Charlie O.

Project Coordinator
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Charlie O.
Environment, Economics and Ecology
Taught Postgraduate
United Kingdom

My employment

Project Coordinator
University of York
United Kingdom
Large business (250+ employees)

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A day in the life of a Project Coordinator in the United Kingdom

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

I work in Marketing, Recruitment, Admissions and Outreach at the University of York, I loved the university so much I stayed to work here!

What do you do?

My role involves supporting the development and implementation of projects within MRAO, this includes administrative and technical projects with one of the biggest projects I work on being Confirmation and Clearing in August. I help to organise meetings, circulate agendas, attend and take minutes. I also work with key stakeholders through reviewing technical functionality (such as the CRM) and support the implementation of processes and procedures such as testing systems to make sure they are fit for purpose.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

Once I finished my degree I wasn't sure what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to stay in York and since I enjoyed studying at the University I decided to apply for an admissions administrator job here which I started the week of my graduation! Since starting this role I also volunteered to lead our departments Green Impact team. Since starting in MRAO I have been a progressions coordinator aswell which lead me to my interest in data management and learning new technologies. This coordinator role was a secondment which then led me to my current position as that ended. My current role involves learning new technologies and working on multiple projects, as someone who enjoys a varied workload I knew this was something I would enjoy.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

Yes, I did think I would join the environment sector, however, I have realised my strengths lie in organisation, problem-solving and learning systems and processes. Therefore, this role I am in now which is some administrative and technical is a good match for me.

Describe your most memorable day at work

My most memorable day at work has been when I learnt to automate emails into enquiries in our CRM system. This sticks out to me as it took me days to figure out how to make this automatic and so when it worked it was a real success for me. It showed me how I can be patient when problem-solving and that I understand the technical elements to my role. It also gave me the confidence to investigate further and to see what else I could do with our CRM to make it a more automatic process.

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

Yes, working on multiple projects means I have to ensure I stay on top of the workload of each project and do not fall behind. I need to ensure I split my time evenly however, this does mean I work on one project more than another and different times of the year. For example, in the summer I will focus more so on Confirmation and Clearing rather than my other projects which I will then pick up. I usually get asked to do lots of different little tasks within these projects aswell so sometimes it can be a challenge to make sure I get these done in a timely manner whilst working on the bigger tasks.

What’s your work environment and culture like?

Until March 2020 I worked in the office, now I currently work from home. Working from home has changed the work environment alot as I do miss out on catching up with colleagues in the kitchen, however, I do try to ensure I have regular catchups with my colleagues on zoom and this is encouraged by my department. I work flexi and my role is quite independent therefore, I can be flexible in my starting/finish hours sometimes. Working flexi is great for my work/life balance as it means I can start later if I go the gym in the morning or finish abit earlier on a Friday afternoon if I have plans!

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

I was part of the University's cheerleading team and in my last year became a coach. From this experience I was able to transfer a lot of skills to the workplace such as leadership, planning and organisation and communication. I also spent a year studying abroad in Canada which definitely improved my independent decision-making and problem solving skills. Lastly, throughout University I worked part-time which helped me to understand responsibility in the workplace and also balancing my workload.

What would you like to do next with your career?

I think the next step, I'd like to move into project management and get some training in this area.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

Think about your strengths and what you are good at! Whilst at University also try to keep to a routine as much as possible, it will help you when you settle into a job.

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

project coordination, administration, collaborating with partners.

Next steps...

If you like the look of Charlie’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Charlie a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Charlie to be your mentor.

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