‘Every day I enjoy laughing with my new colleagues, collaborating between departments to support our students, and reconnecting with my friends in the common room or dining hall’
Olivia Gaughran completed an MPhil in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge in 2021-22, and has since been supporting our Tutorial Office as a temporary Tutorial Administrator. In this blog, Olivia shares some highlights from the past few weeks
As a new Tutorial Administrator at Clare Hall, my experience working in the Tutorial Office has been nothing short of wonderful. You can confirm this with Neil, the College’s Head Porter – when I leave Clare Hall at the end of each day, I am always smiling! As a Tutorial Administrator, I work on a variety of projects for the Tutorial Office. Our job is to provide pastoral care to students by connecting them to their Tutors (every student has one!), funding opportunities for their research, mental health, and other resources, running Fellowship competitions, and performing other administrative duties. On a given day, you might find me printing and pinning up flyers on the Notice Boards around college; finalising details for academic and social events such as wine tastings, Q&A panels, and graduations; updating student records; filing funding applications; sending out transcripts; or writing our weekly newsletter.
Playing football for the University, living in a college house with ten other wonderful students, and challenging myself in a new country made me healthier and happier. Not least, my mental health and self-confidence improved significantly because of my experience here.
The story of my time at Clare Hall begins in September 2021, when I joined the community as an MPhil student. This is where I met some of my closest friends and developed a deeper relationship with myself as an academic. Being a member of this college helped me feel as though I belonged in and at Cambridge – as an international student, I came to the UK without much but my luggage and a desire to learn. Although I am proud to say that I emerged on the other side of the year with a master’s degree, I am most grateful for the way I was able to reconnect with new parts of myself in a community here at Clare Hall. Playing football for the University, living in a college house with ten other wonderful students, and challenging myself in a new country made me healthier and happier. Not least, my mental health and self-confidence improved significantly because of my experience here. I was not so keen to give that up upon graduation, so I popped into the HR Office and asked if there might be any work for me at Clare Hall in Michaelmas Term 2022. After an interview, it was decided I would begin shortly as a Tutorial Administrator, where I would report to Holly, the Senior Tutor. This is how I transitioned from my role as a Clare Hall student to Clare Hall staff!
My favorite part about this experience has been developing my relationships with the other staff members here. Every day I enjoy laughing with my new colleagues, collaborating between departments to support our students, and reconnecting with my friends in the common room or dining hall.
As a former student, I believe I have a unique perspective about the student experience at Clare Hall. This includes what we enjoy, struggle with, worry about, and work on at different points of the year, and I enjoy bringing that perspective to work every day. Each staff member is committed to the mission of this college: to provide an interdisciplinary, close-knit, and friendly setting for postgraduate students and Fellows who are dedicated to world-changing work. I am so grateful to play a small role in furthering this mission for our community. I would like to extend a sincere thank you to the College for its life-changing role in my personal, professional, and academic journey.
Editor’s note: …and Clare Hall would in turn like to express its sincere gratitude to Olivia for her excellent, enthusiastic and professional support of the Tutorial Office team this autumn.