Human Resources

Sam Bowden – Planning Analyst

Planning Department - University House


Current Role

I currently work as an analyst in the Planning Department.  I particularly enjoy working with people at all levels across the University, and that my role requires an understanding of the external context in which the University operates.

I enjoy the changing and challenging nature of our work. We often have to respond to external developments which can require learning and understanding new information and concepts at very short notice.

Brief History

I started working at the University in 2002 as a Course Administrator, around a year after graduating. This followed a spell of ‘temp’ work in the private sector which, aside from some retail work while I was studying, was my only professional experience.  I subsequently progressed through to Senior Course Administrator and School Manager.

In 2006 I took a secondment opportunity to work alongside and support a project delivering a new Student Records system. The secondment lasted for two years and was followed by a role in the Research section of Academic Registry.  In 2011 I joined the Planning Department.


Prior to 2006 my career path at the University was fairly linear, as the progression from Course Administrator to School Manager is a fairly natural one.

Taking the secondment opportunity in 2006 was probably the single most significant move I made. It was a big decision at the time as it involved a reduction in salary; however it gave me the chance to learn and develop a new set of transferrable skills which have been invaluable in subsequent roles.

The secondment gave me exposure to and experience of the management and delivery of a University-wide project.  In relation to my current job it prepared me for a role in which significant multi-tasking is required and where priorities can change from one day to the next. It also provided me with opportunities to develop my technical, communication and reasoning skills, all of which are important in my work.

Throughout my time at the University I have been very lucky to have had a number of managers who have supported my continuing professional development and encouraged me to develop my skills through real-life projects, as well as formal training routes.

Current update

Promoted from Planning Analyst to Strategic Planning & Performance Manager and signed up to the MBA Strategic Leadership DA.