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Deirdre Sparrowhawk

Administrative assistant to Senior Manager

I have been at Bournemouth University for 17 years. Initially I was working part time and on a term time contract to fit in with my child care responsibilities; 2 children of early school age.  The faculty supported this for some years. This was necessary for me as my partner had his own company and was working very long hours. The contract allowed me to be available for my children to drop them off and pick them up after School. I initially worked as a G2 administration assistant on a job share basis. I was promoted during my time on this term time contract to a G4 Research Administrator, within the same department. My line Manager was female.

In 2003 I changed my contract, and was promoted to a more senior grade 5 post which involved Line Management of a small team.  It required a change of contract from term time to a part time contract of 0.8 FTE, but this also suited my work life balance at the time and still helped me to continue to support my family life.

During my time in this role I also applied, and was successful in obtaining full funding to undertake a Masters qualification at Bournemouth University. I was given a couple of hours off each week to attend classroom based sessions that started a bit earlier than the end of the day. Working for 4 days also allowed me to have dedicated time for assignments and to read around my subject area. My Line Management also changed during this time and my study and contract were supported by the new Manager (Male).

Because of my masters qualification I was able to apply for a more senior role, at G8, within the School and was successful in obtaining the role in 2008. My Line Manager was the same person and he continued to support my development by including me in relevant meetings and also by mentoring me in aspects of his role. This role was full time, but again my circumstances had changed so that I was quite happy to now work full time.

In 2015 when my Line Manager was seconded into a new role within the University, I was successful, at interview, in replacing him on a matching secondment basis. 

I feel I have been supported by the faculty throughout my career progression, including funding of my masters qualifications and I believe that has added value for me personally, but also to the faculty.