that during the day I’ve acquired another task and that’s to write a paper for the Institute of Telecommunications Professionals members’ Journal. I sit on the Editorial Board for that Journal and we’ve encountered a last minute problem with the next issue. So, this morning I offered to help out and there, this afternoon is an email from them, saying yes please! There goes the evening then – hey ho – never a dull moment!
By 6pm it’s time to go home and that means walking back through the campus. So there ends another day on the University of Salford campus – I dare not think how many that is in total now!
This is my day
My day begins with a photography shoot at The Little Mill Inn, Rowarth, Cheshire. Here is a wonderful old, large and obsolete water wheel; ideal for capturing an image of a relic of the past. There is also a static train carriage which is now rented off for accommodation purposes. It’s in a beautiful location and The Little Mill Inn serves wonderful food around an open wood fire. Photography is a recent hobby and Nikon D5100 is my chosen camera. Being retired has it’s advantages - there is much to learn but I feel that now is the time to teach myself these skills. Hobbies I had only ever dreamed of pursuing are now manifest, so much so that I have set up a creative space in my cellar at home.
First I bought a black and a white backdrop, plus many accessories such as; lights, reflectors and filters which set me up for photography sessions.
I constantly take photographs of my allotment and greenhouse on my iPhone 6 but there is nothing quite like the challenge of trying to master a digital single-lens reflect camera (DSLR). It’s an ongoing learning curve.
Into the afternoon and i indulge in another one of my hobbies - painting. I paint mostly oil on gesso or oil on acrylic. To begin with I first draw my subject in pencil on paper and I figure if I can do it on paper I can also paint it on canvas. Pencil and charcoal drawing are another favoured medium. The cellar is very creative place - it is a walk-in space with access to my tropical themed back garden.
It is quite well known among my friends for spiritual development classes which I still use it for periodically today. I became a Reiki Master in the early nineties and have taught Reiki spiritual healing techniques and therapies over the past thirty years. The cellar serves me mostly now as a mini art gallery.
I love nothing more than to lose myself in music. Practising the very basics on my keyboard passes away many relaxing hours. Learning to play my favourite songs, singing in the privacy of my creative space and releasing my inner Dusty Springfield is artistic therapy.
Just knowing the very basics of the keyboard also inspires other people to learn. I invite children to have a go and set up different rhythms for them which assist them in their musical adventures. They often go on to play far better than I ever could. This pleases me to know that they were inspired just by being allowed to spend time on my keyboard. Plink plonking on my acoustic Spanish guitar has a similar effect. So although I’m not a great musician I like the idea of sowing seeds of inspiration in others!
This is my day
This is my day
Hi, I’m Darren. I’m part of the content team within Marketing and Recruitment. I lead on producing video content for web and social media.
Today starts as it often does with strong coffee and a check of the equipment before our first shoot of the day.
Our first gig today is in the new Adelphi Building in an amazing workshop filled with all sorts of incredible laser cutters and an array of industrial machines. They’re used for transforming purely digital objects into stuff you can hold in your hands. We meet Tim, Martin and Kostas and do a recce of the space before the VC and PVC arrive for their tour.
The shoot itself is a lot of fun. Pretty physically demanding with a mix of static shots and handheld action. My colleague Hayley Daniels works with the 40-150mm lens on a tripod while I rove with a wider lens on a handheld rig. I catch up with Neil Currie in between (which is always a good laugh) and we finish off the shoot with interviews with Helen Marshall and Martin Hughes before packing up the gear and moving to the next location.
It’s on to the Chapman Building nearby for the first of five staff/student profiles that we’ll be shooting for most of the rest of the day.
We have a dedicated space in the building and we do some furniture re-arranging to make the space look as visually interesting as possible and take advantage of the natural light streaming in through the large windows. Today we’re working with Ameer, a student doing an internship with Salford Business School. It’s not even gone 10:30am and I’ve already met four people from the University doing amazing things that I never knew before today. That’s the best part of this job - that and being able to share people’s stories.
The rest of the day is filled with a mix of two-camera interviews with staff and students followed up by cutaways in all sorts of places around Chapman Building, Clifford Whitworth Library, Lady Hale and on campus.
Again, we get to meet some amazing people doing amazing things. Chris Doran who teaches business ethics here - he first came to the university when he was 5-years-old with his Dad who used to teach robotics. Now, almost 30 years later… he’s lecturing here too.
Emma, who successfully juggles a degree with raising a family. She’s also setting up a charity in Uganda. It sounds like an incredible project.
Eden from Ghana, who is here studying Real Estate and Property Management. He’s a massive Manchester United Fan who was drawn to Salford because it would be a chance to regularly see his beloved team at Old Trafford. He tells us properties aren’t just assets. They are a huge part of people’s stories. I love this.
There’s a quick break before our last interview of the day with Brazilian international student Marcelo who is studying International Business. He’s moved his entire family over and he talks passionately about how friendly and welcoming everyone has been. I ask if he’s found any decent Brazilian restaurants in the city and we find out he’s going to Fazenda next week for the first time to celebrate his sister’s birthday. We have such a fun time and while shooting cutaways we end up meeting her in Lady Hale.
We say our goodbyes and pack up the kit and head back to base at Humphrey Booth. The batteries go on charge and we offload the files from our SD cards onto a drive and get everything ready for the next day.
Who will we meet tomorrow? What stories will we find?
This is my day
I travel with my husband who also works at the University most days, but today I had arranged to see a part-time postgraduate student who works during the day at 8:15am. This is our office door (see below) – I’m the one on the right on the photo. Mourinho is nothing to do with me!
Our school had its Congress and Away Day at Media City today so I was the only one around early doors. I met with the student and we had a chat about her dissertation which was really interesting because she’s looking at diversity in the workplace which is my specialism.
Teaching doesn’t start until next week so most academics are preparing lectures or attending various meetings this week. At 10am I nipped across the Crescent to the Old Fire Station to attend a workshop for Athena SWAN which is a Charter that aims to improve the recruitment, retention and promotion of women in higher education. A topic close to my heart! Our school is applying for a Bronze Athena SWAN award next year and I am the lead for our self-assessment team, so I went along to hear more about the application process from a consultant. After a useful couple of hours I took advantage of the lunch that was laid on and left to go to the second half of the school Away Day at MediaCity. Here’s the famous (& free) number 50 bus to our MediaCity UK building. I got through a couple of emails on the bus and had some time to catch up with my daughter (Snapchat) who’s away travelling on her gap year. Here’s my view… Not hugely exotic!
I arrived at the Away Day just in time for lunch…again (Actually, I had a savoury course at the first lunch and dessert at the second).
I then spent the rest of the afternoon with some members of our programme team finalising a proposal for a programme review which was really useful actually.
Back to the main campus at the end of the afternoon on the bus with some colleagues and then back home to write this and catch up on some emails.
That was my working day today.
