2 November 2021
In my role as Facilities Helpdesk Administrator I deal with maintenance services and parking related issues from all buildings within ARU’s campuses. I love the community spirit at ARU, and I’ve always been made to feel welcome since I started.
A typical day for me means I’ll receive multiple phone calls and emails from staff and students reporting issues. These can vary, from blocked drains and leaking sinks, to electrical issues or faulty automatic doors.
For the new agile working project, we’ve also received lots of requests for furniture moves and rubbish collections. All our requests are logged and allocated to the relevant teams, which can include mechanical and electrical, cleaning or general maintenance. These are then followed up to a satisfactory conclusion.
During the first lockdown, I supported our Estates and Facilities finance team with work. However, now our students have returned to campus, the helpdesk team has become a lot busier. We have to ensure all requests for maintenance and facilities services are logged and allocated to the correct resources.
We’ve changed some of our processes since the pandemic started. We now follow scripted questions when our maintenance teams undertake jobs in residential areas. This helps to create a safe working environment for both our staff and students.
In my role I also handle requests for car parking spaces. However during the pandemic, these have declined, with more people now working from home.
I also work on students' requests. Students can report any maintenance issues in their accommodation by phone, email or directly using our online portal. This is an important part of the role, as it’s imperative my team supports our students to have a comfortable and safe environment to study and live in. This enables our students to focus on their studies whilst at ARU.
It’s my first time dealing with students. A large number have never lived away from home before, and have no experience with some of the maintenance issues they may encounter. I’ve learned how to encourage them to report issues, and not to leave them until they become a major and urgent problem!
My biggest achievement was leaving a small hamlet in the Scottish Borders to start a job at Lloyds of London, and since then I’ve travelled around the world on my own. I love travel, and I was lucky enough to visit New Zealand just before the pandemic started! I also really enjoy gardening and swimming.
Finally, if I could offer one piece of advice to people, I’d tell them to treat people as they would like to be treated themselves.
This post is part of the AUDE Covid Heroes campaign, which runs from 1-30 November 2021 and recognises the achievements of university estates and facilities teams throughout the pandemic.