The November member spotlight is on Wendy Cairney, who was previously the AUA Scotland Network Coordinator. If you are based in the Scotland region, you can apply for this role via our website.
Why do you do it?
I became involved with AUA ‘by accident’ in 2011 having attended an internal training event at Edinburgh Napier University. I later applied for the post of branch advocate at Edinburgh Napier University to widen my knowledge of the HE sector, applying for this role as Scotland Network Coordinator in 2015 and now it’s time for someone else to have their own opportunity.
My main aim was to give something back, to demonstrate to colleagues that there were different ways to gain confidence, skills and experience. I wanted to encourage those colleagues and members who wouldn’t normally get involved in AUA activities to get involved, to learn through different types of learning activities, to share their knowledge and skills and to demonstrate that although there were good reasons for best practice, sometimes there were times to understand when and how to challenge, to do things differently, to be bold and to consider doing things in other innovative ways.
It was a lucky accident in hearing about the AUA in the first place, my hope for the future is that AUA members continue to grow, assist and bolster others to succeed
What has been the best bit so far?
Too many to mention.
Firstly my being a member of the AUA, having the opportunity of being both a branch advocate and a Network Coordinator, to see colleagues grow in knowledge, skills and experience and knowing (in some small way) I was part of that journey.
Being chosen to be part of The 2017 AUA Study Tour of Switzerland and Germany. This was a fabulous opportunity which helped me to grow both professionally and on a personal level too.It was a great opportunity to work with a number of UK wide HE/AUA members and I would thoroughly recommend to others.
Would you recommend the role?
Yes, I would most definitely recommend the role of Network Coordinator to any AUA member in the Scotland region (or elsewhere for that matter). Not only does the opportunity provide you with a range of opportunities to engage with colleagues across the AUA more widely and across the HE sector, it widens your knowledge of other HE related sectors. This role also provides you an opportunity to ‘give back’ while learning from others too!
Attending the AUA National Conference and other AUA events is a must for any AUA member and to quote a long term AUA friend John McDermott; “attending the AUA National Conference is like getting a year’s training in a few days.” This Scotland Network Coordinator role in particular could provide you with the launchpad for a future leadership role, especially where there is no opportunity to gain relevant experience in your current role.