Meet the PDO Staff: Becca Jones

Stipend Ambassador, Karys Spicer, interviewed Outreach Programmes Co-ordinator, Becca Jones, about her work in the Partnership Development Office, and what she gets up to every day

What got you into PDO work?

Before I started working at the University I worked in support roles in further education, so I had first-hand experience working with students. I was very interested in working in a higher education setting and being able to help students discover all the options that are available to them.

What is your role in PDO?

I am the Outreach Programmes Co-ordinator in the Admin Team within the Partnership Development Office. I co-ordinate the admin for accredited programmes, such as the Access to HE Diploma and the Partner Schools’ Teaching Experience Scheme. I have also worked on a number of large events, such as the Year 12 Summer School and the Da Vinci Days. I am also the Designated Member of Staff for Care Leavers Pre-registration and I offer advice and support to prospective students.

What is your favourite event?

My favourite event that I have worked on is the Da Vinci Days. This event is for Year 7s and it gives them an insight into STEM subjects. We ask them to make a bridge out of everyday materials, such as paper straws, string, and tape, ending in a strongest bridge competition. I would recommend this event to any ambassador; it is a lot fun and it’s a good opportunity to work with younger students and to see their first experience of university.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently supporting our Access to HE Diploma course. This involves answering students’ enquiries, registering students and ensuring that students have everything they need to succeed on the course.

What do you enjoy most about working with Ambassadors?

The thing I most enjoy about working with ambassadors is hearing about their experiences of university and how they use this experience to help and support younger students. It is also wonderful to watch their skills grow throughout their time on the ambassador scheme.

What do you get out of working for Outreach?

I love seeing the students we work with become more confident and be able to make informed decisions about their futures. Another great thing is having the opportunity to work in such welcoming and diverse team.

A day in the life of Becca

I am currently working from home so I start my day off checking students’ enquiries in the adult learning team mailbox. I will then plan my day around meetings with other members of staff in the PDO and what admin tasks I need to get done.

What job did you get up to today?

As I am responsible for the co-ordination of the Access to HE Diploma, a lot of my day is ensuring that the course runs smoothly. This may include emailing students information, updating student records and liaising with the Access tutors.

What planning might you have to do?  

I am currently planning outreach events for care leavers, which involves developing activities for students and collaborating with support staff at the university.

When will Ambassadors see you?

Ambassadors are most likely to see me during Office Hours, but as we are not currently in the office, I would contact ambassadors via Ambassadors will also be able to meet me at the ambassador cafes.

Are you a stipend ambassador mentor?

I am a mentor to three student ambassadors, we have regular meetings to discuss the opportunities available to them and how they are getting on with the scheme. It is extremely rewarding to support ambassadors gain new skills and experience and to see their confidence grow.

How often do you go to work remotely with ambassadors?

I currently don’t work with ambassadors remotely, but I am looking forward to getting back to office and working on face-to-face events when it is possible again.