This is my day
This is my day
A Day in the Life of Rae
At 07:30 I wake up and check my emails, every day, without fail, because who knows what press, work experience or event opportunities will have made their way into my inbox – I’m a student journalist after all.
I chose to study Journalism and English because I am inquisitive by nature, enjoy reading and like to think that I have a flair for writing. Many people think that doing a joint honours course means twice as much work, but it is actually spread out equally across nine hours of contact time a week – or eight if you opt to learn a language like me. However, there is a lot of essential reading, and the well-connected lecturers are always suggesting things for students, so times can get extremely hectic.
However, combined honours are strange, as today’s exam marked the end of semester one, and also the end of the English half of my degree. This naturally had to be celebrated with a hot chocolate from Atmosphere Kitchen and Bar and a trip into Manchester. I tested out Salvi’s, an Italian restaurant that has been dubbed one of the best in the world (and yes, that includes Italy), and it surpassed my expectations. It also gave me the chance to practice my Italian keywords, which were coincidentally based on a restaurant scenario.
When I do get some spare time, I act as a reporter for the University’s own Quays News. I mainly write about entertainment reviews and interviews, but have also published news. Now I even have the confidence to arrange my own press passes if I have nothing planned for the weekend, and want to build up my journalism portfolio while having some fun.
There is some pressure because it has to be live on the website for the next day, but it prepares students for the work place, and usually the adrenaline rush ensures I cannot wait to pen something. So far, my favourite person to review and interview has been comedian, Felicity Ward, although it was a task because I spent most of the phone call in floods of laughter (read it here). However, next week I will be reviewing Lucardo, a new live escape room, which should be very interesting.
I suppose being busy comes with the territory, but I would not have my life at Salford any other way.
This is my day
As the trainee advanced practitioners attend the University most Thursdays and Fridays, today is one of my busiest days. Both first and second years are in the University for very different reasons.
The first years are currently undertaking two modules, Pathophysiology and Clinical Examination. It’s important that the students get as much practice as possible in developing advanced skills to examine body systems, therefore we hold an early morning session most Thursdays to facilitate their learning. This Thursday, the students are practicing cranial nerve examination. It’s probably the most difficult of examinations to do. Learning the 12 cranial nerves, their function, then relating those clinical findings to pathophysiology is hard. This is what students struggle the most with and it’s the learning facilitator’s role to support them in their learning.
At 10am, the session ends and I rush off to meet the second year trainee advanced practitioners. Today is a stressful day for them. It’s the Dragons’ Den! This is part of the assessment strategy for the project management and methods of inquiry module. The students have developed a business case to implement or redesign a service within their practice and today is the day they pitch their case to the Dragons. They have five minutes to do this followed by ten minutes of questions.
As an examiner I have to ensure that I get the best out of the students, to assess their knowledge of project management principles but also whether their business case proposal is realistic. The ‘Dragons’ Den’ is one of my favourite assessments as it allow the student to demonstrate their knowledge, innovation and creativity.
A quick stop for a working lunch. Myself and Phil, a colleague, review the Blackboard site for the clinical examination module. It’s an exciting time for the advanced practice team. Due to the programme’s success, a second cohort is starting next week and we have to be ready! This means I have to co-ordinate two timetables, Blackboard sites and speakers to ensure there are no clashes. It’s a logistical nightmare.
After a quick lunch it back to the Dragons’ Den. It’s a late finish for myself and Michelle, the Module Lead. This is only my second time as an assessor in project management and Michelle is a great mentor and advisor, using this time to support me in my own learning.
5pm finish. It’s been a long but productive day. Time to go home….and dream of timetables.
This is my day
A day in the life of an ITV Production Journalist
I graduated from Salford in 2015 with a degree in Journalism: Broadcast. My degree gave me the basic knowledge I needed to be a journalist, but it was all the other experience I gained in my spare time that really helped. So here is what I do now…
My role at ITV Channel is varied; I move between producing early morning, lunchtime, late and weekend bulletins as well as working on the website and social media. When producing bulletins my job is to utilise all the content we have for the flagship 6pm programme and reducing it to four, six or eleven minutes of news. That involves working closely with the news editor to work out what content is available to me. I will then choose which stories I want to run, put them in order, write scripts and cut pictures and interviews. It can sometimes be a squeeze when reporters return at 1:15pm with an interview and we are on air at 1:55pm…but we always get on and off air on time!
We use iNews and Avid Newscutter in the newsroom, both of which I used at university. When I started my job I was easily able to produce bulletins because of the experience I gained at Salford. I spent most of my spare time during my degree working for Quays TV News, producing news programmes. I got a great variety of other experience as well, including small and big TV and radio broadcasters. Knock on every door and seize any opportunity, even if it means getting up at 5am (as I did every week to produce a breakfast radio show!)
Using your time at university to practice as many skills as possible will be very useful. Today I find myself without a specific job, so I am lending my skills where ever they are needed. I have already written stories for the website, spoken to some viewers through our Facebook page to try and set up potential stories and I am just about to go out to do some Vox Pops to help out a reporter. Use your initiative, be keen and positive, keep knocking on those doors and always be busy!
This is my day
7.00 - The dreaded alarm. Usually when my alarm goes, it means it's time to get up, walk the dog and head to work. Today is a little different...today my Chief Executive, Lawrence Jones, has brought loads of the team out to Verbier in Switzerland as a reward for all of our hard work. The views from my room as I open the curtains are breathtaking...
8.00 - Time for breakfast. There's a beautiful continental breakfast in the hotel, where we can help ourselves to all sorts in order to fuel up for a day of skiing.
9.30 - Time to head out onto the slopes. Now I'm not going to even pretend that I'm a pro here. I'm a terrible snowboarder, but I chose to snowboard instead of ski for two reasons: 1. I thought I'd challenge myself 2. I thought I'd look much cooler. I didn't. Falling face first into a pile of snow and nearly taking out a child using the ski lift does not warrant "looking cool", but this is all part of the fun.
One of the many great things about working at UKFast is that Lawrence likes to take us out of our comfort zones. Doing this definitely takes me out of mine. It challenges me, excites me, and tires me out, but it's all fun and games!
I've been on my bum more than I've been on my feet this morning, but I've not stopped laughing and it's really helped me to gel with people from other teams. UKFast is made up of 350 people so often you don't know many people who aren't on your floor. This is one of the reasons for these trips and today I have been supported and helped by someone who works in our Data Centre and some of the guys who work on the tech team. Because the recruitment process really gets to know you and your personality at UKFast, everyone is the same as each other and everyone is supportive. This couldn't be more apparent for me today, as I get helped up for the 50th time this morning (I don't even think that's an exaggeration).
12.20 - Us beginners have met up with the pro-skiers up at the top of the mountain at a restaurant called Le Dahu. The views from here are absolutely incredible. We're joined by Lawrence, who is treating us to lunch and the whole team has tucked into delicious pizzas. Something that's really shocked me since working here is how much time I've spent with Lawrence. With so many team members it must be hard for him to keep up, but he seems to get to know every person and know everyone's names too. Not sure many CEOs could say that!
