Executive Officer to the Provost

Profile picture of James

I joined the Graduate Management Training Scheme in the autumn of 2008. In the two years I worked on the scheme I undertook a split placement between the Office of the Vice-Provost (Education) and Vice-Provost (International Affairs), as well as placements in Finance, Estates and in the College’s Endowment, where I accepted a permanent position in 2010 as Operations Manager.

The Endowment exists to safeguard Imperial’s long-term financial security by delivering a source of unfettered income back to the College to support its core academic mission, thereby making it less reliant on sources of external funding. In my time in the Endowment I was responsible for managing a large and diverse property portfolio. I also developed the governance structures and operational policies to give the Endowment the structure and continuity to function effectively during a period of rapid growth, providing a link between the Endowment and the core university.

In July 2013 I became the Executive Officer to Imperial’s first Provost, Professor James Stirling, who is responsible for delivering Imperial’s core mission of excellence in research, education and translation. I am responsible for research, analysis and intelligence gathering to help ensure that the Provost is provided with the information and advice he needs to make decisions key to the running of the university. On a daily basis I brief the Provost, and write his speeches, presentations, and policy/recommendation papers, as well as acting as a liaison channel for departments across the College, and key internal and external stakeholders.

The strength of the scheme is in its diversity and the emphasis it places on personal and professional development. Trainees are given responsibility and exposure to senior management early in their careers, and need to be confident stepping out of their comfort zone to grapple with issues unfamiliar to them. Every trainee gets a range of fantastic opportunities, and the onus is on you to get the best out of them.

The diverse range of roles that trainees have gone onto fulfil after leaving the scheme is testament to the highly personal way it is run – the scheme adapts to your personal needs and strengths and allows you to chart your own course through it.