We work among extraordinary people doing extraordinary things; get to know some of them by reading these quick-fire interviews.
Name: Mirella Lingwood
Job title: HR Officer
What are you currently working on?
I am the main point of contact for three of the six sub-departments: Particle Physics (PP), Condensed Matter Physics (CMP) and Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics (AOPP) which means I deal with anything HR- or recruitment-related for these three sub-departments. James Hamilton looks after the other three sub-departments while Karla Taylor is the HR contact for central physics. In addition, I am the recruitment contact for Building Services, IT, Comms, Graduate Teaching, Undergraduate Teaching, Outreach, Health and Safety and HR.
Describe a typical day
In the HR team, we work on HR-related tasks such as advising on best practice, visa queries and case work, as well as recruitment so I am always busy with any number of things. In the course of a typical day, recruitment-related activities occupy a significant proportion of my time however as my role extends beyond the realms of hiring, I also spend time advising and assisting the sub-departments I look after on typical HR management matters.
Among my routine tasks are the preparation of employment contracts and offer letters; alongside this, I maintain regular communication with colleagues from across the department as well as the division and central HR team to address funding or contract queries, advertise job roles or any other HR-related issues. I also attend to a spectrum of HR lifecycle activities such as maternity leave, absence, probation, case work, occupational health referrals, contract extensions, PDRs, training – the list goes on!
During my current onboarding phase – I joined in December – I am actively engaging with the sub-departments I look after, aiming to cultivate robust working relationships with key stakeholders. This approach is fundamental to understanding the nuanced requirements of each group within the wider Physics network. As I get more familiar to my role, I will get involved in additional project work – this could include HR/recruitment, training or EDI-related activities.
If you had an entire day at your disposal (not at work), what would be your ideal way to spend it?
With my family, enjoying good food or, a leisurely morning, reading a book, then lunch and some exercise classes in the evening; I do Les Mills Body Combat, Body Pump and Bag Bass Box so martial arts- and boxing-inspired exercise classes. Hard work but fun!
What is your favourite place in Oxford?
There are many lovely places in Oxford, but I do enjoy walking by the canal, especially in the summer.
Plan B: what would you be if you weren’t doing the job, you are currently doing?
It would still be something around supporting people and/or businesses to grow and develop.