UCL Career Frameworks


Student Support and Wellbeing Manager

Chilima Sianyeuka, Student Support and Wellbeing Manager (Mental Health and Wellbeing)

Chilima Sianyeuka
I currently work as part of the Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing team. Our service is one the services provided by UCL Student Support and Wellbeing. My current role is Student Support and Wellbeing Manager (Mental Health and Wellbeing).

Students can approach the service to speak to an adviser about any concerns related to their wellbeing and/or mental health. This encompasses any personal or emotional challenges they may be experiencing. We also offer support to students with long-term mental health conditions, ensuring that appropriate support is in place. Our advisers work collaboratively with students, academic departments and external stakeholders throughout to ensure students can access help and support.

I left Further Education for Higher Education as I was looking for a new challenge and an institution that could provide me with opportunities to grow and challenge myself. I was ready for a step up and saw the SSW adviser role at UCL; I thought it would be a good chance for me to make the transition into Higher Education and demonstrate my capabilities.

I was really keen to learn how things work at UCL and add value to the team; I set out to absorb all of the expertise and knowledge around me and apply what I had learned throughout my career. It was important for me to apply my years of experience plus my knowledge of organisational psychology and mental health in a way that would support the work that was currently being carried out at UCL; I was keen to take on more responsibility and help make our service one of the best.

While in my previous role, I completed their aspirational manager’s programme. This was a six-month programme that my line manager recommended me for. I had previous management experience as a team leader, supervisor and coach, however, this course paired with my MSc Organisational Psychology and Psychiatry really made me think about the type of leader I wanted to become. I began taking steps to lead projects and work with different groups of people to develop these skills.

Before officially being appointed to my current role; I was lucky enough to temporarily take on the role as an acting up opportunity. This created a safe space for me to learn more about what the role entails and the challenges I may face if in the role permanently. This experience gave me the confidence to apply for the permanent position. The mentorship given by colleagues and the training provided have contributed to my personal and professional development.

My advice would be to dedicate some time to figuring out what you’re passionate about and how you can link your values/passions with the work you are doing or work you want to do. I think when our work is meaningful, we can really enjoy our work and feel fulfilled; self-awareness and emotional intelligence are so important in whichever area you work in. I also think you must be prepared to try new things and stretch yourself; the growth often happens outside of your comfort zone.

I have been in my role for less than a year now, so I am still excited about continuing to develop the service for students. I am enjoying my time at UCL and I look forward to collaborating with even more colleagues across the organisation.