Last month I chatted to Andy Matthews who is a Senior Technician in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering. Andy is responsible for the Undergraduate teaching labs, managing the risk assessment and practical needs of students undertaking project work. He’s also responsible for access and security in 2 East. I asked Andy seven questions relating (mostly) to his work here at Bath. Here they are, together with his response:
1. What is the most enjoyable aspect of your job?
"I really enjoy working with young people who are at such an optimistic stage of their lives and who don’t see any limits to their horizons. It’s great being in that environment every day".
2. How do you prepare for a typical working week?
"I make a list and try to prioritise the items. I can’t plan too far in advance because issues can arise at the last minute, and I may need to adapt my list according to demand.
I always have a big breakfast!"
3. What are your tips for effective leadership?
"I try to understand the different strengths of each team member. I work with this and organise tasks in accordance with their strengths and comfort zones."
4. How do you resolve difficult moments at work?
"I’m always mindful of University policies, but flexibility is also important. If a student makes a non-standard request relating to project work I always try to adapt our services to meet their requirements - unless there is a health and safety issue. We can never compromise on health and safety."
5. What is the most useful piece of advice you have ever been given?
"Two pieces of advice spring to mind:
- To value your friendships – which I try to do!
- To always have some sort of plan and never simply hope for the best."
6. Who or what inspires you and why?
"Students inspire me. The enthusiasm they have for their project work motivates me to try my best for them, and I never feel I don’t want to come to work. I usually finish each week with a real sense of achievement."
7. If you didn’t do this job, what would prefer to be doing?
"I’ve always been interested in aviation, and a job flying light aircraft for an aid agency or something similar would be a great alternative."