Up the mountain at lunch, I also meet up with Lowri; our Senior Communications Coordinator, who did the same course as me at Salford. It's really lovely working so closely with someone I went to Uni with. It's great to share the funny memories we shared in our Journalism lectures and we both speak very fondly of the time we spent there. Who'd have thought those two girls who used to chat away in the halls of Adelphi building would be stood on Prince Harry's favourite mountains to ski 5 years later?
15.00 - After lunch I head down the mountains on the bubble lift - another thing taking me out of my comfort zone I'll add! I'm back at the hotel catching up on some work remotely and ensuring our customers are still happy on social media. I also take this opportunity to share what we've been up to across all of our social channels. We've recently launched an Instagram account, and the views here are perfect Instagram fodder, so I'm nerding out a little taking a million snaps! Days like this get great engagement on social media, and can often boost our job applications - after all, who doesn't want to work somewhere where you can hang out in the mountains for a week?
16.00 - In the hotel lounge I meet our CEO, Lawrence, with my Manager, Alice, to go over social media ideas and some statistics too. Lawrence is a really creative person and comes up with great ideas and inspires my thought processes too, so these meetings are always really fun - they're even more fun today over a glass of Vin Chaud!
17.00 - It's now 5pm, and Apres Ski is about to begin. The whole team has met back up in the bar with a live band to celebrate overcoming our fears and learning new skills! What an incredible day "at work". It's not like this every day, but a working day at UKFast is never dull, and never normal!
This is my day
Hi, my name’s Josh, I’m a Marketing Intern here at the University of Salford. Let me take you through my day…
After getting into work I continue to work on my project. As Web Content Editor, I’ve been challenged with creating new content ideas for the ‘Study’ pages on the University’s website.
I begin by working on my ideas for the ‘accommodation’ and student life pages. I’ve mainly been doing a lot of reading around the areas today. I’ve put together a table containing information on our two campus accommodation sites, John Lester and Eddie Colman and Peel Park Quarter, that I hope will be useful for prospective students.
Next, I begin work on my ‘Moving in Checklist’. Moving in can be a stressful time for students and parents alike (I’d know), so hopefully this handy guide can help!
Fingers crossed you see some of my ideas up on the site soon!
Lunch was extremely rock ‘n’ roll today as I dined on a chicken paste sandwich. Heart rate through the roof.
Post-lunch I begin editing some copy for an up-and-coming ‘a Day in the Life of’, which I then filed and await publishing.
Later in the afternoon I adopted the auxiliary role of Sound Engineer on the recording of a ‘Salford Story’. This was a nice break from my normal day as I sat listening to a student explain their journey here at the University. In what was an extremely pivotal role I managed to successfully turn the recording ‘on’ and ‘off’. Tough stuff. On a more serious note it is great to see the University producing such talented and hardworking alumni.
So there you have it, a day in my life, I hope you enjoyed!
This is my day
As Operations Director at Tunafish, there’s always a lot going on day-to-day and most of the time, no two days are the same. My role here is to look after the day-to-day operations of the business. This can be everything from looking after the financials, HR management, designing and improving processes and business forecasting.
January is always a particular busy month as it is a month that involves a lot of planning and forecasting, fixing any problems that became apparent in December and generally preparing for the next 12 months ahead. That coupled with changing accountants, being in the middle of revamping the website and recruiting meant we had to come in to 2017 hitting the ground running.
A typical day will begin at 6am and I fill the first few hours of my morning with something for me such as the gym or catching up with something I’ve most likely not done. I arrived in the office for about 8.45am and the first thing I do is grab a brew, normally lemon and ginger because a year ago I started delaying caffeine till the afternoon. I used to have about six cups a day and it felt like my heart was coming out of my chest by dinner time. I’ll also have breakfast which is normally in liquid form for speed. I catch up with people for a few minutes and if Blue the dog is in the office, who belongs to Ian, she’s always pretty excited to see everyone, so I normally get distracted for a bit.
With our new accountant arriving at 9am, the first couple of hours were spent with him while he started to prepare what our management reports would look like. There is a bit of a transition phase and as you can imagine, a lot of information that needs to be passed over and questions that need answering. As part of our new website that is being rebuilt, the video team are capturing different bits of internal content so everyone in the office has spent some time in front of the office, getting head shots and filming pieces of video for something that will be revealed in a couple of weeks’ time.
In between recording content for the website, I had two online demonstrations for HR software. I’d identified over the Christmas period that there were certain processes in the business that I wanted to improve and implementing a piece of HR software was near the top of the list for what I needed to do at the start of the year.
For the last couple of weeks we have actually had a University of Salford student doing work experience with us. Today was Emily’s last day so just before 4pm we sat down for half an hour to talk about her time with us, thank her for all the work she’d done and also find out what she may have liked or disliked. It’s important that when we offer work experience that they’re given a good experience and for that reason we are always looking to improve. It doesn't matter if someone works for you for a week, a day or a year, they should always be treated well and find the time rewarding.
Today is a Friday and at 4pm, the whole of the office gets together for a catch up and have Friday beers. It’s a pretty informal catch up, the week is filled with a lot important meetings that it’s good to just sit down and tell each other what we’ve been working on and any updates before the weekend. Everyone is so busy all the time that sometimes you may not know what your colleague on the other side is actually working on and whether it’s your department or not, it’s important for people to understand what is happening in the business and maintain a very open and transparent culture.
This is my day
From helping a student who needs a clock in their exam room, to finding out whether Newton Building is open at the weekend, via 'UR GIRL GOT AN UNCONDITIONAL OFFER TO SALFORD I'M MOST DEF GOING TO UNI! (many, many emojis)', my Thursday starts off like every other day - responding to all the enquiries directed to the Salford social media accounts.
As Social Media Officer, it's my job to look after 29 of the social media accounts under the University of Salford name. On average, we receive around 80 interactions via these channels per day, with around 10-15 being enquiries that we need to directly respond to. As the UCAS application deadline is approaching, at the moment we're helping a lot of prospective students with questions about our courses and invitations to interview.
Once dealt with, I meet with two of our Student Social Media Assistants and discuss content ideas for the new student blog, Made in Salford - a guide to university for prospective students, written by current students. We agree that Rebecca will work on '9 places to celebrity spot in Manchester' (I challenge her to find a whole 9) and Ahmed will look at reviewing his time at Salford now he's in his final year. As the blog is still in its early stages, there are still a few modifications regarding the look and feel that need to be ironed out, so I have a discussion with the web team to get these resolved.
Then it's on to some planning with the rest of the Content Team for the filming of the Guide Dog visit to the John Lester & Eddie Colman accommodation next week. We're going to produce a short video and cover live via Snapchat on the day. We decide that it will absolutely, definitely require the whole team to attend...no idea why.
