David Stoll, Lead International Officer (Central Asia, Europe, MENA), tells us about his love of reading, games and his jet-setting role to recruit students.   

Tell us about your role at the University

I am responsible for recruiting students to all levels of study from Central Asia, Europe (which includes international students already in the UK), the Middle East, and North Africa. This involves planning recruitment trips; travelling to priority countries in each region to attend education fairs and meeting with prospective students and educational agents; dealing with email and phone enquiries; liaising with Embassies and sponsorship bodies; and meeting visitors on campus. At various times of the year I also help with Open Days, Clearing, and offer making. The role requires a degree of flexibility as priorities change throughout the year.

How do you usually start your day?

When I am in Aberdeen, I normally walk to work and start by picking up a coffee from Kilau on my way to the office. I then check my emails and calendar. When on the road, it can vary a lot from getting ready for a meeting, setting up a stand at an education fair, or packing and heading to the airport for the next flight.

What brought you to the University of Aberdeen?

This academic year marks the start of my 15th year in Aberdeen. I first came to Aberdeen in 2002 to study History and Politics. I have since become fully institutionalised by adding a MLitt in Strategic Studies and trying my hand at doing a PhD in International Relations. The PhD did not work out, but my experience as a student ambassador allowed me to join the Student Recruitment and Admissions Team.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

My favourite thing is travelling and meeting new people from all over the world. It is fascinating to find out more about their culture and what they want to study and why and what drives them. The job has allowed me to visit some places I would probably never have visited otherwise such as Saudi Arabia, Kurdistan, or the Faroe Islands.

What are your work priorities at the moment?
At the moment I am focused on planning my recruitment trips for spring 2017 to help increase the number of international students for entry in September 2017. I will visit Kazakhstan, London, Egypt, Kuwait, Azerbaijan, and Saudi Arabia between now and the end of April.
How do you like to relax outside work?

I am an avid reader who also loves computer games, board games, and roleplaying games. I am a massive geek so I lean towards sci-fi and fantasy books and games, but also enjoy Stuart MacBride’s Aberdeen-based crime novels. I love socialising with friends and often have people over for board games or the odd raclette. I am also in the process of learning Arabic.