Profile: Steve Moody
Steve Moody, Deputy Head Porter, discusses his varied career and even more varied hobbies, as well as sharing some wise advice about coping with the current challenges we face.
What did you do before you started working at Univ?
My first career job after leaving school was a police officer for Thames Valley Police way back in 2003. I then took a break from the UK and lived in Normandy, France for 18 months and did any job available in our local area, from painting and decorating, farm work, satellite installation and everything in-between. When I came back to the UK, I started driving buses in Oxford for four years. I then worked as a prisoner transport and court officer, again in the Oxford area before finding the job at Univ seven years ago.
How did you come to work at Univ?
While I was working at the courts I came across a Daily Info wall poster and saw that University College was advertising for a Night Porter. At the time, although I did enjoy some aspects of my work, I felt I could be doing something else that gave me more pride in what I was doing, and the Porter’s role sounded like something I would really enjoy. I applied, had a scary interview in the Winter Common Room and by some luck got the job. I worked as a night Porter for seven months before, luckily, a position during the day came along. Univ has a special place in my heart not only because of the amazing people I work with every day, but it is also where I met and married my wife, Jen.
What’s the most fun part of being Deputy Head Porter at Univ?
Students! They are what make this College come alive. Every year the Freshers come through our doors and grow as individuals until, sadly, they must leave us for the big wide world. Coming into work every day and speaking with them, whether it’s a quick hello as we pass in the quad or when they come into the Lodge for a chat. They probably don’t know it, but, as much as we help them through tough days, they do the same for all the Porters in the Lodge with their friendliness and the energy they bring. We do meet some amazing people and it is genuinely sad when they move on.
Do you have any advice for current students, especially during this strange time?
Think of the bigger picture and make sure you stick to the rules set out for everyone’s safety. We are always open in the Lodge, so if you need a chat about anything or to get out of your room pop down and see us.
Have you faced any challenges in your life that you are happy to share here?
Like a lot of people I have experienced some really difficult challenges, both during my childhood and as an adult. In my experience though, you have to trust that things can and will get better, no matter how long it takes. Ultimately, all you can do is act on the things that are within your control, and accept and adjust to the things that are beyond your control. And, of course, it’s so important to find the humour in even the most challenging situations.
What do you do in your spare time?
I’ll quote my wife when I showed her this question: “What don’t you do!” I have been a carp fisherman for as long as I can remember. I am passionate about astronomy, I enjoy scale modelling, I play softball, I love aviation and WW2 history. I have a growing collection of RC planes and helicopters. I am also a big baseball fan — I support the Boston Red Sox — and with 162 games in a season some would say that is a full-time hobby in its own right.
Describe Univ in three words.
Inclusive, rewarding, collaborative.
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