UCL Career Frameworks


HR and Facilities Manager

Michelle Mhlanga, Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP)

Michelle Mhlanga
I am the HR and Facilities Manager in Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP). My role is varied and no one day is the same. I lead on the day to day management of HR operations, advising on complex HR matters and ensuring the training and development is organised in the department. I’m also involved in developing and implementing operational procedures at a strategic level, with a focus on employee engagement and equality, diversity and inclusion. I joined UCL three years ago as a Senior Employment Contracts Administrator in central HR. I gained experience in how HR operates in a world class university and this cemented my passion for HR.

I realised in order to achieve my passion and progress within the profession, I needed to be fully qualified and a member of Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) so I studied part time whilst working full time. I also grabbed the opportunity to join STEaPP in 2017 as an HR and Facilities Officer as I knew I could translate what I was learning into the workplace. Studying and working full time was challenging, but with the support from my department, I’m now CIPD Level 7 qualified. During this time, I looked for opportunities to improve our employee engagement, particularly as we are a rapidly growing department. What was important to me was ensuring employee engagement started from the interview process because I aimed to make people feel like they were a part of the STEaPP’s future. I love gathering and analysing survey data and identifying ways to better engage staff. I really enjoy the employee engagement aspect of my role. it’s so important and its possible to really see the difference my contribution has made. I envisage myself continuously progressing, using the HR career pathways as a guide with the aim to be a HR Director in the future. I am extremely lucky to have mentor and sponsor at UCL who pushed me to lead and be part of UCL wide projects that stretched and developed me.

For anyone who wants to pursue a career in HR, it’s interesting and rewarding to see how you’ve helped someone and played the role of an agent for change. My advice would be to always find opportunities for development in your skills, whether it’s getting involved in projects or secondment opportunities. Network with colleagues from other faculties and central HR to share good practice. Also, don’t be afraid to fail, that’s when you learn the most!