UCL News


Spotlight on Donna Gage

27 January 2016

This week the spotlight is on Donna Gage, Communications Administrator, UCL Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management.


What is your role and what does it involve?

My current role is Communications Administrator at UCL Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management. It is a varied role covering both internal (looking after the staff and student communications channels) and external communications (making sure the outside world knows about the school).

Another big part of the role is running the school's busy events programme - which includes keynote lectures, careers events and conferences.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I joined UCL just over two years ago. Before I joined I worked in a small architecture firm, coordinating the communications output and managing all the bids and proposals for potential new architectural projects.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

Last year, the school hosted the 12th International Research Network on Organising by Projects (IRNOP) conference. I had the responsibility, alongside two of the school's professors, for organising it.

Not only was it the biggest event that I have organised - a three-day conference for around 150 international guests - it was also the trickiest, with keynote lectures, paper presentations, social events and workshops. It was a hugely rewarding event to work on.

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of you to-do list?

Currently, I'm busy working on the student's careers programme. My role is to work with UCL Careers to make sure that the students are well informed about the careers support and advice that is available to them, as well as to organise a busy programme of events and workshops.

I am also part of the Professional Services Conference working group, the team organising the second UCL Professional Services Conference, which will take place on 2 February.

The annual conference, which highlights the achievements of professional services colleagues across UCL, is even bigger this year, so you can imagine what a mammoth project this is for the team. I'm particularly enjoying planning the post-conference reception, which includes live entertainment and is shaping up to be a fun affair!

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

Album: My all-time favourites are either OK Computer by Radiohead or The Soft Bulletin by The Flaming Lips. But more recently, I've had the new Kendrick Lamar album on repeat on my iPod.

Film: I don't watch many films, but if I had to pick it would be a toss-up between Grizzly Man and The Wrestler.

Novel: I read so many novels, it's hard to choose just one! The novel that first sprang to mind is Microserfs by Douglas Coupland - a novel made up of diary entries, set to the backdrop of the 90s tech revolution.

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

What do you get when you cross a joke with a rhetorical question?

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

Charlie Brooker for the comedy, Mark Kozelek for the music, and my friend, Tracey, who always makes sure there is good food and entertainment.

What advice would you give your younger self?

There is so much advice I would give to my younger self! Stop worrying so much about what other people think - life is too short. And buy some decent hair straighteners!

What would it surprise people to know about you?

My first job was in a poodle parlour!

What is your favourite place?

Difficult to name just one, but perhaps somewhere in the Atlas Mountains, the Alps, or the Rockies. In fact, anywhere with mountains is fine with me.