Spotlight on... Seema Walker
1 June 2023
This week we meet Seema Walker, MBBS Manager at the UCL Medical School and a co-lead of the Student Health and Wellbeing Community of Practice. Here, she chats to us about learning to speak Hungarian, and her love of nature.
What is your role and what does it involve?
I’m currently on secondment as the MBBS Manager (Year Two) at the UCL Medical School. I am responsible for coordinating and managing the curriculum, assessments and academic records for second-year students. I am also responsible for providing support to the academic leads in curriculum review, development and innovation, managing Student Selected Components (SSCs), and working in collaboration to deliver high-quality services and an effective and supportive interface with students.
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
I have been at UCL for three and a half years. My previous role was Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Administrator at the UCL Department of Chemical Engineering.
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
On behalf of the Programme Administration Community of Practice, I co-created and co-presented ‘Finding your joy and purpose at work’, a Lunch and Learn for teaching administrators to come together, share ideas and learn something new over lunch. Following the event, I was delighted to receive an invite to co-present on the same topic for a departmental Away Day. In terms of both personal and professional growth, I believe it’s important to add value to others, as it brings a greater sense of achievement and job satisfaction.
Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?
I am one of the co-leads of the Student Health and Wellbeing Community of Practice, bringing staff together across UCL who are interested in students’ mental health. I am currently in the process of recruiting speakers for our Term One Workshop Series for the 2023–24 academic year. It's a great opportunity for attendees as guest speakers take on a range of topics to equip us with the knowledge and tools to support students, colleagues and ourselves.
On behalf of Workplace Health and as a Wellbeing Champion, I am hosting a Nearby Nature Discovery Trail, a chance for staff to take a break, get outside and spend time in nature with fellow colleagues. In addition, I'm also delivering Stress Briefings to staff departments across UCL. We all have a role to play in managing stress, and it’s important to understand the early signs of stress and learn how to alleviate the stressors within our control.
What is your favourite album, film and novel?
- Album: Motown Classics: Gold (various artists)
- Film: Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto
- Book: The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, by John C. Maxwell
What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?
Unfortunately I don’t have one!
Who would be your dream dinner guests?
Sam Cooke (singer), John C. Maxwell (author) and Sidney Poitier (actor).
What advice would you give your younger self?
- Take more risks – it will help you grow as a person.
- Your perspective on a ‘problem’ will determine the ultimate outcome (desirable/undesirable).
- Remember that you’re the director of your life story.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
I’m slowly learning to speak Hungarian, reportedly the second most difficult language to learn after Mandarin!
What is your favourite place?
Anywhere in nature – sitting by the seashore, walking barefoot through a grassy field, driving through country lanes, riding my bike in a local park, or hiking up a mountain!