A few weeks ago, I was very kindly asked whether I would like to write a blog post to introduce myself and reflect upon my first couple of months in the faculty. Rather naively I jumped at the chance. And now as I sit down to write it, I’m not 100% sure what I’ve let myself in for. Anyway, deep breath, here I go……
My name is Holly Stainburn, and I’ve recently started within the Faculty in a new role as Faculty Strategic Business Partner (FSBP). I’ve been at Hallam since 2014, holding a number of student services roles within D&S and more recently as the Deputy Project Director on the Professional Services Operating Model project. The FSBP role is very much about being an active member of the Faculty community with a particular focus on ensuring the effective contribution of professional services in delivering the strategy. Understanding the Faculty business, its community, the makeup of its courses, academic colleagues, research portfolio, and student base, will be paramount to making the role a success. Having previously worked at Tesco on the Graduate Scheme, and then within the Productivity Department, I intend to draw on my commercial experience and also my passion for improving services for customers through: innovation, technology, process design and simplification.
I will be managing a number of teams within the Faculty, including the Faculty Operations team, Professional Issues team and the Planning and Initiatives team. Initially a big area of focus will be on supporting the implementation of these teams and the wider PS changes. Some are completely new teams, and others have a different focus. I have spoken to a number of colleagues and had various discussions about the PSOM already and it would be good to continue these going forward. As we move into September, and look ahead to the changes being introduced in January 2019, I’d really welcome any thoughts on how we can make this a success within HWB, and particularly when considering staff and student engagement and awareness.
I’ve now been in the Faculty for a couple of months, and I can genuinely say it’s been a pleasure. I have met so many colleagues who are passionate and dedicated to making the student experience the best that it can be. This can be seen in some of the key metrics, the huge number of inspirational teachers and student support awards, the heart-warming NSS comments, but also in all those small things, even down to considering ‘how we have made a difference to the student experience’ at the end of a meeting. And although there are clearly areas where we could do things better; from taking more opportunities, planning for the longer term, working more collaboratively, thinking more innovatively, and continuing to enhance our student, staff and partner experiences, there’s so much success to build on, that the Faculty can only go from strength to strength.
Before I came to HWB, a number of colleagues had been so positive about the Faculty. And I can hand on heart say it’s lived up to all the hype. My personal highlights include; attending Davina Porock’s Professorial lecture, touring some of the specialist facilities with the technical services teams, and attending the FLT away day which involved a lot of glitter, PVA glue, pipe cleaners and other crafty items as we tried to design our vision for the Faculty. I’ve also just about got used to seeing students and mannequins being scattered across RWB in all sorts of strange poses and situations.
I am both excited and proud that I get to work with the Faculty, and be an ambassador for all the work that is being done. I look forward to meeting more colleagues over the coming months and if you ever need to speak to me please just drop me an email or pop up to my office in RWB F605, I’m always more than happy to hear from you.