AUA mini regional conference

As an AUA Advocate, three staff members and I, (Emma Holdham – AUA Advocate, Bev Newton and Christina Farrall) made our way by train to Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) for the mini-regional conference in January. Joined by another two members of the University, the day started off with a welcome lecture by Meriel Box (Head of Leadership & Development Foundation and Assistant Director Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, North West).

A range of workshops, plenaries and networking opportunities were provided. I attended a variety of workshops, starting with a talk from Jess NapthineHodgkinson (Research Support Officer, University of Manchester) on how to enhance your public speaking, which involved staring into the eyes of the person sitting next to you and memorising all of their facial features for 30 seconds – quite awkward at times but some very useful tips. One workshop, facilitated by two ladies from Glyndwr University, talked us through their process when central student facing services were merged into one building. Adopting ‘Lean’ principles has helped them to progress to a position of easier access for students and staff and better sign-posting all round. The final workshop of the day was given by Martha Horler (Client and Programme Manager, Manchester Metropolitan University) which explained how someone should/can use resources to expand their reputation. We “googled” each other as one of the activities to see how much could be found. I was quite impressed by how little social profile I had. The day ended with a fabulous talk from Gary Graham who is the Deputy Chief Executive of LJMU and has 8 years’ experience as a CEO of the NHS.

Sarah Thirlwall, Placements Manager and AUA Advocate