Staff Spotlight on...David Howells

Warm up: How long have you worked at the Uni? What does your role involve?

I’ve been working in undergraduate admissions for five and half years but I was at the University as a student and also worked in other roles so I’ve been here for around 11 years in total.

My current job is head of undergraduate admissions and I lead the team that is responsible for handling all applications for undergraduate degrees.

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

I don’t think there is just one thing. It’s always a series of challenges. One thing that I am quite excited about is something we have been working on with colleagues from other areas of the University is presenting really clear information to our applicants and making sure they have access to everything they need, particularly on topics such as entry requirements and fees.

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

Firstly don’t worry too much about knowing exactly what you want to do after University if you’re not sure what that is yet, try a few things out and find out what you love doing. Secondly, don’t settle for something that you don’t enjoy doing, keep looking.

Name one thing that makes you feel proud to work at the University of Bath?

There are many things, but I’m really proud to work for the University because I’ve been a student here and my experience has really helped me. I’m happy to be able to help new generations on that journey.

Who was your most influential teacher/educator, and why?

I had a teacher at secondary school who taught me maths from year 8 to year 11. He was quite stern character and I’m not sure I could have worked with him, but his passion for the subject stood out and that stayed with me.

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

I wish I’d known that the way you feel about situations can change over time. I feel so much different around social situations and work than I did five years ago. Some of the choices I made when I was 18 were based on assumptions that aren’t true anymore.

What was your first job?

My first full time job was Welfare and Diversity Officer within the Student Union which was a crash course in full time work. For my first ever job I worked as a temp at a hospital looking after patient records.

What’s your favourite book or album and why?

My favourite Author is Brandon Sanderson and I like most of his work. If I had to pick one it would be a short novel he wrote called ‘The Emperors Soul’ - it’s a fantasy story which explores what makes us, ‘us’ and manages to be interesting and gripping yet only has three characters.

If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and why?

I’d like to meet Caesar Augustus because he was a man that founded an empire and I’d like to know if he really understood the significance of what he was doing and if he realised the legacy he would leave on the rest of the world.

Which one superpower would you like to possess?

I think telekinesis. I could then move the world relative to me and fly as well as move objects with my mind.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I never learnt to ride a bike. And that is incredibly inconvenient for someone like me who doesn’t have a car!

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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