Carole Twiselton

A brief history of your career since leaving the University of Birmingham

I have progressed through a number of senior academic roles, and now work in a very senior role at Sheffield Hallam. I was recently awarded an OBE for services to Higher Education in the Birthday Honours list.

Skills and knowledge from your postgraduate degree have you used in your career so far

Analysis, critical reflection, synthesis, logic, complex problem solving, stakeholder management and diplomacy.

Main work activities in your current role

My role involves a large amount of external engagement including public speaking, advising group, trustee and board membership. Internally I am responsible for the strategic vision and management of the Institute.

A typical day in your job

I typically spend at least 50% of my time out of office, either talking about my research, sitting on research groups, or advising the DfE. When I’m on campus, I meet with people who report to me, manage the budget, liaise with colleagues across the university, sit on committees and write up projects.

Main challenges in your role

Currently the very volatile political environment is a challenge, and the job involves a lot of high stakes relationship management. Sometimes I have to adapt to HR and internal budget limitations too.

Why did this type of work appeal to you?

I love problem solving and I enjoy understanding the varying perspectives and finding the common ground, so that I can help things move forward.

Advice for students looking to enter this area of work?

You need to enjoy working with people and be able to relish in complexity.