A Day In The Life

Doreen Thompson-Addo

Doreen Thompson-Addo

Posted 01 February 2018

New York Program

January 2002 Intake

My Alarm Goes off...It doesn’t! My wonderful husband is my alarm clock as he wakes up earlier than me to travel to work in Guildford, so by 7am I am up, ready to meditate before I start my day. However with a new baby this could change…..

I'm Responsible For... A fantastic team within the Widening Participation Department at King’s College London. Together we are responsible for engaging with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure that talented, young people from under represented backgrounds have the information, access, skills and confidence to apply to King’s College London and other leading universities across the country. It’s a varied role that includes working with schools, parents, departments across the university and employers. In addition to management, I also oversee the strategic communications of the department, leading on the production of our Annual Yearbook and organising an Annual Reception highlighting the departments achievements.

I Got The Job... Seeking a new challenge after 6 amazing years at the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. I have always been driven by my core values and the Social Mobility agenda is one that I am passionate about. The role was advertised via www.jobs.ac.uk and although I had never worked in Higher Education before, I decided to go for it anyway (lesson – don’t let lack of direct experience stop you!). The interview consisted of a series of questions from an executive panel, as well as a 10-minute presentation.

My Typical Day... The wonderful part of my job is that there really isn’t a typical day. Outside of regular progress meetings with my team, I could be meeting with designers to brainstorm the layout of our annual publication, or monitoring the progress of students who have applied to King’s via our programmes, or developing new strategies with colleagues that will enable us to improve our reach to targeted groups of students, such as black students or white, working class males. One part of my role that I do enjoy, is encouraging students to consider going abroad during and/or after their studies. I never forget to mention my experience at Mountbatten!

The Culture Of My Workplace... Is high performing, values-driven, supportive, inclusive and fun.

My Most Memorable Work Moment... Was finding out that one of our leading programmes, K+, was nominated and shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award for Widening Participation. Although we didn’t win, the recognition alone was fantastic.

My role models are… Outside of my family and my faith I’ve had the honour of working alongside Baroness Doreen Lawrence. Her humility, resilience and unwavering passion for a cause is truly amazing. Michelle Obama is another - smart, stylish, sociable and sincere – qualities I admire.

The Most Challenging Part of My Job... Are the months leading up to A-Level results day. It’s a very busy time for the department and one of the busiest times for myself as we prepare for a new intake of students.

The Best Part of My Job... Is the tangible evidence of seeing that widening participation initiatives change lives. It is not true that certain young people need help to ‘raise aspirations’, they are the most aspirational people I know. They need access to quality information, support, guidance and opportunities and it’s an honour to be part of a department that provides this.

After Work... London is my oyster! Catching up with friends, window shopping at Oxford Circus, unwinding with a Zumba class...or most likely studying towards my postgraduate qualification in Career Development and Coaching.

Plan B: If I wasn't doing this, I would...unleash my inner wanderlust and trek across the world as a travel writer.