Nikki Sowerby – Assistant Registrar (Research Degrees)
I have been working with Higher Education (HE) since 1998 and started here at the University of Portsmouth as an Administrator in Admissions in the Faculty of Technology. This role was initially a maternity leave cover, however the role holder did not return and I as was successful in continuing in the role.
As I developed my skills, knowledge and understanding of the university I was able to progress in my career. In 1999 I took on the role of Course Administrator in the School of Computer Science and Maths which lead to the opportunity to progress to an Administrative Assistant in the Department of Information Systems in 2001.
Due to restructuring of the administration within the Faculty I was successful in gaining the position of Deputy Programme Area Manager for Computing and Maths in November 2001. Further career progression opportunities arose in 2005 and I took on a secondment to the role of Department Manager, covering maternity leave for 9 months for the Technology Extended Campus and then returning back to an Acting Programme Area Manager role covering temporary secondment.
In 2006 I was successful in progressing to the role of Faculty Registrar and Validation Officer for the Faculty of Technology. In May 2011 I found out that the role was being made redundant and I was successful in finding a new role within the University and began the role of Principal Administrator (Research) in the Academic Registry in August 2011. During the initial two years I and the role developed with me taking on further or enhanced responsibilities which lead to a successful re-grade to the role of Assistant Registrar (Research Degrees) in 2013.
In 2005 I was fortunate to take part in the first cohort of the University's Future Leadership Programme, - Modules consisted of Introduction to Leadership & Management, Maximising Team Performance, Strategic Financial Issues, Project Management & Management Performance: Self Profiling. Additional sessions included; The Mentoring Scheme, Action Learning Sets, Creativity & Change, Future Leadership Challenge Event, Virtual Reality Suite – Business Plan. It not only provided an opportunity to cover these topics but helped me grow in confidence, gaining a wider understanding of the university and improving my networking across the university with my fellow attendees.
During my time at Portsmouth I have also been a member of the Association of University Administrators (AUA). I have found this to be a useful resource and tool to support my ongoing personal and professional development. Through its membership it provides a network of like-minded HE employees where we can share ideas and how we work through both regional topical networks. There is a vast number of resources, through the professional journal, Perspectives’, good practices guides and ‘Newslink’, which provides sector news. Since 2013 I have been a Fellow of the AUA, which demonstrates my commitment to my personal and professional development. I am currently the AUA Branch Advocate here at UoP and with other local branch members aim to develop the local network and activities.