The rest of the day is divided between meetings with academics from the School of Arts and Media, checking in with our digital agency who we're working with on a Snapchat project, and continually monitoring our social media feeds as a steady stream of enquiries come in throughout the day.
In the afternoon, there's a welcome surprise when myself and others in the digital team receive a certificate from Security as recognition of excellent information sharing and teamworking in response to an incident earlier in the week. It's great to get the acknowledgement and know that we're forging ahead with joined-up ways of working.
I round off the day like I started, thinking about adorable animals. We share a blog post on Twitter from one of our student bloggers, Tatiana, who has written a post entitled 'Cute gifs to make studying less stressful' - which can be found here.
This is my day
‘A Day in the Life of’ Rachel Norton
“The ICZ Team are going out”. Those were the words of our ICZ Programme Director, Tony Warne, before Christmas, and they’re ringing true today. Not least because Tony and I both got Fitbits for Christmas and we’re getting competitive about reaching our 10,000 step goals!
My day starts at 8am, (step count 1002). I get in, put the kettle on, open my e-mails and calendar and my working day unfolds. My role, as ICZ Programme Officer, is to administrate, manage and document the implementation of the ICZ Programme.
I believe that a single day in my job shows just what the University of Salford has to offer its staff, students and industry partners. Salford is a great place to be right now!
Today my focus has been on our partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). They are developing a new RHS Garden in Salford. They’ll be reviving the gardens of the Worsley New Hall estate to create RHS Bridgewater. This represents one of the largest contemporary gardening projects in Europe, and the University of Salford has been selected as a key strategic partner.
Our first commissioned piece of work will be a longitudinal study on the societal and economic impact of the garden, but this partnership has so much opportunity for research, teaching, placements, volunteering. It’s bountiful!
I’ve been working with Mike Taylor, the Account Director for the partnership, finalising notes and actions from our first working group meeting. Capturing the enthusiasm for the partnership in the room isn’t difficult, and there’ll be lots to take to our meeting with the RHS Bridgewater Programme Director next week to progress further and develop a truly exceptional partnership.
By lunchtime (step count 2186), I needed to get out of the office. I met a friend and went for a walk around the Crescent Meadow, on the other side of the Irwell, if you haven’t walked round there then give it a go, it is lovely.
My afternoon includes scheduling meetings, writing minutes, working on a report for VCET, and planning an introductory workshop at the end of January with the RHS. We’re kept busy over here!
My day finishes around 5pm, step count 7932; if it were a Monday I’d be heading over to the Leisure Centre to do one of the brilliant studio cycling classes, they’re exhausting, but definitely worth a try. Not today though, I’ve got 2068 steps to do after all!
This is my day
‘A Day in the Life of’ a Wildlife Photographer
As a wildlife photographer I often get asked, “Where do you go to photograph wildlife?” and it is a good question, to which I usually answer “Salford”. We live in a society that has become so disconnected from nature, where people can recognise an African lion before a common dunnock. An animal that lives thousands of miles away, and for many people, an animal they will never see in the wild, has become more recognisable than a bird they probably walk past ten times a day. There is something wrong here.
Believe it or not Salford is not really known for its wildlife. Heavy industrialisation, and more recently, vast and unforgiving urban development made sure of that. But along the Irwell Valley stands a secretive world, filled with unfathomable beauty, for those willing to seek it out.
Today though I’m standing next to Salford Lads Club, made famous by that photograph of The Smiths, an iconic piece of local history that put the otherwise unassuming housing estate of Ordsall firmly on the map. But at this time of year the estate is known to a small cross-section of society for very different reasons, although music still plays a big part. Today, Ordsall is taken over by one of the most beautiful birds in the world; their multilayered orchestral trilling provides the soundtrack for one of the most thrilling moments of any wildlife photographer’s career. The waxwing.
Waxwings make their way to our shores each winter, when their homes in Scandinavia get a bit too frosty for their liking. It makes sense. We have an abundance of berry trees here, from rowan to hawthorn to rose, which would otherwise go unappreciated without the waxwing (although blackbirds and thrushes might disagree).
My feet quietly pass over the Ordsall tarmac. Starlings and redwings provide a chorus that would on any other day captivate me, but today it is all about these fashionistas of the bird world. I hear them in the distance and my pace quickens, as does my heart. I had never seen a waxwing until two weeks ago, at this very spot in Ordsall, and just as I round another corner there they are, a flock of over forty birds. We share a brief moment, before they disappear as an entire unit across the estate.
Wildlife is all around us, and it is becoming more important than ever before that we celebrate that.
This is my day
‘A Day in the Life of’ Nicole Wylie
A little about myself:
I am currently a second year undergraduate student here at the University of Salford studying BA (Hons) Contemporary History & Politics. I have also been accepted on an internship programme for a company based in the United Kingdom and the United States. It is located in London but I work virtually with editorial pitches made online and group meetings.
A day in the life of UOS student: Nicole Wylie 09/01/2017
07:30: Wake up prepared to take on the day. I live each day as it comes and start afresh each day which helps me to stay positive and focused. I make a morning coffee and prepare to leave for university during semester.
09:00: Check the analytics for my Twitter account and ensure any reading for university is complete. I also visit www.tremr.com and recommend interesting political posts and also retweet.
10:30: Leave home and take the train to university. On the way I check my emails and respond to any if necessary. On the journey I read the newspaper and keep informed of current affairs, I make a note of any news stories of interest or wish to tweet about on my social media account.
12-1: This semester, one of my modules will be Theories of Power and Domination and I am thoroughly looking forward to it. Last semester I studied Cold War History and International Contemporary History modules.
The Cold War module was very engaging and involved attending a three hour seminar with lots of group work. I made some new friends and learned a lot of interesting information. The topics were very interesting and it covered all aspects of the Cold War. The virtual quiz was fun and overall it was very positive.
International History was also engaging as I learned the theories and historical perspectives of the 19th century. The 100-year international history covered a lot of key dates in time and the more autonomous approach in the seminars meant there was a lot of debate.
13:30: Check on the intern group to see if the editor has posted the articles for the week. I choose a topic and put my pitch in for the week and go home to start writing it.
Below is a list of last week’s topics:
1. Piece on the Turkish night club attack.
2. Piece on the Mogadishu airport blast.
3. Has the Internet bread a new generation of racists or uncovered the already ‘racists in hiding’?
4. Have Russian sanctions worked?
5. A fact file on Marine Le Pen (who's she is, her beliefs, could she win?) or a piece stating why she is likely to win the upcoming French Election.
6. A listicle piece stating several of Obama's strategies and plans that Trump should continue to carry out or remove entirely.
I chose topic 6 and below is my finished piece.
They are due on Thursdays and the process is repeated again with a pitch of my own idea.
14:40: Attend a meeting at work. I don't usually attend work on a Monday but the outcome of the meeting was very important.
