Head to head with Valerie Tomlinson
What is your background and what did you do before
Prior to Programme and Project Management in Higher Education, I worked in the Hospitality Industry (Hotels) where I developed expertise in Sales & Marketing and Conference & Event Management. This stimulated an interest in the correlation between business management, the successful development of alliances with others and the IT systems which, when appropriately rolled out, enable the realisation of the desired benefits. When the Conference Department I was leading at the time needed a new system, I knew I wanted to lead that project!
Since then I have implemented & delivered various IT related, Customer Experience, Business Change & Process Improvement projects in several prestigious Universities, including London South Bank, Royal Holloway & Brunel as well as previously at Bucks New University.
What attracted you to this role?
The blend of academic, business & entrepreneurial community really appeals to me. I feel it offers me the opportunity to use my mix of skills & experience to good effect.
What are you looking forward to in this new role?
Working with our partners & colleagues, attracting business and building a buzzing community here in Aylesbury.
What are your aims?
At present, I’m really looking forward to the challenge of getting the Bucks Digital Hub up and running & excited to be here at the beginning of this journey, starting almost from scratch.
What do you do in your spare time?
Travel when I can – mostly to sunny warm places! Studying for my Personal Performance Coaching Diploma.
Spending quality time with my partner, Brian. You’ll mostly find us at a music event or sporting event! We both love Rugby, MotoGP, & the occasional Ice Hockey game. I also love to dabble in Interior design/decorating & I’ve been known to make Shoes!
What are your initial impressions so far?
It’s a very exciting time at Oxford Innovation and Bucks New University. I’ve been made to feel very welcome by everyone I’ve met. The Centres I’ve visited, the teams I’ve engaged with – their enthusiasm and willingness to share their knowledge and information is both generous & infectious! I hope that once our Bucks Hubs are established, I can offer the same welcome to other ‘newbies’ in the future.
Winning business support from Buck New University and Oxford Innovation
Jordan Penning, a graduate from Bucks New University’s Air transport management programme, wins business support through competition. The prize includes a business bursary, workspace at the Bucks Hubs managed by Oxford Innovation and ongoing business support from Bucks Hubs Entrepreneur-In-Residence, Jim Gabriel.
Head to head with Caroline Downer
Head to head with Caroline Downer – Caroline joins Oxford Innovation having spent the last 12 years working in Business Development, firstly in the Publishing Department at Oxford Brookes University and then at the University of Hertfordshire