Spotlight on Jim Collins
20 August 2014
This week the spotlight is on Jim Collins, Corporate Partnerships Manager within the Faculties of Arts and Humanities, Laws, and Social and Historical Studies (SLASH).
What is your role and what does it involve?
I joined UCL recently as a corporate partnerships manager and I work with faculties within SLASH – I’m very proud to champion the arts, humanities and social sciences to companies.
My role is to identify opportunities while supporting academics to engage with companies, in turn developing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. Equally, I identify, approach and guide companies through the process of establishing relationships with UCL. Companies may have multiple queries and questions before establishing a relationship with us – I help them to navigate the organisation by acting as a single point of contact.
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
I joined UCL a few months ago. In many respects, I am still getting to know the organisation. Previously, I worked for UCL’s close neighbour, the Institute of Education (IOE). I was the Publishing Director of IOE Press, which I set up and launched in 2010.
Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?
I’m in a very fortunate position in that I get to have fascinating conversations all day long. I learn something new every day as academics share their research interests and findings with me. Subsequently, I spend time establishing relationships with companies and introducing them to research that is taking place within SLASH.
Building strong and durable relationships with companies can take a long time. For partnerships to work and to be effective, there needs to be a strong degree of trust between academics and companies. I’m working on building trust and finding opportunities to work together.
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
I worked as a publisher and a commissioning editor for many years, and I’m proud of the books that I have commissioned and published. I have been very fortunate to work with both clever and creative authors in the social sciences, particularly in educational research.
What is your favourite album, film and novel?
It is very difficult to choose all-time favourites but here are some things I am enjoying at the moment:
Album: Atlas by Real Estate
Book: The Heather Blazing by Colm Toibin
Film: I never tire of Le Mari de la coiffeuse, directed by Leconte.
What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?
A group of fonts walk into a bar.
“Get out of my pub!”, shouts the barman. “We don’t serve your type in here”.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Worry less and take up running – you will actually enjoy it.
What is your favourite place?
Currently, my garden. However, I’m from Ireland and while there are many beautiful places there that have great meaning for me, I am always drawn back to the Nire Valley in the Comeragh Mountains, which is close to where I am from.