Charlotte Wellington – Director of Operations, College of Social Sciences

Charlotte WellingtonCharlotte graduated from the University of Birmingham with Combined Honours in Geography and History. After university she was employed by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) as the Manager of a research unit at Aston University, undertaking general administration.

She later moved to the University of Warwick where she developed her skills within research administration and was a founding member of RAGnet, the precursor organisation to today’s ARMA (the Association of Research Managers and Administrators). She found her engagement with RAGnet enormously useful because of the national networking and development opportunities it provided.

She eventually became the manager of the Centre for Education and Industry at Warwick before making a strategic career move to the University of Birmingham, which was a larger institution offering more opportunities. She was appointed to a post as Finance Manager of the Cancer Studies Institute in the Medical School at the University of Birmingham. This post paid less but broadened her skills base and exposed her to a completely different academic, disciplinary and institutional culture. She was eventually promoted to the role of Secretary to the Medical School, a post she held for 8 years. Following the University of Birmingham's reorganisation into colleges in 2008, she was named Head (now Director) of Operations in the College of Social Sciences.

Charlotte says, “For me, being part of a professional association really helped my career because of the contacts and the chance to learn from others. I also looked around for opportunities to broaden my outlook, not just always the next grade up but in terms of improving my transferrable skills. I like having breadth in my job and an understanding of how the organisation works in the round, and I have found opportunities open to me because of having good transferrable skills. In seeking to maximise my career options, I have taken definite career decisions; for instance to become a founder member of a professional organisation, to move institutions and take a pay cut to move forward, to work in new and unfamiliar areas, as the Medical School was to me when I first started there, and to serve as a committee secretary to increase my profile. Also it is true to say that I have learned as much from my volunteering role outside the University as I have done from my professional life, and I would always encourage people to take the opportunity to volunteer in external organisations wherever possible.”