Jenni Dixon's role at the University involves creating employment experience and opportunities for both students and graduates, while ensuring she enjoys a healthy work-life balance.
After attending school in Edinburgh, Jenni decided to follow her dream to work in tourism and travel by accepting a place to study Hotel Management at Strathclyde University. However, after completing her first year she made the decision to transfer to a Marketing course.
It was after graduation that she had her first taste of helping others develop their careers.
“I started a temporary job at a recruitment company called Melville Craig,” she says. “Initially I was working as a receptionist but I decided to be proactive – I found out who the owner was and sent him my CV. Luckily they were looking for graduate recruitment advisers and I was offered a permanent job.”
Jenni found working in a recruitment company to be a fantastic learning experience.
“It was like running my own business,” she says. “Every day, I was developing relationships, working to financial targets and dealing with various people. I also gained an amazing network of friends who are now all over the world in various recruitment roles.”
After more than six years at the company, Jenni moved to London and accepted a position as an internal recruiter for financial investment company Barclays Capital. She was eventually promoted to Associate Director of Human Resouces and found herself in a fast-paced city environment, recruiting and providing HR support to the trading floor staff.
After six years at Barclays Capital, Jenni took a career break to raise her twins, and moved back to Edinburgh.
Deciding in 2013 to return to work on a part-time basis, Jenni realised that a flexible career in the targert-driven world of recruitment would be diffcult to find. So she was delighted when an opportunity came along to work in the University’s Careers Service.
“I joined the team that advances student and graduate internships,” she says. “We developed many of the current programmes that are available today, including Employ.ed on Campus, which provides student internships within the University, Employ.ed internships for for PhD students, and opportunities for students to gain work experience in the third sector.
Jenni’s team also received funding from Santander to develop internships for students and recent graduates within local SMEs, a project which proved very popular.
“It was a real privilege to be able to help our students and graduates gain work experience,” says Jenni. “I could see the personal growth they achieved through their internships, and how it helped them with their future career choices.”
Most recently, Jenni took a secondment opportunity to work in the University’s HR Resourcing team to develop youth and student employment initiatives. The project developed, and Jenni now works on it permanently.
“I am passionate about increasing the University’s engagement with those aged 16 to 24,” she says. “I’m particularly interested in recruiting more modern apprentices, and also enjoy supporting colleagues who are recruiting new staff.”
Jenni is equally passionate about her employer and colleagues:
“I have been very lucky to work with some dedicated individuals. The University’s positive outlook on part-time working has allowed me to have a great work-life balance, which has been hugely beneficial to my career development – as well as my role as a mum!”