Profile: Julie Boyle
Julie, Internal Events Officer, has been working at Univ for over a decade. In this profile she discusses bacon butties, meeting President Bill Clinton and her favourite events to organise!
What did you do before you started working at Univ?
I used to work at a marketing agency in Wallingford, Oxfordshire. I worked there for 15 years primarily as Office Manager but during the last five years or so I moved in to event management. Our main clients were from the pharmaceutical industry — GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer etc. and my event work then involved herding 100s of doctors and pharmacists assistants around the world on very important training meetings (i.e. jollys!).
Unfortunately I was made redundant in 2010 (the company never really recovered from the 2008 recession) and I found myself on the job market. I applied for the role of PA and Events Coordinator working for Judy Longworth and was delighted to be offered the role despite having no experience of the world of Oxford University. It’s been an interesting journey!
What does being Internal Events Officer involve?
Being the Internal Events Officer doesn’t just involve internal events bizarrely! My work involves organising events for our alumni across the world. The events can range from a black tie dinner in London, a casual dinner for eight in Bangkok, a round of golf at an old members golf club or a tour of an art gallery in New York. Unfortunately I don’t get to travel to the overseas events (the budget won’t stretch!) but I do attend some of the UK ones and that has got me into some interesting places including the House of Lords.
Of all the events I organise, my favourite has to be the Gaudies. I love to stand in the Lodge registering Old Members as they arrive and witnessing their absolute joy at meeting up with old friends and reliving the memories of their time at Univ, it is just such a pleasure to see.
How has the pandemic changed your work/life?
I struggled to work from home at the start of the pandemic I think it was the shock of being in the office one day sat at my lovely organised desk and then finding myself sat at my dining room table surrounded by boxes the next!
However I very quickly got into a routine and I actually quite enjoy it now. I’m fortunate that it is only myself and my husband at home so no toddlers running around which I know some of my colleagues are coping with! So it’s a great place to be when I want to get my head down and really concentrate on something, the peace and quiet can be so productive with me screen time and less time sat in traffic.
However, I do miss the day to day office banter and my work colleagues, seeing them over Zoom is just not quite the same.
I really miss my dash over to the Buttery in the morning with Shane to grab a sneaky bacon buttie!
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement has to be being Mum to my children, my son Liam and my two step-sons James and Oliver. No one really prepares you for the challenges that motherhood throws at you and you can only do your best, it’s no dress rehearsal!
Being a step-mum was a daunting thought but we’ve all muddled through and thankfully I have a great relationship with all 3 boys and I’m very proud of them.
Do you have any funny moments from your time at Univ that you’re happy to share?
One moment that does always make me smile every time I see President Clinton on the TV!
Approximately seven years ago we were told that he was heading to Univ and there was definitely a buzz around the College about his visit. We were all told not to obviously hover in the front quad trying to get a glimpse of him but I have to own up to popping to the Lodge several times that day in the hope of bumping in to him! However I needn’t have worried as I certainly did bump into him!
I had met a friend at Patisserie Valerie that day for lunch and when we were leaving I was heading down the steps and turned to say something to her which meant I was definitely not looking where I was going until I landed my foot firmly onto the pavement or to be more exact, President Clinton’s foot! Thankfully he was quite amused by my horrified face when I realised what I had done but his security team were less so as they gently but firmly manoeuvred me out of the way!
Do you have any advice for Univ students?
Enjoy every moment of College life. Univ has so much to offer students and it is there for the taking. I hear from so many Old Members that they wish they could relive their student days so I would say make the most of every moment, they are surely going to be some of the best of your lives.
Published: 19 April 2021