Staff Spotlight on... Louise Oliver

Louise Oliver, Faculty of Science placements manager.

I manage the placements program itself as well as the team. Around 60% of our students will opt to take up a placement as part of their degree course. It’s a 60 credit unit and each unit has different learning outcomes attached so it needs to be well supported.

What would you most like to achieve while at the University?

One of the great things about working here is that there are always new opportunities and challenges so I’m really just looking for the next thing.

What piece of advice would you like to give to a student?

Placement application processes are a lot more in depth than students think and it requires a lot of time and preparation. But don’t be afraid of being rejected because through rejection you’ll learn.

What’s the one thing you know now that you wish you’d known when you were younger?

Don’t plan your life out because it’ll never happen in the way you expect it to, but not in a negative way. Just think about the next two years because anything can happen.

What was your first job?

My first job was actually in my family business, which was a transport company. I started as a junior office administrator, at the tender age of 16, and progressed to Office Manager and then Partner.

If you could start your own dream business, what would it be?

There’s a lot of companies buying up disused quarries and turning them into sports complexes. I think it’d be brilliant to buy one around here and get kids into doing outdoor activities in a safe environment.

What’s your favourite book or album and why?

Wilbur Smith’s River God. It’s a fascinating book, one of five, and is so insightful. It actually made me go and see the pyramids. I always read fiction because I think you can have too much of real life.

When are you happiest?

Barbecuing with my family.

What one superpower would you like to possess?

I’d love to be able to fly which is crazy because I’m scared of heights, but I’d love the freedom.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I recently cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats for an Alzheimer's charity and you can still sponsor me at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lou-mick

Tell us your favourite joke.

It’s a Billy Connolly joke. An old man is sitting alone with his wife, turns to her and says “When we first got married and had no money, you were with me every step of the way. And then we had our kids but lost the house but you were with me every step of the way. Then the children grew up and we had some issues but you were with me every step of the way. Then I lost my job but you were with me every step of the way. And now here I am in my 60’s and do you know what I’ve realised? You’re a bloody jinx”

If you know of a colleague who’d like to raise the profile of their work or has an unexpected hobby, email comms@bath.ac.uk with the subject ‘Staff Spotlight recommendation’.

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