Spotlight on Sean Taylor
16 March 2016
This week the spotlight is on Sean Taylor, Teaching & Learning Administrator in the
What is your role and what does it involve?
I look after a number of Masters level programmes and the students on them. My remit permits me to be involved with the whole lifecycle of these programmes, from marketing and recruitment, right through to examinations.
Depending on the time of year I can be working on a wide variety of projects often juggling a large number at a time. Some examples include working on recruitment activities including promotional materials and open days, planning events such as student trips and industry talks, and activities involving the constant improvement of the UCL student experience.
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
I joined UCL just over a year ago. Before this, I worked at King's College London in a similarly student facing role.
Since graduating university, I've made a conscious decision to work within a university environment. Working 'front-line' to enhance the student experience has always been an interest of mine.
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
Recently I have been working within a small focus group with two other colleagues, tasked with improving the recruitment strategies of the department.
We recently decided to rework the way we conduct our departmental open days by making the experience much more personal to the prospective student. The first of these open days happened in early February and we had some great feedback from prospective students and other colleagues.
Working with the UCL Engineering faculty office, I piloted the first virtual open days within UCL Computer Science. Seeing how beneficial these were in targeting overseas students who would not normally be able to attend a physical open day I am about to work on rolling out virtual open days across all of our MSc programmes.
Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of you to-do list?
Currently, I'm working on redesigning the department's teaching & learning webpages and making them much more user-friendly.
I'm about to start work on helping to improve the department's teaching & learning spaces on Moodle, with the aim of getting the best out of the functionalities available to allow a better blended learning experience.
What is your favourite album, film and novel?
So many to choose from! If I had to choose only one album to listen to for the rest of my life, I'd probably pick Rumours by Fleetwood Mac.
I'm not much of a film buff, but I have a number of films I can watch over and over again. If I'm quite honest, my guilty pleasure is the 'chick flick'! My favourite is probably a toss-up between Muriel's Wedding and Steel Magnolias.
I love Charles Dickens. One of my favourites would have to be A Christmas Carol, which I read every December to get me in the festive mood.
What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?
Q: What did the cheese say when it looked in the mirror?
Most of my pre-watershed jokes are cheese-based…
Who would be your dream dinner guests?
Firstly, I'd probably have Elton John on the keys and Liza Minnelli on the mic. Dead guests are allowed, right?
At the table, I'd have Meryl Streep, Billy Connolly, Cher, The Duke of Edinburgh, Ken and Dierdre Barlow.
What advice would you give your younger self?
That everything will work out in the end.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
I'm currently obsessed with foreign languages. After reading Fluent in 3 Months by Benny Lewis, I've immersed myself in French language and culture. This year I've listened only to French radio, watched only French films and have even changed the language settings on my phone to French.
What is your favourite place?
I'm a bit of a sun worshipper, so anywhere where there's sun, sea, sand and a cold beverage. I'm particularly fond of a Greek island though.