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“Seeing the student journey is the most fulfilling aspect of my job”

20 Aug 2018

International Programmes Officer Sarah Stevenson tells us why she’s Proud to be PSS

Sarah Stevenson

As part of a campaign to raise awareness of the different types of work our Professional Support Services (PSS) staff do and the valuable contribution they make to the University, we’ll be bringing you a series of staff profiles from across the PSS. This week we spoke to Sarah Stevenson, International Programmes Officer at the Directorate of Student Experience.

Tell me about your role

I’m an International Programmes Officer for the University in the International Programmes Office for outbound students.  The International Programmes Office facilitates student exchanges or placements abroad as part of their degree. In addition to students who study abroad as part of their degree, we’ve recently started doing a lot more short term study programmes which run over the summer. This enables students who aren’t able to study abroad, due to academic or financial restrictions, to benefit from an international experience.  

What do you like about your job?

For me seeing the student journey is the most fulfilling aspect of my job. We first see the students when they’re still doing their A-Levels on University Open Days, then they come to our Go Abroad Fair as first year students and you see their eyes light up as they talk to our return students.  The students then come back from their time abroad in their final year and in most cases the impact of their time abroad is immediately noticeable; they are more confident both personally and academically and practically beam when they are talking about their time abroad.

It’s also nice to work in a sector where students and people are at the heart of everything we do. Our focus is all about making sure that students have the best possible experience and that is very motivating for me.   

What do you like about working at the University?

I think my favourite thing about working at the University is the people. The job I do requires me to work with and get to know colleagues across the University from house staff who support our events to administrators and academics in the schools. It’s really enjoyable getting to know people from all around the University and have the opportunity to develop those relationships.

I also like that the University offers an interesting work environment with lots of cultural activities  - being able to go to a free concert in your lunchtime on a Thursday or being able to take a walk round the Museum  on your lunch break gives you a chance to unwind when you need to.