The July member spotlight is on Amanda Lund, Deputy Director of Professional Services and an AUA Advocate at the University of Edinburgh.

Why do you do it?

I actually stumbled across the AUA when I was looking for further development opportunities and initially found and signed up to the PgCert. On looking into the AUA further I realised it could offer me a lot more in terms of wider networking opportunities too. My line manager at the time was also a member and encouraged me to get involved. I became an advocate really by chance – I could see that the network at Edinburgh had been quiet for a few years so myself and a colleague offered to help out and things just grew from there!

What has been the best bit so far?

I’ll always remember the first AUA conference I went to in 2015 – being relatively new to HE at that time I found it both eye-opening and exciting to realise that there was so much going on across the UK HE sector, and even more so that professional services staff were recognised as being valuable and important.

In terms of my role as Advocate at the University of Edinburgh, I’ve been proud of the series of events that I’ve put on this year especially during COVID. I am so thankful to all my colleagues that have agreed to take time out their busy schedules to deliver thought provoking and interesting lunchtime sessions to the University of Edinburgh network.

Would you recommend the role?

Yes, I would. I enjoy being an advocate and trying to keep the University of Edinburgh network active, and it definitely encourages you to get out of your comfort zone. For example, to contact people you may not know directly but who you know would be interesting speakers and offer valuable insights. I’d say that you get out of the role what you put into it and I have made some really valuable connections through my involvement with the AUA.