Meet Diane, Secretary to the Director of International Development
Diane has worked for National Star for four years. She provides full secretarial support to the Director of International Development and Research, and as part of her role looks after complex diary management, administrative tasks and arranging travel in the UK and abroad. She also supports funding bids and award applications.
What attracted you to National Star?
I heard that National Star had a reputation as a great place to work, and when I saw the job advertised I realised that it would utilise my skills from my previous IT employment. It ticked all the boxes, so I applied. I found National Star to be open-minded, flexible and embracing of new technology. I enjoyed being involved with forward thinking and innovative organisations.
From a personal point of view, it was an advantage that I am working close to where I live, and the role offered a flexibility that suited me as a mother to a young child. In addition, I loved that the college was situated in a beautiful location, with my office overlooking the StarGolf course.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
I find it challenging booking travel and accommodation for groups of learners with complex learning disabilities, as well as staff, as part of on-going work overseas. I also need to coordinate flights for learners and be aware of everyone’s needs to ensure they have a safe and rewarding trip. In addition, I frequently need to manage ever-changing priorities, which means lots of organisation and effective communication is required.
What are the key skills required for your role?
It is essential that I am skilful in managing and sourcing resources and conducting research, so I’m able to remain well informed and up to date with the latest office gadgets and industry practices. I also need to be able to pick up new skills and not be frightened to master new technologies. In addition, it’s important to have great communication skills when liaising with parents, carers, learners and external bodies at all levels and to be approachable, open minded and customer focused.
How does your role make a difference at National Star?
It’s difficult to answer as my role is a small cog in a big wheel, but I believe my strengths of IT and research experience assist the Director and National Star as a whole, helping them to meet their aims and objectives.
What training and development have you received?
Safeguarding, Boundaries, and Equality and Diversity.
What would you say to someone thinking of applying to National Star?
I would encourage anyone thinking of applying to go for it! There is a strong learning culture here, and access to training that’s second to none.