Meet Rachael Hanmer-Dwight | AUA Career Stories


Rachael Hanmer-Dwight FAUA | Assistant Environmental Manager, SHE, Organisational Enhancement. Liverpool John Moores University.

1. What do you value most about working in HE?

The very crux of education is the knowledge that there is a better way of doing something, and then pursuing that to the nth degree. Pioneering new ideas and practices. The world as it stands is a product of education, so HE plays a hugely important role in shaping today and the future, both in the skills and knowledge it equips graduates with but also in being a trusted position of influence in our communities. My passion is the UN Sustainable Development Goals and HE can help to address everything contained within those; working within that environment to help influence progress is a tremendous feeling.

2. What do you think is the most overused phrase in HE?

I’m guilty of this myself, but I think an overused phrase is ‘moving forward’. Of course it makes sense to talk about where you’re going as an individual, team or organisation, but it’s important to accompany it with a clear time frame for implementing new ideas so that there’s some on-the-ground action and that innovative ideas don’t get confined to theoretical conversations.

3. What can’t you start your day without?

Coffee. And 10 minutes in peace at my computer while I go through my emails. I hate having unread messages in my inbox and get a productivity boost when I can fire back the easy replies. Once that’s done I go back for another coffee, which is a must since becoming a parent!

4. What is your personal philosophy?

The more you know, you realise there’s even more you that don’t know. And this is where you should derive your confidence from, so that you are driven to learn more rather than worrying about being shown up for something you don’t know. Constant learning means you keep your mind open to new experiences and ideas, which is crucial to critical thinking in the 21st century. I tend to subscribe to the viewpoint that if you are resistant to changing your opinion, then your opinion owns you rather than you it.

5. What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

I’d tell 13 year old me to find a coaching or mentoring programme for young people. I did well in school, but I believe I could have stretched myself more if I had clearer goals. I’d tell myself to never stop questioning the status quo, and to keep valuing my friends as they will be the ones there for me the most 20 years down the line. Also I’d tell myself to stop pouting in photos!

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