Name and job title
Hannah Kirby, Careers Advisor
How long have you worked at the University?
I’m the newest member of team, I joined in December, so at the point of writing I’ve been here nearly 6 months.
What does your job entail?
At the moment, learning a lot everyday as the job is so new to me! I help students and graduates work out where they want to be in their lives and how they’re going to get there. To do this, I meet students in one to one appointments and deliver workshops on a variety of themes. I’m hoping to develop a specialist area in the near future.
What do you love most about your job?
It’s hard to say one thing – helping students believe in themselves, putting them on the right path to achieve their potential and be happy in their careers is the main thing, closely followed by working with a lovely team and the fact that I am learning every day.
If you could go back and tell your student-self one thing what would it be?
It doesn’t matter if you’ve studied something you don’t want to work in, it’s never too late to change direction. Be brave, follow your interests and what you enjoy, try new things and be prepared to take risks and you’ll get where you want to be.
What personal/professional barriers have you overcome to be where you are today?
I suffered with mental health issues in my final year at university, which meant I almost didn’t finish my degree, however I deferred my finals and achieved a 2.1. I’ve also struggled at various other times in my life, but I’ve learnt to manage it and still achieve my goals.
What is your greatest personal/professional achievement?
Finishing my degree even though I was quite unwell in my final year (see above) and taking risks that have paid off. For example, I’ve given up several permanent contracts for temporary ones all of which have worked out, led onto some fantastic opportunities and given me greater job satisfaction.
What do you do when you aren’t at work?
Sing in a choir, yoga, I love nature, so gardening, walking, wild swimming. Recently I’ve been learning to surf which is so much fun. Oh, and I love a good party and dancing but there hasn’t been much chance for that lately…
What are your hopes for the future?
I’ve got two daughters so I hope the world will be a better place for them, that society will become fairer and the environmental crisis will get better. Also, happiness and health not just for me but everyone in my life.
The crystal ball moment: What does the post-COVID world have in store for us all….
Hopefully a great big party! On a more serious note, I think working practices have changed and will never return to ‘normal’. There will be a period of adjustment, where there will still be lots of uncertainty, so an ability to tolerate that, as well as being flexible are going to be key survival skills.