UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


Ethne James-Souch

Ethne is a Personal Assistant to the MAPS Vice-Deans.

Ethne James-Souch

1 December 2021

When did you take up this position? What was your position beforehand? 

I joined UCL in July 2021. I was previously a Governance Administrator and Executive Assistant to the Chair of Age UK, a national charity for older people.  

Tell us about your work at UCL - how do you spend your days, and what makes your role different to similar positions elsewhere? 

Supporting the six MAPS Vice-Deans is fast-paced and busy! Each day can vary, but my main tasks involve diary management, disseminating important information, be it funding calls or sharing important information and opportunities on behalf of the Vice-Deans and sharing with all MAPS staff. 

I do any admin tasks that help ease the workload pressures in the Vice-Deans’ busy schedule! I have not worked in Higher Education before and although similar in some ways to the way a charity works, there seems to be a real emphasis of development within the role and beyond than in previous roles. 

What are some of your favourite things about working in the department? How have you found it different to previous jobs? 

Working with each Vice-Dean gives me a varied and interesting view on all aspects of the faculty and UCL. I am involved in many projects and events, and this is my favourite aspect of the role. I enjoy being involved in an initiative/scheme or event from the beginning and seeing the success of these. 

In previous roles I would provide any administrative assistance in the background, and not be involved throughout the initiative. There is so much activity in the faculty and UCL and it is exciting to be a part of that. Everyone here seems very supportive of one another. 

Can you tell me about any ongoing or future projects that you're looking forward to working on? 

There are many ongoing projects in the faculty, but I am currently supporting a new MAPS Visiting Fellowship scheme, helping set up new MAPS Innovation and Enterprise seminar series and a future MAPS EDI event. 

Look out for any future communications – there are a lot of upcoming news from each MAPS Vice-Dean (in International, Development & Advancement, Education, Research, Innovation & Enterprise and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion). I am looking forward to seeing the success of these and those I have not mentioned. 

Have you always been based in London? If not, when did you move here, and how did you find adapting to living in London? 

I am a born and bred Londoner and cannot see myself moving out any time soon!

Finally, tell us about your non-work life. Do you have any hobbies, or favourite places to go in London?

Whenever I get a quiet moment, I enjoy baking (pre-COVID, my previous colleagues were treated with many cakes and bakes!) and do yoga whenever I can. Although I love travelling to other places, London truly has got everything to offer, whether it’s a walk along the river or in Hampstead Heath or dinner and drinks in the busy Soho/Shoreditch!