Information Services

‘Exceptional’ student staff member will be hugely missed as she embarks on new career

An incredibly hardworking and talented member of the Information Services (ISG) team is heading off to take on new challenges in the legal profession after more than two and half years working in the department.

Eilidh MacLeod, student staff member in Service Management
Eilidh MacLeod, student staff member in Service Management

Eilidh MacLeod, a student staff member in Service Management, who will leave her role at the start of April said: “I will really miss working here because I have worked here for so long now, and all during the covid pandemic.

“I think I will miss this the most out of all the jobs I have had, and I will really miss the team, they have been really nice and helpful. And I love being able to help people out.”

Eilidh joined ISG as a Messaging Services Assistant in the Service Management department in October 2019, shortly after commencing her studies in Law at UoE.

Initially her responsibilities involved surveying and helping students to use and get the most out of the Microsoft Teams messaging application.

But over time, and as her abundant skills came to the fore, Eilidh’s role expanded to take in supporting service manager Stephen Smith.

This included assisting with the Online and Digital Events service – which provides tools and advice to ensure successful events – as well as Teams and Zoom.

As part of these responsibilities, Eilidh was involved in keeping track of new updates coming to the platforms, writing and updating guidance on the University website, sending out Team Tips on Twitter, and helping with the Teams training webinars.

Her Teams Tips on Twitter have been so successful that they have grown from being tweeted from the IS Apps page to their own dedicated Twitter account.

Eilidh said: “This has given me skills in writing and conveying guidance to others. My skills have improved over the two years that I have been in this job.”

She also assisted with writing relevant service documents – such as data protection and equality impact assessments (DPIAs and EqIAs) – and created a central repository for them on Microsoft SharePoint.

“From this I was able to learn new skills in working with the online survey tool Jisc, and new skills in writing EqIAs and DPIAs for the first time.

“It also showed me the importance of working with different groups of people for these projects as it helped to inform the guidance that I helped with,” Eilidh added.

Although Eilidh had no previous experience in IT or working with online platforms before joining ISG, she said she was attracted to the role by the customer service aspect and the prospect of working to help students and University staff.

She added: “I enjoy helping others and had previous experience doing this in another job.

“It was also an opportunity to learn new things, as I had never worked directly with IT before, so I felt it would be interesting and I enjoy learning new things."

During her time with Service Management Eilidh has been involved in various projects and enjoyed many proud achievements.

She said: “My personal highlights in this role were when I was able to help users to resolve issues they had or to run events.

“For example, when I was able to help users who were having issues with Zoom to get a workaround to be able to use it.

“With events I enjoyed when I was able to help users who weren’t confident using the platforms and I enjoyed seeing that their events ran smoothly.”

Eilidh also illustrated her abilities and versatility in surmounting the challenges of having to adapt to new and unprecedented ways of working when the covid pandemic broke just months after starting her job.

She said: “Covid just completely changed the job altogether. No one was really using Teams before that and then from March [2020] I had to learn more about how to use Teams from being completely remote rather than in the office.

Eilidh is now set to embark on a law traineeship at a legal firm in Glasgow and hopes to become a solicitor in the future.

Looking to the future, Eilidh felt that her time at ISG would be a boon to her career goals, saying: “I feel that this role with ISG has really benefited me as I have had the opportunity to gain skills in team working and in communication.”

Eilidh’s incredible hard work and talents have earned her mountains of praise from staff, managers and partners she has worked with across the University and beyond, and she will be hugely missed by everyone at ISG.

Catherine Hetherington, Collaboration Services team manager, said: “Eilidh has shown an exceptional level of professionalism, commitment and an enthusiasm to take on any and every task.

“She has gelled with Stephen Smith, the Service Manager responsible for Messaging Services, and together they have transformed our service delivery of Microsoft Teams. She has worked closely with Digital Skills creating training guidance for Teams which is used across the University and has kept us all up to date with her tweets about the latest features in Teams.

“Students play a key part in assisting Service Managers within our section to deliver their services and Eilidh has been an excellent member of our team. We wish her luck in her new role in Law.”

After her time at the UoE and ISG, Eilidh was keen to encourage others to take up similar opportunities for student employment and gain experiences like hers.

She said: “Look for roles that you can apply for and just apply. I wasn’t sure when I applied that I would get the role as I did not have specific IT experience and wasn’t doing a course related to IT.

“However, if you just apply and explain the experience you do have you might be surprised like I was and get the role. Also, everyone in ISG is really nice and helpful so don’t be nervous about starting.”