A day in the life of: Student Recruitment Coordinator

Meet Caitlin, Student Recruitment Coordinator at University of Roehampton, as she gives an insight into her day, what her role entails and the advice she would give her younger self.

Tell us a little bit about what you do and what a typical day looks like

I am the Student Recruitment Coordinator at the University of Roehampton. Within this role I support the organisation and running of events to help raise Roehampton’s profile. In particular, I lead all widening participation events. This means that I focus on outreach activities and strategies to address barriers faced by under-represented groups who are less likely to progress into higher education. The events and strategies I work on aim to minimise barriers and inequalities to engage effectively with these groups, equipping them with useful information about university and opportunities available to them to fulfil their potential.

My role is quite diverse and involves organising several different activities simultaneously. For instance, I create and run regular webinars providing prospective students with information on university, ranging from student finance, to what to expect on results day. I also manage recruitment campaigns and build and maintain our relationship with widening participation partners, collaboratively creating successful events on our campus for groups of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Therefore, my day-to-day can vary considerably – but I am very grateful that there’s never a dull day.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I am fortunate to manage Roehampton’s relationship with our widening participation partnerships, this is one of the most important and enjoyable aspects of my role in equal measure. These partnerships help us expand our reach with students and play a significant role in successful widening participation, targeting the students who need additional support the most. I take pride in working closely with some great organisations such as Aimhigher London and IntoUniversity, who share the same values and mission as us for equitable access to higher education for all. This means student benefit is always our top priority for the events we run together and there is such a positive, supportive, and collaborative atmosphere, focused on achieving positive student outcomes.

It is exciting having our partners visit us on campus for the day as they bring such varied groups of students. Sometimes we host a class of Year 6 students seeing what a university is like for the first time, and other times prospective students currently studying A Levels/BTEC equivalent. I love to make sure all visiting students, regardless of their age and ability, feel welcome here at Roehampton and enjoy the sense of community. I strive to ensure these events are an inspiring and interactive day out for students, learning all about Roehampton and exploring the exciting prospects of university life.

Visiting students also get to hear first-hand experiences from our Student Ambassadors with a fully guided tour of our expansive leafy campus. Events like these are such a valuable experience for young people, which is exactly what widening participation is about. It’s rewarding knowing the event had a real impact on the visiting students, and they can leave feeling excited by the prospect of university.

How did you become a Student Recruitment Coordinator?

I have always been interested in working with people, and helping in some way, but wasn’t always quite sure how. I studied Sociology at the University of Sheffield and gained a better understanding of inequality within society, and the importance of promoting social mobility, particularly within education. This interest encouraged me to continue my education at postgraduate level, so I studied for a master’s in Sociology of Childhood and Children’s Rights at UCL.

Soon after completing this degree, I joined IntoUniversity’s graduate scheme. A charity whose mission is to support young people and raise aspirations to break cycles of disadvantage.

Following this, I decided I would like to continue to work aiming to bridge the gap of access of higher education for the more disadvantaged in society, but to do this working at a university directly. This step has been great as I have been able to get to know the workings of higher education in greater depth and use this to further empower students to succeed in higher education. I also really enjoy being able to continue working with IntoUniversity now, hosting their events and welcoming them to the university. I am still new in this role and keen to find new opportunities for widening participation to continuously improve our access initiatives for those who need it the most.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Embrace every opportunity, you never know where it might take you. Life is a journey, not a destination!

Caitlin AthaStudent Recruitment Coordinator