15:30: Arrive home, check my social media account. Thank my followers and tweet. One of the tweets this week was Meryl Streep’s acceptance speech at the Golden Globe awards. It is worth watching and she is inspiring and used it as a positive platform for also expressing her views on politics.
16:00: Whilst browsing Tremr recommending posts I stumbled across a company named globalnet21 and booked myself in for a webinar on politics on Thursday morning. It is a great platform to be engaged politically and I would highly recommend viewing their website if you would like to politically connect. http://www.globalnet21.org
16:30: Revise for my upcoming exam and check my assignment results for International History whilst waiting for the pitches to come through. Later I will take a short break from revision read and recommend the other interns articles.
This is my day
I start at 7am with a review of the night's news regarding the weekend's terror attack in London in preparation for an 8.07 telephone interview with TalkRADIO. Unsurprisingly there's been a huge demand for TV and radio interviews with counter-terrorism and intelligence specialists such as myself in the wake of the attacks in London and Manchester. It has been an honour to help spread understanding of some of the many issues surrounding these attacks. One of the issues that came up in today's interview was this week’s general election, specifically how the numbers of police and MI5 personnel, their surveillance powers and counter-terrorism legislation has become a theme of the election campaign.
Today is typical in that I will work in many different roles over the course of the day. After the interview, I mark two postgraduate dissertations. I always look forward to marking written work and finding out what our students have achieved. I then turn to my role as Chair of Research Ethics for staff and PhD students in the School of Arts and Media by reviewing an application for research ethics approval and preparing a training session for tomorrow.
I use the journey to the MediaCityUK campus to answer some emails. I enjoy going to this campus: Salford Quays is a great place to visit and our campus is another reminder of the university's close relationship with media organisations.
After arriving I represent the School at a meet and greet for careers advisors from seventeen schools in twelve countries. This is part of my role as the School Lead for International Recruitment, which involves developing partnerships with schools and colleges around the world and informing them of the great opportunities the University of Salford and the city of a Manchester offers students.
My long day finishes at 6.30pm and I unwind on the journey home with the help of some music.
This is my day
The day of the life of Jade Littlewood
Santander Universities: University Relationship Branch Manager here at The University of Salford.
Background on me….
Hi, I’m Jade Littlewood. I have worked for Santander for ten years in November, and I’ve had lots of experience in the banking sector. I started as a cashier and worked my way up to becoming a manager. I came over to the University division two years ago, where I have been able to build up the partnership around the University. I love shopping and enjoy my holidays.
So my day:
My alarm goes off at 5:30am but I snooze it until 6am, before heading over to the gym. I like to start with a workout as I feel it helps clear my mind for the day ahead.
I am also in training for the VC 5K ‘FUN RUN’ in aid of Kidscan on the 28th April, please see my just giving page.
If you are interested come and join in the fun
At 8:30am I set off to work where I meet the team and head into the branch.
By 10am, we are open to you lovely lot!
It’s 12:30pm and time to collect my invite to the House of Lords event, which is taking place on Monday. This event is to focus on education and its role in the skills of economy.
Every day is different; we are seeing an increase of fraud throughout the banking sector, and there isn’t just one type of customer that it affects. Please see the ‘TAKE FIVE’ to prevent this from happening to you.
As it Friday, we certainly have the Friday feeling and close for the weekend :)
It’s now time to celebrate after receiving some good news from one of my friends.
This was in aid of the celebration!
Background information of Santander Universities….
The University has recently entered the third year of an established partnership with Santander, during which time they have pledged £300,000 that has benefitted over 200 of our students. Santander Universities Global Division has worked in Higher Education since 1997 and its network spans over 70 UK universities and over 1,100 academic institutions in 20 different countries.
Membership of Santander Universities encourages collaboration, interaction and partnerships between institutions. The University is pleased to have a Santander branch on campus, and 2014 saw the launch of University of Salford Santander Smart Card, which has gone from strength to strength. Salford is only the second UK institution to adopt a card of this nature, which functions as student and staff identification and as a debit card for Santander banking services.
To take advantage of what Santander Universities offers, please see below:
This is my day
A Day in the Life: 29th March 2017
Dr Caroline Magennis, Lecturer in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature
I walk into work from Manchester City Centre and love to see the posters from the Sounds from the Other City music festival: it makes me so proud to work on Chapel Street. I get into work, clutching coffee for dear life and check my emails and twitter as I run the social media for English at Salford and two academic organisations: BAIS and BACLS. I also check Facebook Workplace to see the news from our Women's Voice Initiative: following our successful launch we want to keep the momentum going with an exciting plan of external speakers.
At 9am, I give a two hour lecture (with a break, I'm not a monster!) on influential Irish playwright Sean O'Casey for my module Revival and Revolution. The students are getting on really well with the literature of this period and recently enjoyed a visit from Julie Mullaney of the Irish World Heritage Centre as part of our ICZ links with cultural organisations. O'Casey's deconstruction of the myths of the Easter Rising always leads to good seminars, so I'm looking forward to Friday.
Office Hours and Project Work
My office hours are from 11-1 on Wednesdays and a few students come in to discuss their upcoming essays for Irish lit, and the first year core module Theory and Practice. They are such an enthusiastic bunch, it's lovely discussing the direction of their work. In between students, I do a little work on our upcoming #Agreement20 project, planning a visit by my collaborators to discuss our impact narrative and finalise our grant applications. With my Admissions Lead game-face on, I confirm details of English and Creative taster days for GCSE students.
As a team, the lecturers in English head over to Media City where our students have organised their MA day. Part of the assessment for our literary and creative masters, we see the work of our students showcased through an afternoon of presentations at Ziferblat Cafe. They've done all the hard graft so it's up to us to mark their work and offer helpful feedback as they develop this into dissertations. I'm not at all biased, but I'm really excited to see my own supervisees and their work on cultural depictions of Manchester night-life and the body in science fiction.
This is my day
A day in the life of Serena Chester, Academic Support Manager (Learning & Teaching):
27th March 2017
I start the day around 8am by scanning my emails, sorting out anything urgent then checking my calendar to see what’s ahead for today and the rest of the week and preparing accordingly. Once that’s done it's time to have a cup of tea and collect my thoughts.
My colleague Dom Marsh and I are jointly leading a library project called “Promotion of Leisure Reading” and today we launch the small non-academic reading collection which contains fiction and non-fiction. The purpose of the collection is to help students de-stress by escaping with a book, but it has also been proven that reading improves writing ability so we really want to encourage more students to read widely. Dom has created an attractive area by the café to entice people in and it seems to be working.
I have a meeting at 10.30am with the 'Get Going' team to start work on the improvements needed for this year’s version. 'Get Going' is our online pre-arrival material aimed at new students to help them prepare for the academic side of starting University. We’re working closely with a group of students to co-create some new video material and need to make some decisions about content. We also decide we need to review our communications and marketing as many people seem to be under the impression it’s just about library stuff but it’s much broader than that.
