BLOG: Staff Excellence Awards: “A real highlight of my time at Queen’s”
“To realise you are thought well of by your colleagues, past and present, is such a confidence booster.”
A blog by Maria Carrick, PA to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Queen's University Belfast.
On a Friday afternoon, 16 December 2022, while out grocery shopping, an email appeared on my phone to inform me I had been nominated for a Staff Excellence Award in the “Outstanding Contribution” category for my sustained contribution to the University.
Truthfully, I thought it was a scam email. But after checking the source and some frantic texting to my managers, I realised such was true, and indeed I had been nominated by a colleague whom I have known from when I started Queen’s in June 1997. Both of us have seen so many changes University-wide and within the Faculty we both still belong to, the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
I have been very fortunate to remain in the same role my entire career at Queen’s, made easy by the privilege of being surrounded by colleagues who are passionate about what they do for Queen’s but also good friends.
Just to be nominated for a Staff Excellence Award was an award for me. To be thought of by a colleague, who then drafted a nomination form and obtained testimonials from past and current managers, is a very touching experience.
I really had no aspirations to be shortlisted! However, again on Friday 13 January, I received an email to say I had been shortlisted and invited to the Awards ceremony on Friday 17 February 2023.
As my current managers were already on the guest list, I invited my nominator, Deirdre. We had such a lovely afternoon, smiling and laughing throughout the event, not believing for one moment that I might win. My category was the last of the event , and when they announced my name, it was just so surreal! To win, when surrounded by, in my opinion, much more worthy nominees, is a real highlight of my time at Queen’s.
I only had sight of my application form after I had been shortlisted. To realise you are thought well of by your colleagues, past and present, is such a confidence booster. I’ve always believed in valuing those you work with and for schemes such as the Staff Excellence Awards are great opportunities to do this.
For most of us, it’s the thought alone that is the most valuable and means so much!
I hope that my remaining years at Queen’s are as rewarding as my first 26 years!