Catherine Milligan joined the university in 2003 from the University of Bath. During this time she has worked in various roles and is now Deputy Director for Student Experience and Enhancement Services.
How would you describe Strathclyde in three words?
Dynamic, Innovative and Ambitious
What attracted you to work at Strathclyde?
I joined Strathclyde University in 2003. Initially, I was looking for opportunities in Scotland, having previously been based in England. I was attracted to working at Strathclyde University because of their reputation for innovation and use of technologies in education which was the area I was working in at the time. The role I successfully applied for represented a step up in terms of my own career and enabled me to capitalise on a temporary ‘acting’ leadership role I’d held in my previous institution. It was to lead a cross-institution project in an area that I’d developed in my previous role, which I highly enjoyed. As a much larger institution, Strathclyde provided a great opportunity to extend my experience in this area.
What has your experience been like working at the University?
I have worked here for 13 years - I would not have stayed so long if my experience was not a positive one! During this time, I have had the latitude to develop my role and myself which I believe plays an important part in developing my career within the university. Throughout my time here, I have worked in various roles and cross-functional areas, all at University level.
I have been encouraged to try new things and feel the willingness to extend myself has been rewarded with new opportunities. I have always felt that contributions are more than welcomed and having an open, flexible approach enables you to engage in work across the university. I particularly enjoy having the chance to work with staff from different academic disciplines – I enjoy learning about their subject, their enthusiasm and commitment to enhancing how and what the students learn. I enjoy the challenges, complexities and opportunities that come with innovation in a University as large as Strathclyde.
Do you like working in the city centre of Glasgow and what are the highlights of this?
Having a demanding job role and living out with the city, I sometimes don’t get out to see the city as much as I would like. That said, the location of the university means the facilities the city centre offer are very convenient if you have visitors. Glasgow definitely lives up to its reputation as a friendly city – I was made to feel very welcome right from my first taxi journey from the airport with a very chatty driver! The proximity of the highlands and lochs to our city also makes it pretty special.
Glasgow definitely lives up to its reputation as a friendly city – I was made to feel very welcome right from my first taxi journey from the airport with a very chatty driver!
Why do you like working at Strathclyde?
I would say that the variety in the work, the flexibility and people I work with. The variety keeps you motivated and stops you getting restless.
What has been your greatest achievement while working at the University?
I have been - and continue to be - involved in important cross-institution projects, however, for me I think my greatest achievement working here would be the working partnerships I have built throughout the university as a whole, I am proud of this. Ultimately the successful outcomes of the work couldn’t have been achieved without partnerships. I’ve been fortunate to work with staff from across the university, at different levels and have found this very rewarding.
Does anything significant stand out to you about the University?
On a personal level, the support for working flexibly has been stand out; I could not have returned from maternity leave and continue to develop my career without it. I was encouraged and supported to evolve my role and adapt my work pattern, to ensure I could continue to work in a senior role and deliver the outcomes required. As an institution, the people really stand out; people really care and are committed to their work.
On a personal level, the support for working flexibly has been stand out; I could not have returned from maternity leave and continue to develop my career without it.
What has your Career progression been like and have you had access to any opportunities working here at Strathclyde?
Since I started my first job here at the university, I have actively been encouraged and supported to seek new opportunities. I have been fortunate in having very encouraging line managers and mentoring support. Leadership is an area I have focused on in recent years and have received support from both within the University through leadership development programmes and through an external coaching relationship. Both the formal and informal support have been key to developing my career.