Supporting a thriving postgraduate community
Joanne works in the Graduate School, where she helps postgraduate students engage with the support services available to them and encourages participation in training, enterprise and volunteering opportunities. She co-ordinates the information team at the Graduate School's reception desk.
How do you help students?
I help communicate student needs and connect them with opportunities that they may not have been aware of, organising postgraduate taught training programmes and events. I service the Postgraduate Forum and help co-ordinate the Postgraduate Experience Surveys, which gives students the opportunity to tell us about any issues or suggestions they may have. My team and I organise Postgraduate Welcome Week, Postgraduate Week, and other dedicated events where students have the opportunity to network and build the friendships that last throughout their entire time here.
What are the most common questions from new students?
Our international students often have questions about Belfast itself, and students often ask about available funding and training opportunities. We keep them in the loop with all these matters, as well as promoting events and interesting things to do around Belfast and Northern Ireland through social media and our weekly Graduate School e-zine
What do you enjoy most about helping/meeting new students?
I am fortunate that I am in a position to receive direct feedback from students, whether it’s through the Postgraduate Forum, face-to-face or through the postgraduate experience surveys and that I can help make changes across areas that really matter to students.
What has been your most enjoyable/memorable/surprising experience in your role?
The most enjoyable part of my role is definitely getting out from behind the desk and seeing great initiatives in action, whether it’s being a panellist on QUB Dragons Den to meeting and greeting students during Postgraduate Welcome Week. I find that sometimes the most interesting events and initiatives across Queen’s are those led by the students themselves.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love travelling and seeing my family and friends. I enjoy going to the gym and am really interested in practicing all types of personal well-being, including yoga, meditation, treks up the Mournes, sharing healthy meal ideas with family and friends and really trying to live a well-balanced lifestyle. During my student years, it wasn’t really a priority of mine; however, I feel that it is so important to take care of your health and support those around you to do the same. I feel that the sooner you create good habits, the sooner you reap the rewards that will stand by you for life.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without?
My Nutri Bullet and Nutri Ninja – I love making green smoothies and they are great for breakfast on my daily commute. They are both great for using in general cooking and making healthy treats like energy bars.
What are you currently reading?
Learn Spanish in 7 Days. I loved learning the Spanish language in school and aim to pick up where I left off. I’ve signed up for the Spanish language course through Queen’s Language Centre and hope to be fully proficient in the next year or two!
What is your favourite app?
I have two: Spotify and Pinterest. I’m always taking inspiration from others and Pinterest is amazing for helping to organise every aspect of my life. I would also be lost without Spotify for music as I commute to work on the bus and go to the gym.