Tell us about you and your role at the College?
After a 22-year career with the Royal Army Medical Corps specialising in health and safety, hospitality was beckoning where I honed my skills front of house for 7 years at the prestige 5-star boutique Prestonfield House Hotel here in Edinburgh.
The role of Senior College Officer is primarily the management of our day-to-day operational event activity at the College, including opening the building, security and being the main point of contact for our onsite clients. No two days are the same and I love it.
Providing a 5-star service is incredibly important to the team. The happiness of our clients’ delegates and Fellows and Members is at the heart of what we do.
What has the College been doing to prepare for the return of face to face meetings and Hybrid events?
Safety is paramount and will continue to be at the forefront of delegates’ minds for some time to come. In anticipation of the College opening to events again, I’ve been helping risk assess each individual office, meeting room, event space and communal area of the College.
Some of the measures we have introduced include hygiene measures, behavioural guidance, physical distancing and one-way routes. We are ready to receive clients and delegates when it is safe to do so.
Getting ready for the return of delegates, what have you learnt through the process?
No matter what happens, there will be changes. We have to be flexible and patient. Communication is the single best tool I have at my disposal.
We are here to guide our clients and delegates through, what can be, challenging measures and what works best in our venue.
We have always adopted best practice and happy to work with our clients to enhance their specific event needs.
What are you most looking forward to when delegates return to the college?
Honestly, it has to be the unpredictability of normality. Those little things that suddenly have to change. It keeps me on my toes.
If you were to pick a favourite spot in the College, where would it be?
I have two favourite areas of the College - one I should really keep a secret. The New Library is a beautiful place for smaller weddings because of its aesthetics and history.
The other is the College roof. The views across the rooftops are breath taking. Imagine sitting up there in the evening during the Edinburgh Military Tattoo with the fireworks going off… If anyone does ask, I’m more than happy to show them.
What has been a career highlight in your time at the College as Senior College Officer?
It is hard to pick a specific one, as there are so many highlights, from hosting weddings of five people to 150, to ceremonial dinners and diploma ceremonies for doctors entering the next stage of their career. The list is never-ending.
I really enjoy the ceremonial side of my role. Standing there with medals proudly on show, carrying the College mace - who wouldn’t be proud and honoured to represent the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.