February 2019 Member Spotlight | Catherine Cobbett

The February member spotlight is on Catherine Cobbett, Head of Academic Quality at Leeds Trinity University and AUA PgCert Mentor representative at the Board of Studies.

Why do you do it?

I have been an AUA Mentor for the PG Certificate in its different guises since 2000 and to-date I have been mentor to 16 participants. I find being a mentor an incredibly rewarding role – I have so much respect for the people who take on the PG Cert. alongside their working lives, so anything I can do that can help them in that journey I am pleased to do. A vacancy for a representative of AUA Mentors to the PG Cert. Board of Studies came up in 2013. Given my long experience I felt I was in a good position to apply for the position and for me it was just another way of ‘giving back’. I was very pleased to be appointed. Since them my membership of the Board has been renewed for the allowable second term.

Being part of the Board has been invaluable in building up greater knowledge and understanding about the operation of the PG Cert and learning more about the experience from the participants’ point of view through their rep’s report to the Board. My main duty as Mentor Rep is to represent Mentor’s concerns and interests to the Board and frequently also to transmit their positive feedback too on their experience as Mentors.

What has been the best bit so far?

The best bit is always the Board of Studies meeting (3 meetings per year). (Due to my long career in the sector I’m perfectly comfortable in yet another meeting!) But what’s especially good for me personally is simply being able to work alongside colleagues from other institutions in a shared endeavour. And it does no harm either to my own CPD and discussions with my boss in annual review.

Would you recommend the role?

Absolutely. Mentors are generally happy in their role if the few comments I receive for report each meeting are to judge by so it’s not at all taxing. So, as another opportunity provided by AUA, I’d say do it!

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