Mandy Borges recently left the University, having worked here for 31 years. Here she tells us about her time at Essex, the ways in which the University has changed, and how it’s stayed the same since she got her first job here in January 1990.

I’ve got four children and my youngest daughter had just started school when I decided to apply for a job at Essex. I had been a secretary pre-children, so when I saw a job advert for a part time secretary in the Data Archive, I applied straight away. My application involved phoning the number in the paper, answering a few questions about myself, and being called in for a meeting. I was offered the job there and then. I definitely didn’t have a formal interview and can’t remember whether I had to provide my CV.

I worked in the archive for about four years and then applied for the role of Staff Development Assistant, in Personnel (as it was called then). You’ll be pleased to know, that I did have to write a formal application and have a formal interview for that job.

Mandy Borges

Although the University has changed a lot since then (there were no buildings on Square 1 when I first started and I can remember watching the Rab Butler building being built from my office), the ethos has remained the same. It has always been a very friendly and supportive place to work. I can honestly say that I have loved working here and feel very privileged to have had such a wonderful job. I’ve been given so many opportunities for development, which I have always taken advantage of, and when I started training, I couldn’t believe that I was actually getting paid to talk to people.

I have very special memories of all the personal development training that I have delivered, in particular Springboard, which I delivered for over 15 years. Springboard is a women’s only personal development programme, and I saw many of my Springboarders develop, grow and go on to do amazing things as a result of attending the programme.

Deciding to leaving the University during a pandemic has been hard, especially as I haven’t had a chance to see people and say goodbye properly, but I think working from home for the last 14 months has separated me from the campus and made the decision to move on slightly easier. I’m going to enjoy the summer with my family and friends, spend more time gardening, and then do some freelance coaching and training to put all of my transferable skills to good use.

These are tough times so make sure you are kind and supportive to each other. The University offers many types of support which everyone can take advantage of, but at the end of the day it’s our day to day interactions with each other that are really important and make the difference between us enjoying our work or not enjoying it. I have worked with some really inspiring people, who have been fantastic colleagues, and I’ve made many friends for life. They are the real reason I have enjoyed an amazing 31 years at Essex.

Sending you all my very best wishes.

Mandy Borges Anslow