Hazel Jessop, Schools and Colleges Liaison Manager has recently been elected as a non-academic staff representative for College Council. We recently caught up with Hazel to understand more about College Council and her experience as a non-academic staff member so far, and more about her role within our Schools team.
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role as Schools and Colleges Liaison Manager?
I am British Australian and I have lived in the UK for most of my life – just! I have also lived in Australia, Thailand, Hong Kong and South Africa, always working in roles that relate to people, their education and their careers.
My current role is challenging and rewarding as I manage a team of amazing people who work with prospective students to support them on their journey to higher education. We invite them to attend workshops on campus and also visit their schools to present on a range of topics from how to write a personal statement to student finance. In addition we promote activities that academic departments have organised and run the UCAS Fairs.
2. You’ve recently been elected as a non-academic staff member on College Council. Can you tell us a bit about your role and what College Council is?
Council is a blend of 25 people who hail from different business sectors, academic disciplines and professional environments. I see Council’s role as staying abreast of current trends in HE as well as Royal Holloway’s place in the sector; we support the Senior Management team to determine how as a College we can strive to be the very best we can be for our students and staff. Council considers short and long term goals, our financial position and debates the effects that proposed changes to policy may have on the College. My role on Council is to question when necessary, inform when relevant and contribute when inspired.
3. Why is it important that we have a College Council?
College Council is the governing body of Royal Holloway responsible for overall strategy and policy making. In a nutshell I feel that Council is important because we approve any major decisions reached by Senior Management and assist in developing College strategy. Council’s job is to consider that one detail that may have been overlooked and to raise questions to justify a change in strategy or policy.
4. What has your experience of working as a member of College Council been like so far?
I am loving it! I am so very proud to have been elected to Council and I am in awe of the breadth of talent and experience held by the existing Council members. Each member brings their unique perception, understanding and inspiration to the Council meetings. Council are genuinely committed to supporting Royal Holloway through what will potentially be a demanding few years. I strongly feel that with Council behind us Royal Holloway is here for the very long term.
5. What do you enjoy most about your role within our Schools team?
I have a strong belief that every person, regardless of socio economic background, race, ethnicity or disability has the right to enter higher education. What I enjoy most is that lightbulb moment when a potential student realises that HE is available to him/her and that they have as much right to a Royal Holloway education as the next person.
6. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I have two sons aged 15 and 18. Spending time with them and watching them grow into awesome individuals seriously blows my mind. I have just started horse riding again having stopped three years ago after a bad fall. On top of that I do rather enjoy a nice glass of wine accompanied by good food and company!
7. What is your favourite term at Royal Holloway and why?
All of them! Working on campus and being based in Founder's inspires me every day. There is something wonderful about Founder's in that it looks stunning regardless of the weather.
8. You may have seen our latest recruitment campaign, ‘Find your why’. We are interested to find out what Royal Holloway has helped you to discover about yourself…
After travelling around the world for so many years, working at Royal Holloway has helped me to stabilise and find a new sense of purpose. My why is to share the Royal Holloway experience with as many people as possible!