|Applied Statistics/Cyber Security|
|Risk and Audit Manager|
|University of York|
|Large business (250+ employees)|
More about Angela
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A day in the life of a Risk and Audit Manager in the United Kingdom
I'm a logical thinker and moved into risk management in a banking environment - building, and then overseeing models used to make pretty big decisions
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
I currently work here at the University of York, and I've previously worked in Financial Services.
What do you do?
I am responsible for helping the University to get visibility of its risks and opportunities, manage them appropriately, and make well informed decisions. I also manage the internal audit program which helps to give assurance that the University is doing right by our students, staff, alumni and wider society.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
In my early career I was a statistician and really enjoyed helping people to see the value of data and turning it into information. I'm a logical thinker and moved into risk management in a banking environment - building, and then overseeing models used to make pretty big decisions! As my career progressed, I moved into more senior, strategic roles, where it became important to think about the bigger picture and help people make well informed decisions, and plan for when things might go off track!
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
Yes and No. I was a lecturer for about 4 years back in the day, but I felt the call of industry. I work in Professional Services here, but to me, the sector I'm in is irrelevant - risk is everywhere and so my skills are highly transferable. I don't really see myself as restricted by the choices I've made to date - I just have more strings to my bow, and get to learn more and more as I go!
Describe your most memorable day at work
I was about 25 and it was my boss' birthday, so as a "gift" I covered his desk, chair, and everything on it in tin foil. He was just stunned when he came in and didn't know what to do. He retired recently and dropped me a note saying he is still scarred by that, and the other pranks I pulled.
Note: I do not recommend that you do this unless you know your manager well enough to get away with it!
Are there any challenges associated with your job?
Yes. Risk management is not that exciting to many people but it is SO important! Once they understand the benefits of what I'm all about it goes pretty well, but sometimes getting that first foot in the door is tough! It's taught me resilience and perseverance though!
What’s your work environment and culture like?
I work in an office, though I've been working from home a lot through the COVID-19 period. We can wear what we like I think, but I tend to be sort of smart-casual. Working hours are typical daytime hours, and a little flexible.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
I was a parent so there wasn't loads of time for all the societies, but I was a cheerleader at one point, and I've always loved to sing (I'm classically trained). I also prioritised time to socialise: it's SO important for your mental health and wellbeing to get out and find people you enjoy being with - even if it's just a small number. Also, I found that the more people I interacted with, the wider my own perspectives became, as I took time to appreciate their views (even if I didn't agree with them!). University can't be all work and no play - the social experience is such an eye opener, and what an opportunity to meet people from all walks of life! It was an honour to meet some of the people I did, and I made some of the best friends I've ever had whilst at University.
What would you like to do next with your career?
I would like to head up a department again.
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
When going for interviews, be prepared. Do your homework, swot up a bit on the company. Do your best to show some confidence in interviews (even if you're faking it!) because whoever you are, you DO have something to offer. Conversely, arrogance is massively off-putting to an interviewer. I've interviewed plenty of people and what I'm looking for, as well as the ability to do the work, is "can I manage this person? Will I enjoy working with them? Do I think they have the competencies we need? It's not all about the CV. I've given a role to someone with a BSc over a candidate with a PhD before.
Also - don't be disheartened by job rejections. It's part of life and it happens to everyone. Just keep going, but also schedule in fun time to break up the monotony of job seeking. And do something useful with your free time if you're out of work for months - learn a new skill or volunteer. It will keep you motivated and mentally healthy!
What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?
Working in different sectors, working in a technical field, providing general mentoring/encouragement/advice, interview technique, transferable skills, writing a CV and covering letter... Honestly I don't mind! I've got a ton of experience and I'm happy to chat about it!
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