My Melbourne with Emma J Leaver

February 12 / 79

What is your unit?

Advancement Unit, Melbourne School of Engineering

What is your job title?

Advancement Officer

How long have you been with the University of Melbourne?

I started as an undergraduate student in 2001 and have been a staff member or student (or both) ever since. I was also a Residential Tutor at St Mary’s College for two years.

How did you come to work at the University?

My first job was working in administration for the University at the Mercy Hospital for Women (when it was in East Melbourne) as a summer casual. I then went to student-facing work with MDHS before trying something new and moving to alumni work in Engineering.

Describe your typical day

Deciding menus for an event, writing thank-you cards, meeting students and alumni, answering emails, developing social media communications, coordinating meetings with boards and working groups, printing nametags and writing articles.

What is it about your job that holds your interest or is particularly satisfying?

After working with students for many years, I’m enjoying working with people who have a different connection to the University. My team is very supportive and I enjoy that I have been able to develop relationships with people across the school and University-wide. Advancement is a growing industry and it’s exciting to have so many possibilities for professional development.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

When I started working at St Mary’s College, the then-Vice-Principal suggested sometimes this is most important: “Don’t worry about making the right decision. Just make a decision and make it right.” It’s something I go back to whenever I’m being particularly indecisive or overly cautious.

What is something about yourself that most of your colleagues wouldn't know?

Most know that I am into theatre (especially musicals) but maybe not that I am producing and directing a show for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this year! After winning ‘Best Musical’ at last year’s MUDFest (Melbourne University Arts Festival), we are staging “The Musical of Musicals: The Musical” at the open stage (here on campus) for one week only!

Where do you buy your coffee on campus?

Kere Kere knows my order... but it’s also hard to resist the hedgehogs at Plush Fish, the iced chocolates at Animal Orchestra or the vanilla cupcakes at Seven Seeds...

What do you like most about the University?

That it feels like home! I’m lucky in that when I walk around campus I’m fairly certain I’ll bump into someone I know.

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