Early afternoon I do some planning for an ICZ workshop I’m running with a small group of staff. We will be looking at how we can make our Skills for Learning online material and teaching material ICZ ready and how we can ensure the co-curriculum is included in programme teams' plans.
We’re looking at other ways to contribute to the ICZ agenda also and later in the afternoon I catch up with some correspondence around planning another “Dear Library” event we hope to run with the Working Class Movement library.
At 5pm I went over to New Adelphi for a leisure reading event organised by a small group of library staff. Andrew Michael Hurly gave a reading from his book The Loney, which won the Costa First Novel Award last year, and was the British Book Awards Book of the Year 2016. The book is set on a stretch of the bleak Lancashire coastline known as the Loney and tells the tale of two brothers. The event was attended by 30 people including staff and students of the University and it went very well. I couldn’t resist buying a copy of the book and getting it signed by Andrew. I couldn’t resist those biscuits either. It was a nice way to round off the day and I left work happy with the prospect of some good reading for the tram journey home.
This is my day
This is my day
This is my day
One day in my life as a retired lecturer in Biology and Health Sciences:
March 16th 2017, and I am spending a week with my husband at our holiday home in rural France. We have a lot of land, a formal garden and a field that we are trying to convert into an orchard and vegetable garden.
This week, our first visit since November, has reminded me of my lectures in ecology. The field, given a few months freedom, has fought back against our efforts. Thus, we have spent this morning pruning, cutting back, weeding and rediscovering soil. Our orchard is certainly ecology in action. The vegetable plot has succumbed returning to field, our hedgerow taken over by brambles.
Even a wild animal has made a path through the hedge. However, the wildlife camera we set up last night showed nothing. Once a biologist always a biologist!
Natural recycling is in evidence as dead leaves rot down to support the growth of spring plants already apparent. How I remember throwing those quadrats on my field trips in similar ecosystems. Everywhere, beautiful lichens hanging from the branches are visible. So prevalent here away from industrial and urban pollution.
Our hard labour was rewarded with a visit to our local creperie for lunch, where there was a constant buzz of French workers team building, on their two hour lunch break. Returning home, we spent the afternoon with a French 'ami'. These activities certainly tested our French language skills, one of our many retirement challenges. We wound up the day, and what a lovely day it has been, with lawn cutting ready for our imminent return to the UK.
I never set out in life to be a biologist, but things change, often for the better. During my career there have been three major influences. The first, my school biology teacher; the second, Dr Ron Lawson, my first personal tutor at Salford and the third, Dr Neville Williams, my final year tutor and lecturer in Ecology and Hydrobiology. Between them, they initiated my enthusiasm for the subject, and taught me to observe, question, research and above all have confidence in myself. These people helped me to become who I am and shaped my future. Based on my experiences I encouraged others to do the same, and continue to do so myself in my retirement ventures.
(BSc (Hons) Applied Biology 1968-1972)
This is my day
Morning! I love mornings. All mornings are special – they bring freshness and transform challenges into opportunities. My alarm is ringing – ending my slumber and reminding me it is time for me to get ready. It’s a March morning and as I fling the curtains open the sun is tenderly caressing my face. A miracle – I can see the sun out there. I have woken up to a beautiful cloud free Salford and suddenly the smile shines on my face.
I take the bus to work and listen to some music that brings a lot of positive energy to my mind and I suddenly start radiating it out to other people. As I enter Alumni House, I speak to my colleagues and tell them all about the new place that I would love to visit.
As I have my brew, I go through my emails. It is a workshop day. In my role I work to support colleagues become more personally ICZ Ready and help create the ICZ Communities of Innovation. These communities focus strongly on maintaining good relationships with colleagues across the University and establishing blueprints to contribute towards achieving the University’s single strategic priority. This is such an interesting and valuable role - I almost feel it is like an engrossing book I cannot stop reading as it gives me knowledge to use in future initiatives. So it’s almost lunch time and colleagues have now started arriving for our Personal ICZ Readiness Workshop. I feel nervous although we’ve already had nearly 10 events. The session runs smoothly and in the end I have a chat with my colleagues and discuss some of the project ideas that have been proposed.
My day has not finished yet. I sit at my desk and review all emails once again, I prepare myself for a few upcoming meetings on the next day and start writing my report to the ICZ Operational Management Group. It’s already 5.15pm and it’s time for me to go back home and go to the gym. As I walk out of the building, I look at the sunset and think to myself: ‘Such a productive day!’
I have been at Salford for seven years now and this place has taught me a lot. This is an adventure that I am glad I’ve started as it has helped me grow, make my family proud and me feeling accomplished. And I cannot wait to wake up early on the next day; although it might not be that sunny anymore, because tomorrows at Salford are always much more different and better than yesterdays.
This is my day
I am Qi Liu, who obtained my MSc (2014-2015) and PhD (2016-2010) at Salford University and worked as a Research Assistant (2009-2010) there as well. I am a professor of Computer Science and Technology in the Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology. I was awarded as a Marie Sklodowska Curie Action (MSCA) Fellow in 2016, and now work as a Senior Research Fellow at Edinburgh Napier University from Dec-2016 to Jan-2018.
My typical morning starts with me checking emails. Due to master and doctoral students still being under my supervision, I need to regularly check my email to maintain their progress and potential questions on their research work. I do have weekly meetings with them on Fridays, but only general administrative and directive issues can be discussed there. This means that particular personal progress and problems they may have can only be discussed via email or Skype individually.
I normally complete the checking email shift before 10, so that I can carry on to my own MSCA work afterwards. The MSCA project has just commenced and is currently on the stage of project inception and theoretical model creation. I need to report to my supervisor, Professor Xiaodong Liu, once a week - so I get on with the work!
Prof. Liu and I have the meeting at 2pm today. I basically have to discuss with him on the work during the last week, get feedback from him, and discuss the plan for next week. For other weekdays without meeting, I probably work on the MSCA-CAR.eu website construction (still got some bugs to fix) and the modelling things. The email inbox is usually quiet in the afternoon, since there are eight hours difference between China and UK and it is off-work time at the moment.
It is quite flexible for me to finish the work. It takes me half an hour to walk home, and this is the most enjoyable part in a day of work.
This is my day
My role at the University of Salford is to create maths questions for the civil engineering students. The maths questions are created on Blackboard. With these questions, I can create online tests for the students who can then access the online tests to help them with their studies.
Sometimes, my line manager would give me a large handful of questions that he has written himself and then tell me he would like me to put the questions online in the form of a test for the students to practice.
First of all I would find a respected mathematics book to use to help me choose some questions. Secondly, I would then choose a question relevant to the topic the students are currently learning and find a suitable question to create on blackboard. Thirdly, I would complete the question myself just to double-check the answer; then I would put this question in online format by using the software that is on blackboard.
I would create every question as a multiple choice style question. This is so there is no trouble for the students typing what is the correct answer, but the computer not recognising this and marking it as wrong.
