We Are Essex

Jenny's story

Jenny Upton

"What I really want in life is just to make a difference"

I studied at the university myself a long time ago, but in Biological Sciences. When my friend got a job here I was so jealous of her being back on campus, and I just couldn’t resist applying when I saw this job come up. A lot of things have changed and advanced; there are lots of new buildings everywhere, but there’s still nothing like the campus on a sunny day.

As part of my role, I organise the graduation. It is just such a nice, lovely thing to be part of and I feel so proud to follow these students progressing over their time, being with them over the difficulties and challenges they’ve experienced, but then also their really good times and the highlights. Seeing the photos come through with so many happy faces and all the academics and admin team together with the students and their families is so lovely. That really made me smile. 

We are very open as a department. We try to be really proactive rather than reactive and I always encourage students to do the same. We have quite long opening hours and students really do get to know us. We often have sweets and decorations on the front desk so I think students do just stop by to have a little chat, which is really nice because when they have any questions or queries they can really feel confident to approach us. Also, we have a common room which we all use, staff and students, so we do get to see students and get a lot of interaction with them.

What I really want in life is to make a difference, and I feel my role really does this. I feel the things that I do and the interaction between acedemics and students makes a difference to their university experience and as long as that keeps happening, then I’m quite happy.

 

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