Deborah has worked in Queen’s University Belfast since 2004 in the HR Directorate. Originally employed as the department Receptionist, she has had the opportunity to progress to higher clerical grades within the Directorate. As a working parent she has worked both part-time and full-time hours, giving her a better work/life balance. In her current role Deborah is part of the Reward and Employee Relations Team and is the Staff Wellbeing Co-ordinator, which includes organising initiatives in the University to support the social, emotional and physical wellbeing of staff.
What attracted you to work at Queen’s?
Queen’s is such a prestigious University and, as I did not attend as a student, I was delighted to have the opportunity to work here. I have always been very proud to say that I am a Queen’s employee.
What do you enjoy most about working at Queen’s?
The initiatives that staff can get involved in. I am currently involved in the Green Impact Initiative which helps departments look at ways in which they can make workplaces greener. I also organise the Staff Wellbeing Initiatives, helping to improve the wellbeing of staff in the University, promoting existing services and introducing new benefits and services to all staff.
What type of training have you received since joining Queen’s?
We are encouraged to attend training courses run by the University and I have attended many. These have included courses that have enabled me to improve my skills in Word, Outlook and Excel, Front-of-office skills, Use of Fire Extinguishers and Fire Warden training. I also attend emergency aid courses every three years run by St. John’s Ambulance.
What advice do you have for potential employees joining Queen’s?
Go for it! The University is a great place to work, providing plenty of opportunities as well as great staff, students and surroundings.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I spend time with my 12 year old son – his hobbies and interests keep me very busy. I love spending time with all of my friends and family and enjoy eating out, running reading and visiting new places.
What gadget can't you live without?
Probably my mobile phone, my SMART TV or my iPad. Anything that has google; I google everything!
How did you get into your chosen career?
By accident really. I wanted to be a teacher when I was younger, but I left school at 17 and got a job as a Purchase Ledger Clerk in an accounts office, I then worked in banking and went back to study part-time in the evening. I then applied to Queen’s and the rest is history.
What is the best advice you've ever received?
You’re never too old to learn new things!
If I wasn’t in my current role I would be...
If I had the confidence, I would love to work in TV or Radio! Or I could be a lottery winner, travelling the world (I can dream).