As you can see there are 4 possible answers to the question, with only one of them being correct. I would then click ‘submit’ and complete the same process again but with a different question.
Other than this, I would also help out my line manager with some general admin work to take some weight off of his shoulders. For example, typing students' grades from a recent test into a spreadsheet is what I have done a handful times throughout my time as a graduate intern.
This is my day
I’m a graduate intern in psychology and I work as a research assistant for Dr Gemma Taylor in School of Health Sciences Department. We are conducting a research investigating the effects of media on toddlers' word learning and this research will help shape our understanding of how children use media to acquire language.
My job is different every day and I carry out most of my daily responsibilities from the office in Allerton, which sometime includes: researching and reviewing articles, coding and double coding videos, writing and so on. I’m also responsible for liaising with nursery practitioners in order to schedule nursery visits to run our project with 24-48 month old children. I really enjoy my role, not only it is related to my psychology degree but it also allows me to see psychology in action.
My mornings are usually quite chaotic and getting my 2 children ready for school is not always the easiest thing. This morning, I woke up at 7am; I prepared breakfast for everyone - plus a strong coffee for myself as I didn’t have time to eat - and we all left home at 8:30. My partner drove the children to school and I drove to work. Today was my lucky day as I found a good parking spot and I was quite thrilled about that! I started my day with a freshly baked croissant from the Allerton shop, and thoroughly enjoyed it while watching the beautiful sunny Manchester view from my office window in Allerton 8th floor. Now I’ve had a quiet five minutes to clear my head, it was time to prioritise my “To Do List” and meet my line manager to have a discussion about the research. I was quite excited because I’m finally able to put the theories into practice and visit nurseries later on this week to meet parents, and ask for their children's participation in our study.
I had lunch at 12:15 before spending most of the afternoon rehearsing the transcripts I had prepared to use during the nursery visits and sorting out equipment to use during the experiment. Before I knew it, 4 o' clock was upon us and I had to rush off to pick up the children from their after school club. Seeing their little faces is always the highlight of my day. Later, after a hectic but productive day, I unwind by relaxing and spending the evening with my family.
This is my day
To start the day I am speaking at a Cityco ‘Breakfast Briefing’ entitled Salford: New Frontiers. Other speakers present at the event included: Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennet, plus the CEO of Peel Media and the MD of Ask Real Estate.
It’s then onto a meeting, at 10am, with a journalist, about Salford’s attendance at the MIPIM property convention where I am speaking about ‘Why Cultural Life Matters” in development.
At 11am, my busy day continues as I meet with the theatres programming team to discuss potential shows and companies for The Lowry’s three theatre spaces in in our upcoming schedule for 2018-2020.
After lunch I meet Recce with digital creatives, Marshmallow Laser Feast, of The Lowry’s Lyric Theatre which will be the perfect setting for their next major digital art installation.
At 2pm I receive an update from development directors, responsible for The Lowry’s non-commercial income, on our projected charitable income for 2017-18. As a charity, we are committed to using the visual and performing arts to enrich people’s lives.
Into the afternoon and I attend an induction with our new learning and engagement director, who is looking forward to getting into the role.
To round off what has been a hectic day, I unwind by attending a performance in the Lyric Theatre. So there you have it - that’s a day in my life – I hope you enjoyed!
This is my day
1st March will always be a special day for me. 19 years ago today I started dating my now husband, Nick. He was on the Building Surveying course and I was on the Applied Environmental and Resource Science course. We’d met the previous September through a mutual friend, but only got our act together on 1st March 1998.
So today, 1st March 2017, we celebrate being together 19 years and married for 12 of those years. How our lives have changed. Nick went on to become a Chartered Building Surveyor. I continued my studies after graduating at Salford and studied a PGCE course at Manchester Metropolitan University. I am currently teaching a Year 1/2 class in Chelmsford, where we have lived since 2001, and I thoroughly enjoy my job. We’re also proud parents to two fantastic daughters – Chloe and Natalie.
Today was also a big day in our household as we found out which secondary school Chloe will be going to in September. Luckily, she got her first choice so it was a huge relief all round. As it’s a school night there won’t be much of a celebration; plus it’s the weekly swimming lesson for the girls. We will leave the celebrations until the weekend.
I have fond memories of my time at Salford and if it wasn’t for the University I would never have met my fantastic husband.
This is my day
D Spicer Day in the Life – Friday 26th May.
I spent the morning putting together my speech for tonight’s business school ball and had a number of meetings on general University business in the afternoon, but I was keen to get over to the Victoria Warehouse where we hosted our ball this evening.
On arrival I got my first chance to see the room – a great venue that really speaks to the University’s industrial heritage and our strategic focus on industry collaboration.
Since joining Salford, the Ball has become one of my favourite days in the year – alongside seeing our students graduate and new students joining us at the induction. It’s a great opportunity to say congratulations and well done and to recognise the success and achievement of our students, as well as staff and the business we work in partnership with.
As part of the night I also handed out the Dean’s awards. These celebrate those students who have excelled in other areas alongside their studies. The winners are chosen from nominations made by students and staff; we had a great response, and as a result, a hard time deciding on the overall winners. This year we also gave out our first Student Engagement Awards. These recognise activities such as working with student societies, volunteering, and work on personal development. As these were only launched in February and the expectation is students will achieve these over a full year of study, I was delighted to see how many of our students had achieved the awards.
After the awards it was dinner, followed by a great student band playing until late.
This is my day
Martin Toner, Corporate Governance Officer – 25 May 2017
Three days on, and the GM transport system is still chaotic, understandably, but fate smiles on me: amid the train cancellations I actually arrive ten minutes early as the powers that be have decided that today my connecting train will additionally stop at Salford Crescent, which is good, as it’s going to be a busy day. And hot…
As I am early, I take a wander over to The Old Fire Station, where I am going to spend most of the day. The flags are at half-mast.
Make some tea which I drink as I go through my emails. Then I prepare for the main business of the day.
The Corporate Governance section of Legal and Governance is primarily concerned with facilitating and supporting the work of the University Council, our supreme governing body (or our “board of directors”, if you prefer). In order to assist the Council in its work, it has six standing committees to oversee and advise on various aspects of its responsibilities. Three of these standing committees are meeting today, and I will be servicing all of them.
I spend the next hour and a bit checking through the papers for the meetings and the arrangements for the day: will there be a laptop for the presentation? Has the chair been brought up to date on the apologies submitted? Shortly before 11.00am I am satisfied that I am as ready as I’ll ever be.
A reminder that some things are more important than work. With several of my L&G colleagues, I make my way up to University House for a minutes’ silence for the victims and those affected by Monday’s terrible events. Amar Abbas and Rosa Angelova (both of whom I will see again later) introduce Rashid and Kim from the University’s Chaplaincy service, both of whom deliver poignant but hopeful messages to those gathered – by my reckoning 400-500 standing in the sunlight, which, bizarrely, feels appropriate.
