Biomedical Sciences

Career development - Ms Morag Laidlaw

Ms Morag Laidlaw discusses career development

Ms Morag Laidlaw

Deanery Finance Manager, member of Deanery Self-Assessment Team.

I graduated with a BA in Accountancy from Glasgow Caledomian University in 1997 and I secured employment at Edinburgh University in April 1998 as a CN3 Part time accounts assistant within the Department of Biochemistry. This role rapidly expanded with the subsequent merger of three Departments and a natural move into full time CN4 work, managing the finances within the new Division of Biomedical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences.

Through a personal desire to educate myself further I studied for an MBA part timne at Edinburgh University, in my spare time. This was fully supported by my line manager and, as a staff member, my fees were paid by the University. I obtained my MBA in 2003.

During this time the Division was continually expanding, with ever increasing numbers of research and teaching staff, and ultimately, became the Deanery of Biomedical Sciences. I took on the role of managing accounts staff to ensure smooth transition as the management structures evolved. This allowed me to make use of my MBA and my personal experience.

Throughout all of this BMS management was extremely supportive, giving me opportunities for external and internal training whenever required or requested. I quickly developed both my role and myself, resulting in several promotions and allowing my career to progress rapidly.

I became a parent in 2006. On returning to work after maternity leave, I opted to work one day per week from home which was fully suppported by BMS Management and this arrangement continues to the present. My second pregnancy in 2010 led to a premature delivery, abruptly interrupting my work 13 weeks earlier than I had anticipated. While my personal life was traumatic during this period, communication with my manager enabled smooth transition to emergency cover for my post. At no time was I made to feel as if I had caused any problem. On my return to work I continued with my four day office and one day at home routine. I have managed to achieve a healthy work-life balance and my flexible working arrangement allows my home-based demands to be catered for. For example, I am given plenty of advance notice for any meetings that have to be scheduled on the day that I normally work from home, allowing me to make necessary arrangements for childcare.

Flexibility, a supportive management and my passion for an ever-changing work environment has led me to be the same yet very different person, 19 years since my first appointment!