Jill Murray tells us about her busy role organising University festivals and events, her love of tea, and having fun with her family outside the office.
- Tell us about your role at the University.
In my role as an Events & Engagement Executive, I plan, project-manage, deliver and evaluate corporate University events. My main responsibilities include event planning, audience targeting and development, managing event budgets and leading on all aspects of sponsorship and fundraising for the University’s events programme.
I’m also the Festival Manager for the University’s annual May Festival which is one of the region’s ten major Festivals. I project-manage all aspects of the Festival including programming, marketing and advertising, operations, budget monitoring and business development.
- How do you usually start your day?
I start the day the day with a cup of tea. We in events drink lots of tea! I then have a look through any outstanding emails and action what I can. I have regular morning catch ups with my colleague Lottie Rodger and we go through our ‘to do’ list and write all the events and actions on to our big white board in the office. This helps us prioritise, as we’re always working on multiple projects.
- What brought you to the University of Aberdeen?
I started as an Events Assistant in 2003 after I graduated from Robert Gordon University with a BA in Corporate Communication. I have developed in the role and now I am the senior lead of the events team. I have a passion for event management and really enjoy my job.
- What’s your favourite thing about your job?
I love the broad spectrum of events that we organise. The diversity of our events portfolio is considerable, including one-off public lectures, festivals, VIP visits, official openings, conferences, dinners and ceremonial services. I enjoy working with various groups of people and departments who are key in helping us deliver high profile events including the May Festival. It’s very much a team effort and it’s great to work together and celebrate success with each other. I could not do my job if it wasn’t for the teams we rely on to deliver key aspects of the events (especially the Sacrist and security… thank you Graeme and Keith)!
- What are your work priorities at the moment?
We are very busy in the Festivals and Events team, we were involved with the Principal’s garden parties which were held recently, they were lovely events to organise. We are also working on two events commemorating the Great War, Paul Mealor is composing a Requiem which will be held in St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh and will be performed by RSNO and the National Youth Choir of Scotland. We are very much looking forward to this event as it’s not often we get to organise events outwith Aberdeen. We are also working with Professor Steve Heys on his Great War event which features music and poetry.
In addition, we’re working with the Public Engagement with Research Unit on European Researcher’s Night (Explorathon) which is coming at the end of September. Other events include the Wellbeing of Women lunch, Interfaith and Remembrance Services, the Andrew Carnegie Lecture and that’s not event into December yet!
- How do you like to relax outside work?
My daughter is just about to turn 2 so weekends are busy and all about spending time as a family. We love going on walks to Haddo House, visiting family and friends and just having fun together.