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Robin Wilson

Career Path: Group Director of MIS, Inspire Education Group
Location: Peterborough, UK

I worked with the Northumbria Library Research Team during my Masters degree and, after successfully completing it, I was offered a job at a school as a Web Developer and then shortly after the Data Manager left so I took over his role. I then moved into MIS Analyst roles in colleges and moved around the country working my way up to become the Manager and then Group Director. During this time I have also taught on university courses and will be teaching from next week on a degree course. I never had a specific career path in mind but I have been happy in every job I have undertaken and have continued to learn new skills along the way.

What are you doing now?Robin Wilson

I currently manage the MIS department of a large college group which consists of Peterborough College, Stamford College and University Peterborough Centre. The MIS department is split across both sites and responsibilities include data processing and cleansing, governmental data returns, curriculum planning, reporting, systems development and day to day systems support as well as upgrades, integrations and liaising with software supplies to resolve issues. Within the team there is a Group MIS Manager, Director of Systems and Reporting and other key roles to ensure MIS is a successful function and achieves its objectives and provides a good level of support to curriculum and support staff throughout the group.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

It was close to home and offered the course I wanted to do and I had already completed BSc (Hons) Information Communication Management at the University so knew it well.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

I really enjoyed my course and will always remember how supportive Shona McTavish was who helped keep me on track in the early days. My project supervisor, Dave Harrison, was very demanding and supportive to help get the best out of my final Masters dissertation.

How connected was your course with industry?

The modules were all very relevant to the field I went into although I never ever have used Java but it helped me to understand Object Oriented languages and pick up C# quickly.

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

The placement was within the University upgrading university computers. I already knew how to do this, or at least I thought I did. One PC was remotely hacked and another burnt out whilst upgrading the memory so I suppose this taught us what could go wrong!

What was the best thing about your course?

I enjoyed the database module and the software development modules the most and learning Oracle from the command line was particularly effective as really helped you to memorise the syntax without falling back on graphical menus and buttons.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

I had self-taught myself computing topics at a basic level before the course but the course really helped me to advance my skills and prove I could do these things. When searching for my first job most companies wanted a qualification and experience so my degree helped to prove a higher level of skills in the hope someone would take a chance on me without me having the experience, although I did gain a lot of customer service skills from working for years in retail during my earlier years.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

More advanced database skills.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

Being close to home and able to study each morning and evening on the hour-long bus journey.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

Go for it and break down the work into chunks and keep at it.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Informative, enjoyable and familiar.

For more information about me visit:

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