|Katherine Shepherd is the Executive Assistant to the Head of Department Belinda Lennox & Head of Administration and Finance Moira Westwood|
Tell us a little about yourself, and what attracted you to working at the University of Oxford?
Since studying Cognitive Neuroscience at undergrad, I’ve always worked in Higher Education administration – previously in Human Resources at the University of Exeter, before moving to work in the Department in 2017. I worked as a PA and then Office Manager in Professor John Gallacher’s research group for DPUK and BrainWaves for nearly six years, before starting in my current position as Executive Assistant to Head of Department/Head of Administration and Finance in January. Oxford provided the opportunity to be based within science again, as well as be closer to friends. Oxford also has more going on compared to a West Country village!
What is your vision for the team you work with?
Belinda’s vision as Head of Department has always included a strong focus on the people and working culture of Psychiatry, which I’m keen to support. My vision for myself and others is to know the majority of the people in the Department by face and name, and feel able to strike up a conversation with them, whether that’s small talk or asking for advice. I’m sticking to my word by firstly trying to get to know all the fantastic PAs/Research Administrators we have here in Psychiatry. I’m also keen to support our fabulous Department core administration team.
What is currently at the top of your To-Do List?
It’s got to be the Department Away Day on the Tuesday 13th June! We’re in the middle of crafting the agenda as well as the submission process for the ECR flash talks/posters and Good Citizen Awards.
How did you get to where you are today?
Supportive managers and colleagues, as well as pushing through the nerves involved in taking on new projects, in order to expand my skillset.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m always slightly in awe of creative people who can see the ‘big picture’ – we’re lucky to have many researchers and professors here who are not afraid to dream big in science, policy and infrastructure. I’m also inspired by people who don’t have a lot of time or energy but still go above and beyond to be kind and generous.
If you were not in your job currently, what would you like to be doing?
I suspect in another life I would have been a translator, as I love words and languages.