Jackie tells us about her role as a Personal Assistant and her passion for hillwalking. 

Tell us about your role at the University.

I am currently the Personal Assistant to the Acting Director of External Relations and Marketing which, following a recent restructure, includes Communications; Public Affairs & Stakeholder Engagement; Marketing and Brand Development; International and UK Student Recruitment, Engagement and Conversion.  As one of only a handful of administrators across a huge directorate, my role involves everything from diary management, travel arrangements, financial and administrative support, staff recruitment, IT and office moves.  Having been based within the University Office for nearly 25 years, previously with the Estates Section and the Secretary’s Office, I’ve built up a wealth of knowledge and relationships with colleagues across the University which makes me the go to person for anything and everything!

How do you usually start your day?

Currently my morning starts with getting my daughter set for the day with breakfast and whatever school work has been uploaded and seeing to my two cats before hitting the laptop. 

What brought you to the University of Aberdeen?

I’d previously worked in a clerical role in Inverurie but always wanted to be a ‘secretary’.  My first position within the Estates Section saw me join a small secretariat.  Who knew I’d still be in the same building 25 years later!

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

The variety!  No day is the same.

What are your work priorities at the moment?

Managing the Director’s calendar and interests is always a priority.  Finance is always a constant, especially as we head into year-end, as I look after the majority of transactions for Marketing and Brand, Festivals and Events and also reconcile our digital marketing billing.  With the Directorate having rapidly expanded in numbers, there are a number of administrative tasks that need to be consolidated.

How do you like to relax outside work?

I like to run and try to get out 2-3 times a week.  When on campus, we are lucky to have the beach and Seaton Park on our doorstep.  Makes for some lovely runs at a lunchtime when time allows.  I ran my first (and last!) half marathon last year.  With the lockdown I’m still fitting in the odd run here and there but I’ve been cycling a lot more.  Certainly has allowed me to see more of my own local area and find new routes/paths to enjoy.

I also enjoy hillwalking (which I can’t wait to get back in to once we’re allowed!) – last year I bagged my first 6 Munros and walked the Lairig Ghru (twice).  Other interests include card making; crochet; upcycling; reading; photography; gardening; and generally spending time with my daughter.