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Future Professional Directors

18 September 2018

Jaclyn Green, Deputy Director of Marketing and Communications, Harper Adams University

 

Questions:

 
Q. Firstly, tell us a little about your current role
 
As well as being Deputy to the Director across the entire workings of the department, helping him to steer a variety of projects, I also now lead all communications work, ensuring the Harper brand is consistently and effectively conveyed to stakeholders through channels including the website, print publications, social media, traditional media and all text and imagery used at events. 
 
 
Q. Why did you decide to take part in FPD?
 
After eight years as an HE communications manager, in a role that evolved considerably over that time, I was seeking further challenge and progression. I had investigated various CPD options including qualifications relevant to my specialist area (Marketing and/or PR) but the FPD programme, as described in the initial email contact, was a much better fit for what I wanted to achieve. 
 
 
Q. Part of the programme involves working on three leadership challenges (people, stakeholder and change) – what was your experience of this particular part of the programme?
 
It was one of the most valuable areas for me as we were put into groups of people based on how at least one of our challenges matched up and were able to work together to turn those challenges on their heads and create more of an opportunity-based approach. My challenge group investigated team inspiration, motivation and development and I have been able to put our findings and recommendations into practice. 
 
 
Q. How has FPD helped prepare you for your new role?
 
So many ways! One of the single biggest themes for me, which arose through all aspects of the programme and associated networking, was that of authenticity. Not just in being honest and open in your work, but in being yourself and embracing your own strengths and talents rather than trying to fit into a model of what you think a leader should be. This theme was a foundation for me to build confidence and carry it with me throughout the rest of the programme and beyond. I also think the network of FPD colleagues has been and will continue to be invaluable. There were no other marketing professionals within our cohort, so I was genuinely able to see HE leadership through the eyes of other specialisms and departments rather than focussing on a marketing “bubble”. 
 
 
Q. It has been nearly a year since you first started the programme, has there been an impact for you, your team, and/or your institution?
 
The work I completed with my challenge group included an investigation involving my department at Harper Adams during which I explored the meaning of “leadership” with colleagues.  At the time we were anticipating the arrival of a new Director, so it focussed that discussion, defined what we all thought was needed moving forward and helped, I think, to cement a culture of open discussion. 
 
That was an initial impact on the team. Since the programme ended I have secured the role of Deputy Director which places me in a better position to apply my learning and help to continue to shape and develop the team, which is involved in some very exciting work that should have a huge, positive impact for the university as a whole. 
 
 
Q: If you could choose one key take-away from the programme, what would it be?
 
“Talking is working!” I was that child at school whose report cards always commented that I talked too much and I often worry that I do. But it is only through talking to the people around you that you can give and receive rich information that can be used to make a positive impact. You can seek to understand what motivates the team, you can glean data to help shape strategy and you can learn more about colleagues’ points of view to determine how you approach matters and take beneficial steps forward. 
 
 
As the sponsor of Jaclyn Green’s participation on the Future Professional Directors programme, can you tell me a little about the impact of the programme, both during and since it has ended, for both Jaclyn, her team, and/or organisation?
 
Quote from Simon Pride, Director of Marketing and Communications at Harper Adams University
 
“Both Jaclyn’s confidence and her contribution to the Harper marketing and communications function has accelerated since the FPD programme. She is now the Deputy Director of the department and her input has been invaluable to the development of marketing and communications strategy and a departmental re-structure.”
 

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