Information Services

Past and Present Student Staff Keep ISG Running

As the year ‘Marches’ onwards, the Information Services Group would like to highlight the student staff bringing their diverse skills to the department in 2023.

Taking on part-time work or a year-long placement in the ISG team has provided countless students over the years with practical experience to complement their university learning. Within the Information Services Group and the Applications Directorate, there are many line managers who first came to work at the University as student employees.  

Systems and Database Administrator, Mark McGowan was a student at Edinburgh Napier University about 10 years ago, when he was employed for a one-year placement in ISG. After completing his degree Mark was contacted by the team and invited to interview for a full-time position. Now, Mark supports the recruitment and training of new placement students.

Some are brand new to the workplace, some aren’t, but it is often their first IT job. Every student leaves feeling like a member of staff – and in terms of their abilities, if they fit in well in the team you will think of them when a job pops up.

Mark McGowanSystems and Database Administrator

Mark noted that placement students bring a range of new ideas and practices to the team each year thanks to their training at university. He commented that students come with “fresh perspectives” and are encouraged to share their recent learning from university with the team - often prompting managers to review existing processes and implement updates where possible. 

Below, we have shared the profiles of several students currently working in the ISG department.  

Sharon Chen, Service Management, Online and Digital Events Service Assistant 


Sharon is studying a one-year MSc Management program at the University of Edinburgh and applied for this role as Online and Digital Events Service Assistant because she enjoys communicating with people from different cultures and has experience managing social media. 

“I am originally from Taiwan, a place that is half the size of Scotland, but four times more populated! I enjoy playing badminton, filming vlogs, and exploring the city. I'm a mini-YouTuber, feel free to check out my channel @happyplus.happylife

Sharon’s role in ISG involves enhancing the delivery of digital events on Teams and Zoom and assisting the Service Management team. Alongside her work and studies, Sharon enjoys the dance lessons available at the University gym (Pleasance), coffee-shop hopping, and she is determined not only to finish her dissertation this year but also learn some more Scots. 

 Margherita Tobia, Service Operations Assistant 


Margherita is in her fourth year of studying for a linguistics degree at the University of Edinburgh and was attracted to the job of Service Operations Assistant because she finds problem solving challenges to be rewarding. 

“I grew up in Argentina, and I’ve been living in Scotland for almost 8 years now. I’ve been obsessed with languages since I was a kid, and I’m always trying to learn new ones in my free time.” 

Margherita’s role involves helping manage various services for the university, updating documentation and reporting on the work of the services team.  

Margherita likes to spend her spare time exploring the botanic gardens, cooking and reading – in 2022 she reached her goal of reading 50 books and intends to challenge this record in 2023. 

Ross Mennie, Project Management Administrator, Project Management Office 


Ross is in his fourth year of studying for a politics degree at the University of Edinburgh. He was initially hired as a Project Management Intern in the Summer and is now working as a Project Management Administrator. Ross was eager to work in the PMO office to support his studies while also gaining valuable project management skills. 

“I am originally from Aberdeen and enjoy sports outside of work – playing tennis, football, running, cycling and swimming. I have also started boxing and enjoy going to student movie nights at the Cameo Picture House.” 

Ross’s role involves administrative tasks that support the PMO such as, managing email inboxes, writing new guidance and uploading to internal wiki pages, creating new projects for the PM’s, running social media accounts and representing the PMO at review meetings. 

Ross has set himself the goal of learning sign language in 2023 and will continue exploring his favourite walking trails around Arthur’s Seat, Blackford Hill and the Pentlands. 

Marta Negro Puig, Placement Student, Information Services Applications Directorate: Technology Management 


Marta is in her third year of studying a web design and development degree at Edinburgh Napier University. She applied for the placement student role as she wanted to challenge herself to learn new gain technical skills alongside her degree. 

“I am originally from Madrid Spain. I arrived in Edinburgh 7 years ago to improve my English. I went travelling for several months after 3 years here, but I loved my life in Scotland, so I returned. I value very much the work-life balance you can get here, the easy access to nature and the opportunities to develop your career despite not having experience in a field.” 

Marta’s role involves renewing security certificates for software used across the UoE and assisting with software upgrades and ‘patching.’ 

Outside of work and study, Marta enjoys walking with her dogs on Arthur’s Seat and plays basketball in the Scottish National League as a member of the Edinburgh Lions.  

Are you a student employee, or were you previously a student now employed in ISG?

We would love to hear from you for a continuing series of articles exploring the benefits of student employment in the ISG.   Email Staff Journalist, Rebekah Day: