Donna McKendrick

BA (Hons) Business Studies & Psychology

UK
Administrator, University of Stirling

Briefly describe your career history to date:
After I graduated, I initially returned home to Shetland and took up the post of Personal Media Assistant at Millgaet Media & Shetland TV.  Having met my (now husband) Scott during my 4th year, I was drawn back to Stirling, initially into a temporary position with Prudential, before securing the role of Secretary within the Accounting and Finance Division at the University of Stirling.  I gained promotion in 2008 into my current position as Administrator within the same area of the University.

What attracted you to this career?
The university is a great place to work - I love the organisational aspects and everyday challenges that being an administrator brings.

How did you get into your current job?
I started as a junior member of staff in the Divisional Office and worked my way up by gaining knowledge and understanding of the Division and University.

Describe what your current job involves:
To provide administrative support to the Chair of the Division, administrative support to all members of academic and research staff; administration of all finances and HR matters and managing the day-to-day activities of an academic admin office. 

Describe a typical working day:
It’s very rare to have a typical day as different times of the year involve different types of roles. No day is ever the same - this keeps you on your toes and makes every day interesting!

In what way did your time at Stirling shape your career to date?
Studying at Stirling for four years gave me a good overview and understanding of how a university system works. It also allows me to understand and empathise with students given I know what it’s like. So it is nice to experience university life from the opposite end of the spectrum.  

List three things that you love about your job:

  • The staff/students
  • Variety
  • The buzz of semester!

List three things you dislike about your job:

  • Unpredictability
  • Difficulty taking holidays during busy semester times
  • Chasing people to do things

What advice would you give to current students in terms of preparing for life after graduation?
Don’t expect to land in your dream job the day after you graduate. If the job is not what you hoped for, use it as a stepping stone to get to a better job. 

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