Meet Ruth Coomber | AUA Career Stories

Ruth Coomber MAUA | Division Manager | Cardiff University

Ruth volunteers as a delivery partner for the PgCert, is an AUA Advocate and she was our Member of the Year in 2018. We were keen to find out more about Ruth, her career and her achievements. 

How long have you worked in HE and what was your first position?

I started in HE in 1998 as PA to Head of Department in the School of Medicine … that seems like a very long time ago now.

What three words best describe the AUA?

Inclusive, Continuing Professional Development (ok …. that’s three) and opportunities.

What advice do you have for prospective AUA members?

Don’t just sign up, get involved – there are so many opportunities available to you.  Since becoming an AUA member I have made the most of the opportunities that are available to me.

NetworkingI have attended a number of the training events and the annual conference which has helped me with my development and I have developed a great external network.

DevelopmentI started with the PgCert and I have now just completed my MSc in Higher Education, Administration, Leadership and Management.  From this I have become a mentor on the PgCert, and more recently, one of the Postgraduate Delivery Partners for the programme. 

Global opportunities I took part in a study tour to the Netherlands and Belgium in November 2015.  It was a privilege to be given the opportunity to meet with staff to increase my knowledge of the Dutch Higher Education systems.

What work accomplishment are you most proud of?

Setting up the iMPReSS network which is a professional services network in my School to support professional development.  The network is now established and it is the focus for our professional development activities across the School. 

If you could do another HE job for a day, what would it be?

I would love to work with the estates team for the day.  I’m sure they would have to respond to some strange requests on a daily basis.

What is your personal philosophy?

Be daring, be different, be kind and passionate about everything you do …. and don’t give up!

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

You don’t like learning at the moment but don’t worry, there will be other opportunities in the future….you may even graduate with an MSc at forty.

Where is your favourite place to be?

Anywhere where the sun is shining and there is a glass of Pinot Grigio blush close by!

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