Back in Maxwell Building, I just have time for one last check that I have everything I need, then it’s over to The Old Fire Station, and the Board Room.
Honorary Degrees Committee
A joint Committee of Council and Senate, HDC, as its name suggests, is the body which decides on those upon whom the University offers its honorary degrees. We grab a quick sandwich lunch before we start.
Those to be offered degrees during the 2017 graduation ceremonies have already been agreed back in February; this meeting is to look at ways in which the University might celebrate its 50th anniversary. Membership of this and all standing committees incorporate a number of Council members, supplemented by members of University staff – in this case including the VC and Deputy VC. The Committee’s decisions are for obvious reasons confidential, but there is some good news reported regarding one particular part of the 50th anniversary plan . . .
Taking advantage of an early finish to HDC, I nip back over to Maxwell and check my emails. I do some work on an online nomination form for a new internal academic Council member which we are planning to use soon. Then back over to TOFS for…
Student Experience Committee
Another committee with a self-explanatory title. While Monday’s events were mentioned informally during HDC, SEC starts with Sam Grogan formally updating members on the reaction of the University, including the “pop-up” shops which have been installed across campus, dispensing much –needed tea and sympathy to those who need it. While the University community has been shaken, there is a strong sense of unity across campus. The committee’s main business today is two presentations from the Students’ Union: one from Rhiannon Roberts, assisted by Rosa, on the student representation system (spanning from Class Reps to Sabbatical Officers on Council), and the second from Amar on the implementation of the Students’ Union’s new Strategic Plan. These are both well-received by Committee members. Susan Price (Council member and SEC chair) does well to hold us to our 4.00pm end time, because for a few of us it is straight into . . .
Governance, Nominations and Ethics Committee
Okay, not so self-explanatory this time! GNEC advises Council on issues relating to the membership and function of Council and the standing committees, and on the operation and effectiveness of governance arrangements. It is also responsible on behalf of Council for the University’s ethical framework – and is more interesting than it sounds! Again this meeting begins with an update on the situation since Monday night, this time from the VC. Helen echoes Sam’s earlier words and in particular praises the response of the University’s staff and students to the difficult situation. Following on from the recently announced resignation of Baroness Hughes as Chair of Council, much of GNEC’s time is spent discussing the arrangements for the appointment of her successor, but there is also time for other business including a look at the draft University Ethics Framework. A special word must go to our Council member Joyce Redfearn, who like me has been involved in all three meetings, but has also had to deal with jet-lag as she has only recently returned from Japan!
GNEC having finished, I make my way back up to Maxwell. It’s still hot outside, but at least my office is cooler than the Board Room. My train isn’t for another half hour, so I start writing this…
This is my day
A Day in the Life – Ahmed Rafiq
7:30 AM – The alarm rings and immediately goes off. At this point I either jump out of bed or go back to sleep. For the latter, my alarm will go off a few more times before I even think about getting up.
8:00 AM – Like most people, I am a creature of habit. My morning routine follows the same pattern of showing, shaving and brushing my teeth. I’m not going to lie; I am not a morning person, so I use extra hot water to make sure I’m up and don’t go back to my bed. Unusually when I’m brushing my teeth I like to check my emails and all my social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat).
8:30 AM – I don’t have long hair so just run a towel through it, and throw on some clothes (being either white, grey, black or blue -so I don’t have to worry about what to wear). All my jeans and shoes are dark (same with my jackets and jumpers) so I can literally just throw anything on and never have to ask the question “does this match?”
9:00 AM – A walk and a coffee. As I don’t live far away from either work or University, I don’t have to worry about travelling too far in order to get to where I need to be during the week. A 10-minute walk from my house to the edge of campus isn’t bad if you ask me. Once I arrive on campus, I like to pop into the Students’ Union and get myself a large coffee just to make sure I’m awake (I did say I’m not a morning person, didn’t I?)
10:00 AM – Lectures and learning. For the rest of the way, I’ll be running from building to building in order to get to my lectures. Luckily, there aren’t too many lectures or seminars in any single day, so it’s usually not too bad. The only downside is the Manchester weather, meaning sometimes I get wet, but luckily for me it's summer so just a little bit of heat instead of water and wind.
6:30 PM – Usually after my day I go straight to the library, get my head down and start any homework or assignments I have to do. Either that or just chill and sit around for a bit, but afterwards I’d get home and get dressed and head back to the University to join the run club for some of our weekly runs to MediaCityUK and back.
9:00 PM – Shower and brush teeth. After the run club I’d shower and brush my teeth to make sure I’m feeling fresh.
10:30 PM – I’d respond to any important emails and check my social media again, pack my bag for the morning ahead and go straight to bed.
This is my day
This is my day
I’m a Chartered Psychologist and work in Manchester City Centre as Research Director at Breaking Free Group, a digital health company that develops online behavioural change programmes and apps (one of which you can see in the background of this pic).
But before I can even think about work when I get into the office, food is required…
Marmite and marmalade on toast… yeah, I know it’s a bit weird, but it tastes nice!
After checking emails it’s time to catch up with our Research Associate Steph Dugdale, who is currently undertaking her Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology at Staffordshire University….
I’m Steph’s workplace supervisor, so I’m responsible for making sure she’s supported whilst she’s conducting her Doctoral research. Recently she’s been conducting interviews with service users in prisons about the upcoming prison smoking ban. We’ve just finished developing a digital smoking cessation programme to support people to quit smoking whilst they’re in prison, so Steph’s research has been instrumental in the development of this new programme.
After lunch, myself, Steph, our Managing Director Dr Jonathan Ward, and our Channel Marketing Manager Emma Hilton, have a meeting to discuss the clinical content and design of another of our new digital programmes. Developing new programmes is definitely a team effort, drawing on Jon’s clinical psychology expertise, Steph’s health psychology expertise, and Emma’s design skills to ensure our programmes look and feel like something users will actually want to engage with.
Apart from the development of new programmes, my time is currently taken up with submitting ethics applications for research that we’ll be conducting over the next couple of years. We have multiple applications on the go at the minute, and it’s time consuming work, but vital for ensuring we have the approvals in place to demonstrate our research is beneficial to the service of users engaging with our programmes.
Without ethical approvals we wouldn’t be able to publish the outcomes from the analyses we conduct on our data to demonstrate the effectiveness of our digital behavioural change programmes. We publish papers reporting our outcomes in academic journals, and currently have multiple papers that are at various stages of publication at the minute.
In fact, we got an email this afternoon from one of the journals we have recently published in to let us know that one of our papers has won an award as an ‘Outstanding Paper’ in the 2017 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence! ¿
Finally, it’s the end of the working day and I’m off to get all Zen at the Life Centre North on Deansgate. I’ve been going to yoga classes at the Life Centre since the middle of last year, and in recent months have gotten really into hot yoga. It’s hard work but you feel amazing afterwards, and it’s a great way to relax and wind down after a busy day ¿.