Introducing your Deputy Editor

Emily Hargreaves (she/her) – Head of Administration in Philosophy, University of Warwick

Development Monthly | #31 May 2024 | ‘Mindful Networks: Creating Communities of Practice and Wellbeing’

I am the Head of Administration in Philosophy at the University of Warwick.  The role is fairly wide-ranging, encompassing oversight of teaching, research and operations for the department.  Prior to this my other significant role in HE was in research planning (including REF delivery and Impact development) at the University of Birmingham. 

Moving from a more specialised role working across a number of research areas, I had been concerned that a generalist role in one department might be a little unexciting, but I’ve been in Philosophy for almost 7 years now, during which time we’ve navigated: restructures; the introduction of 5 new teaching programmes; a REF; a global pandemic; and numerous instances of industrial action. I can confidently say I’ve never been bored! A role like this requires you to engage with many parts of the institution, and student and research journeys, but you’re also still close enough to the action to be able to make a significant difference.

I started my career in HE by accident, just over 15 years ago.  After graduation, I was on a very short-term temping contract at Warwick Business School while I continued studying.  That contract turned into a slightly longer contract and then into a permanent one.  It was the perfect introduction into Higher Education (HE) for me.  I had fantastic managers who encouraged me to try new things, network, and get involved in outside projects, and my colleagues were universally smart and committed.  Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for me to get the bug and decide on a future in HE.  Since then, I’ve moved around Universities and roles in the Midlands and have had some amazing opportunities along the way, from taking part in a funded study tour to Australia and Hong Kong, to featuring in an exhibition for International Women’s Day (IWD).  

What attracted you to the Deputy Editor role?

I met the Editor, Chiara Singh, a few years ago over lunch at an AHEP conference and was immediately struck by her dedication and enthusiasm for Development Monthly. Although I wasn’t in a position to contribute immediately, I have followed the progress of the publication closely and knew I would like to be involved when I could. I’m delighted to be chosen as Deputy Editor this year and I am really looking forward  to helping this fabulous publication go from strength to strength. Alongside the great work that already goes on, we’ll be looking at boosting our social media presence and finding more ways to interact with AHEP members and our wider readership.

If there was one piece of advice you could give to AHEP members, what would it be?

One of the things I love about being an AHEP member is that you’re instantly part of a community of people who feel passionately about the importance of higher education.  Whatever anyone’s particular area of interest, I am always struck by how sincerely AHEP members want to engage with key topics and make things better for the sector, our students and staff.  

My advice to members would be to take full advantage of what AHEP has to offer, be it training courses, networking, mentoring, study tours or attendance at the annual conference.  There are such a variety of options on offer, and you never know where an encounter might lead – just by taking an empty seat at a conference lunch, you might end up finding your next collaborator (or Editor!).

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Outside of work I am most likely to be found ferrying around my 8-year-old daughter (the requirements of her social life are already more demanding than my own) or taking our giant rescue greyhound on a (reluctant) walk.  In my spare time I also volunteer for Samaritans, where I am a listener, trainer and mentor. I have been with the organisation for around 5 years, and I am constantly learning from my fellow volunteers and the callers I speak to. Undoubtedly, my training and my experiences have made me a better friend and colleague – more open, more willing to listen, and less intent on always finding a solution.  

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