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Personal and Professional Development


Brief details of your secondment

I spent 13 months at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences as Programme and Visitor Officer, seconded from the Widening Participation Team based at the Cambridge Admissions Office.

Why did you want to do the secondment?

I wanted to widen my work experiences within the University and to further my line management responsibilities too.

How has the secondment benefited your skills, knowledge and experience?

I feel that I have a new set of skills following my secondment, including being involved in change management where I have performed procedure reviews and monitored change in collaboration with other staff members. I have learned how to write and edit html code as well as having taught myself LaTex, which is a coding language used to edit formulas and equations in academic texts. This is something I had no prior knowledge of, but my secondment allowed me to learn something I would never have had the chance to otherwise. I also succeeded in line managing a small team whilst at the Institute, including training new members of staff.

How has the secondment benefited future career progression?

My secondment experience has certainly helped me to identify what my own aspirations and priorities are for my future career. It has been invaluable for me to work in a new setting within the University, seeing that the skills I already had were transferrable in other departments, and that I am able to acquire new skills with confidence and interest.

What went well?

The support from my both of my line managers, who enabled the secondment process, was excellent and I always felt I was aware of the secondment arrangement details and had all my questions answered.

What would you do differently next time?


What impact has your secondment had on the way you work since returning to your substantive post?

Having closely line managed staff and tracked project progress during my secondment, my ability to manage my own time and prioritise tasks has improved. I also feel generally more confident in my own work, and my professional contacts and networks has expanded as a result of my secondment which is useful for my substantive post, where I work with a variety of departments, faculties, colleges and divisions in the University of a daily basis.