Spotlight on Wendy Tester
3 October 2017
This week the spotlight is on Wendy Tester, Communications Manager, UCL Innovation and Enterprise.
What is your role and what does it involve?
As a Communications Manager in UCL Innovation and Enterprise I help to raise the profile of the department by communicating to staff, students and alumni how we can support them to transform their knowledge and ideas into action and to encourage a spirit of enterprise across UCL. It is essential that I work with central UCL Communications and Marketing and communications managers in other Vice-Provost offices, faculties and departments to achieve this. Good working relationships are key!
I am also the brand manager - I ensure that at all times we adhere to the UCL brand and have recently led on a very exciting project working with an external agency to develop our own personality on this brand - our visual identity for UCL Innovation and Enterprise.
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
Let's just say I've been at UCL for a while now! I started as an administrator - in the business development section of the then technology transfer office before moving to another enterprising area of UCL managing the delivery events and finally to my current role.
Previously I was a Sainsbury's girl through and through - after qualifying through their management scheme I was an Administration manager in a store, responsible for the smooth running of the office where we oversaw the marketing, finance and cash office and reporting of store statements to the head office. Before leaving Sainsbury's I made the switch to the role of Stock Control Manager.
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
It would have to be the recent work I've done with the UCL Innovation and Enterprise positioning and visual identity and the implementation of this in our space in King's Cross - UCL BaseKX - it is a fantastic flexible workspace for start-up entrepreneurs (internally and externally to UCL). It offers a stimulating co-working environment.
Our visual identity is our department's personality of the UCL brand - we have made great use of the wonderful UCL colour palette and have created 5 action bars that are the distinct visual identity element within our identity system. These action bars emanate out from the UCL banner with energy and movement, symbolising the transformation of knowledge and ideas in to action that UCL Innovation and Enterprise encourages.
Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?
I have two projects that are at the top of my to-do list (along with many more).
Firstly, on the 18th October we are running the first of our weekly our drop-in series 'Open Door to Innovation and Enterprise' - a chance for UCL staff, students and alumni to come and meet our innovation and enterprise experts face-to-face to find out more about how we can work together and the support we can offer.
Secondly, is to help our entrepreneurship team, increase awareness of the support that is available to both students, staff and alumni. The team delivers a wide range of interactive and immersive experiences to stimulate entrepreneurial drive such as masterclasses in entrepreneurship, challenges and competitions, office space, business advice and much much more. It's an essential addition to both student and staff's academic studies - helping them whilst at UCL and in their future careers.
We have recently recruited 7 entrepreneurship ambassadors (a scheme we are currently trialling) to help us spread the word to every student across all disciplines and subjects at UCL. Look out for the bright red t-shirts on campus and please feel welcome to approach them to find out more.
What is your favourite album, film and novel?
I don't really have a favourite album - I like all kinds of music!
'Shawshank Redemption' has got to be one of my top ten films.
I love reading a variety of books, two of my favourites have got to be 'Birdsong' by Sebastian Faulks and 'Mr Nice' by Howard Marks - an insight into a totally different world.
What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?
I don't really have a favourite joke - I much prefer to have fits of hysteria with friends over something that only we find funny.
However here is a joke my son shared with me at the weekend:
Q: How can you tell if a vampire has a horrible cold?
A: By his deep loud coffin!
Who would be your dream dinner guests?
A group of friends whom I could have stimulating conversation and laughter whilst sharing fantastic food and wine.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Do more of what makes you happy and stop trying to please everyone else.
Trust your own instincts - they're usually right.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
I wouldn't say I'm a very surprising person but I'm most proud of running the marathon in 2008 and achieving my target of doing so under 4 hours - 3 hours and 48 mins - wish I could run like that now!
I also love baking cakes - our department can vouch for that as I'm always baking for birthdays, people leaving etc.
What is your favourite place?
Anywhere that allows escapism from the treadmill of daily life and routine - is outside and allows me to have fun with my wonderful two boys (5 and 8). We are recently enjoying exploring the many beautiful National Trust places in the South-East. England is glorious in the sunshine.