Spotlight on Tina Whittle
4 December 2017
This week the spotlight is on Tina Whittle, Employer & Alumni Engagement Officer for UCL School of Management and Digital Project Lead for UCL Engineering.
What is your role and what does it involve?
I am currently working in two roles at UCL:
• Firstly I am employed by the UCL Careers two days a week as Employer & Alumni Engagement Officer for the School of Management. I work in the Employer and Alumni Engagement team which is responsible for organising and delivering the Employer and Alumni Engagement Programme for School of Management students. I am also working on a Global Strategy Project.
• Secondly I have started a one day a week secondment for the Engineering Faculty in the Digital Innovation Unit. As Digital Project Lead I am looking at improving the alumni experience by developing the Engineering Alumni Community Platform and alumni communications.
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
I've just passed the 3 year mark at UCL. Prior to UCL I worked for a consultancy firm for 10 years specialising in graduate and experienced hire recruitment and was based in London and Sydney.
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
I am really proud of some of the relationships I have built with employers and alumni and how they have regularly engaged with our Programme. We have had Paul Donovan, a Senior Global Economist at UBS (who is a bit of a celebrity in the banking sector) to Paul Fisher a previous Executive Director at the Bank of England, and Managers from Facebook to name just a few. I am also lucky enough to work with our amazing alumni who have gone on to accomplish great things and are always willing to share their experiences and advice with our students.
Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?
That would be the secondment I have just started with the Digital Innovation Unit in the Engineering Faculty. I am joined by five other secondees who are all looking at ways to improve and enhance our communication with various key audiences. I am working on a project to improve the alumni experience.
I am currently in the process of finding out what alumni would like to see on the alumni network platform (Graduway) then feeding this back to the departments so we can then populate the platform with relevant news and information. I am looking at increasing department awareness of the alumni platform and looking to promote the mentoring programme available on the platform to our current students. I am looking to identify alumni, student and department 'champions'. It's a challenge working on the project one day a week and there is so much I would like to do but I have huge support from the Digital Innovation Unit, Engineering Faculty and OVPD.
What is your favourite novel?
I love books and am currently in two books clubs. There are only two books I have read twice ...Shantram by Gregory Roberts and Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. Although I am reading Secret Life of Bees by Sue Kidd at the moment and it is definitely on my Top 10 list.
What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?
I can never seem to remember any jokes but I only heard this one last week in the Digital Innovation Unit and it makes my children laugh every time:
Q: Why did the Mushroom get invited to all the parties?
A: Because he's a fungi
Who would be your dream dinner guests?
Can it be a large dinner party? David Attenborough, Bear Grylls, Tony & Maureen Wheeler (founders of Lonely Planet) all for their travelling tales, Usain Bolt & Michael Johnson to listen to their sporting achievements , Madeleine Peyroux for the music, Graham Norton for the laughs, my two favourite chefs Tetsuya Wakuda & Yotam Ottolengli (and I won't have to worry about cooking) and finally my husband….. I think that's everything covered.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If there's one thing I learned, it's that nobody is here forever. You have to live for the moment, each and every day...the here, the now
What would it surprise people to know about you?
In Indonesia I got stranded at a top of an active volcano in the middle of the night by a tour guide who scarped because he thought it was too dangerous!
What is your favourite place?
Only one? There are just too many places. I love Bangkok, Luang Prabang, Barcelona, Ubud and Longford in Ireland where my family are from… no Wi-Fi and a slow pace of life …I always go there to recharge.