A day in the life of Mary Hilton

29 October 2012

Mary Hilton

Faculty communication and marketing representatives play a critical role in ensuring that communication lines with internal and external stakeholder are kept open. The Monday Paper caught up with one of the faculty reps - Mary Hilton, communications and marketing manager for the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment (EBE), to find out what her days are like.

MP: What's an average day look like for you?

MH: I usually get into the office around 07h00 and check all my emails, mainly from parents and applicants wanting to either visit the faculty, or needing more information on courses or updates on their applications. Some are from companies wanting to offer students bursaries or employment. I also get communiqués on various other matters such as story leads, information on seminars, lectures or visitors, as well as on orientation matters, alumni looking for information, and students seeking help. Depending on what is happening in the departments, I will be collecting, writing and taking photographs for the faculty newsletter, our website, the Monday Paper and the external media. I meet with representatives from the EBE undergraduate and postgraduate councils and those from Engineers Without Borders, to assist them and give them guidance with their planning, events and any problems that they may be experiencing. Some days I will be arranging events, ranging from the Open Day to the awards evening, cultural evening, and campaigns on safety, health and the environment. I also visit schools and deal with NGOs who are running maths and science programmes at high schools. I am the 'ombudsman' for the faculty, so staff and students come to me when they need a safe space, often just for advice or someone to listen to.

MP: What are the challenges of such a day?

MH: The challenge is that my portfolio is very broad, and sometimes it's hard to decide what takes priority. I am self-driven and willing to go the extra mile to make sure our clients get the service and information they require. This often sees me taking on things that are not in my portfolio.

MP: Any fun bits?

MH: My job is so varied, and I love it. I work with an amazing group of young and energetic students who truly give you hope for the future. I love watching them grow and develop, and with our alumni programme I am so pleased that I am able to keep up to date with their careers. Many of them keep in touch through LinkedIn and Facebook, which really makes me feel quite honoured. I receive emails out of the blue, just to ask how I am doing. They always put a smile on my face.

MP: And the not-such-fun bits?

MH: I guess the not-such-fun bit is attending too many committee meetings.

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