UCL Career Frameworks


HR Staffing and Executive Assistant’s Manager

Liz Mooney, Information Services Division (ISD)

Liz Mooney
I am the HR Staffing and Executive Assistant’s Manager in Information Services Division (ISD). I lead two distinct teams: one providing executive support to the ISD Leadership Team and the other managing local HR matters such as recruitment and general  HR administration for 450+ staff. I’m currently on secondment until the end of 2020 and took on the opportunity to challenge myself to develop a more focused range of skills and experiences within a different environment. So far, with the current situation that will define 2020 for many years to come, I have got more than I bargained for!

My early career at UCL saw me working as a PA and Project Manager to the Director of Finance and Business Affairs (FBA). As well as supporting the Director as her PA, I was soon put to work as the Communications Manager on the P2P project (which launched MyFinance). After that I was asked to become the Chair of the Desktop@UCL User Group, enabling the launch of Desktop across Professional Services. A few years later I became involved in the original Agile working project as the BA representative, and in 2019 was asked to Co-Chair the Agile Project Board.

To  be honest, I didn’t set out to have a career at UCL. I joined in 2008 and the plan was to stay for a few years until my boss retired (the then Director of FBA) but, as with most people, I found that I really enjoyed working at UCL and I’m still here almost twelve years later! While I didn’t have a particular career path in mind at the beginning I did know what was important to me, and that was working in a collegiate way with others, sharing my knowledge, having the opportunity to advance my skills and learn new ones, and feeling like I was part of an organisation that made a difference.

The progression to FBA’s Divisional Manager in 2011, enabled me to take on new roles and responsibilities, and pushed me more in the direction of operations management.  I gained a seat on the senior team,  plus a team of five staff (4 FTE) to manage and developed my skills in leadership and management. I further enhanced my existing transferable skills in communications, web design and editing, safety management, finance etc. I was very fortunate to have an amazing manager who supported me in whatever venture I came to him with, trusted my judgement, listened and took on board my opinions, and allowed me to accept various invites to become involved in PS and UCL projects and initiatives. 

My current secondment takes me away from operations management back into the PA/EA world, where I now manage a small team of Executive Assistants. My progression, while not linear, has allowed me to enjoy diverse experiences and switch between pathways. I am still figuring out what I’d  like to do next, I’ve never felt that I’ve had a defined career path.  I believe that we make our own path   by vision, determination, hard work and enthusiasm –  and of course, being in the right place at the right time to seize an opportunity.

I was recently interviewed by my old school for a 6th form careers session, and they asked me what advice I would give to succeed in a job. My advice is to be bold! Have confidence in yourself, set goals and work out the steps to achieve them, take advantage of training and secondment opportunities, listen to feedback and take time on your personal development and most of all, never give up.