College of Social Sciences Birmingham Professional

Lorraine Gaytten"Welcome to the Birmingham Professional Programme for professional services staff in the College of Social Sciences. As Director of Operations for the College and Professional Services lead, I am committed to the development and support of all of our professional services colleagues. We play a vital role in the success of our College and are at the heart of our University. 

To continue to build on our achievements the Birmingham Professional initiative has been designed to:

- Provide development and networking opportunities
- Recognise and celebrate best practice and new innovations across the College
- Enhance communication and wellbeing

I very much hope you will take the opportunity to attend some of sessions that may be of interest and that you will encourage your staff and colleagues to do the same.  We welcome any new ideas for future sessions that you feel would be beneficial; please contact our Programme Lead or get in touch with the Programme Champion for your School if you would like to be involved in shaping and designing your future. 

Finally, I would like to thank you for the immense contribution each of you make to the College and very much look forward to working with you to continue to build on this great work together."

Upcoming events

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News and blogs

The good news about resilience...

With the steady welcome back to campus and the new term starting (how is it that time again already?) your career and your career development might start to take more of a priority as we allow ourselves to settle back into a new version of campus life.

Tips for developing your career in the new term

With the steady welcome back to campus and the new term starting (how is it that time again already?) your career and your career development might start to take more of a priority as we allow ourselves to settle back into a new version of campus life.

Video lectures


What has remote working taught us? And what does this mean for our Positive Working Environment?

Your Birmingham Professional contacts

The following people are key contact points for all Birmingham Professional activities and events for the College and if you have any questions, ideas or suggestions for future activities or events please do get in touch – we want to hear from you! We meet regularly throughout the year and work closely with the University’s Birmingham Professional Working Group.

CoSS Programme Lead - Kelly Kealey

Birmingham Business School 

Contact Kelly at

More about Kelly...

I am a Centre Manager and Research Operations Officer in the Business School. I manage the day to day activities of WIRC and SFiC, undertaking project management and stakeholder engagement roles, as well as a variety of administrative duties to ensure the smooth running of the two Centres. I would like the CoSS Birmingham Professional Programme to benefit colleagues across the college, by organising engaging events that will help to develop skills and knowledge. The programme will also provide an excellent opportunity to network and connect with members of staff across the college and I am looking forward to working with all of the champions to develop an exciting programme of events!

Kelly Kealy

CoSS Co-Champion - Mandeep Dhaliwal

Birmingham Business School

Contact Mandeep at

More about Mandeep...

I joined the University in September 2016, working as part of the Year in Industry team within the Business School. Having worked in other Higher Education Institutions, I have experience in various administrative and academic-related roles, with a particular specialism in Careers and Placements. I also volunteer as an Events Officer as part of the Parents and Carers Network, and have particular interests in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). Currently I have a huge interest and involvement in the Positive Working Environment project across the College.

Working in the Business School has particularly allowed me to enjoy the exposure to working with different colleagues and attending many successful events which have been particularly enjoyable. My keen interest in both Careers and EDI, is what has particularly attracted me to this role with my experience in organising events, keen interest in networking and bringing the Positive Working Environment into fruition through the Birmingham Professional; I look forward to being able to contribute to organising such successful events and working as part of the team of champions.

Mandeep Dhaliwal

CoSS Co-Champion - Ruth Meredith

Birmingham Business School

Contact Ruth at

More about Ruth...

As a University of Birmingham graduate myself, I joined the University as an employee in 2019 after beginning my career in recruitment and specialising in work with undergraduate and graduate support. I am currently a Placement and Employability Officer for the Business School and work to support all students going out on their Year in Industry. To support our students through the application process, we work closely together to build confidence, develop skills and career coach. To achieve success, I also work in partnership with employers and colleagues to create workshops, information sessions and run many, many events throughout the year! Bringing people together to learn and to collaborate is a key passion of mine so of course jumped at the opportunity to be the joint-COSS Champion for the Business School. 

I am eager to work with colleagues from across the university and get more people involved in the great events and workshops provided by the Birmingham Professional, especially those who are new to Higher Education like myself!

Ruth Meredith

CoSS Champion - Joe McDowell

School of Education

Contact Joe at

More about Joe...

I joined the University in 2015 as a Graduate Management Trainee, and have since held posts in IT Services, the College of Arts and Law, External Relations, Birmingham Health Partners (BHP) working on behalf of the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, and as the Project Manager of the central Birmingham Professional programme.

More recently I was part of the Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO), first as a fundraiser and then as Staff Engagement Officer working on a wide variety of student support, research and engagement projects culminating in both the launch of Birmingham In Action, the University of Birmingham’s fundraising and volunteering campaign, and the very first University of Birmingham Staff Volunteering Allowance - both sector leading initiatives aiming to develop charitable giving in all its forms and increase the impact of philanthropy across Birmingham’s community.

I joined CoSS during lockdown(!) in May 2020, as the Engagement Officer for the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtue within the School of Education, in a newly created post intended to support and public and policy engagement.

As a POLSIS alum, I am delighted to back in CoSS, and as a previous Birmingham Professional PM I am excited to continue helping curate the very best programme of activity for colleagues across the school and college!

Joe McDowell

CoSS Champion - Andy Howell

School of Government

Contact Andy at

More about Andy...

After working as a filmmaker for a few years after graduating university, I began working at the University of Birmingham; first in the Medical School, then Education, and finally School of Government, where I have risen to be Undergraduate (Deputy) Manager. My role already involves some events organisation in the Applicant Visit Days I manage, and as this is my favourite part of the job I jumped at the opportunity to become the COSS Champion for Government.

Having attended COSS Birmingham Professional events previously and been impressed by their high standards, I look forward to being involved in helping to deliver similarly diverse and exciting events in the future. I am also looking forward to building more links with colleagues in different departments and colleges, which will allow me to be more efficient in both this role and my regular job.


CoSS Champion - David Duell

College Hub

Contact David at

More about David...

I arrived at the University in 2012 and have had an interesting journey ever since! In that time, I have undertaken a variety of roles, both support staff and academic-related, and I’ve developed a keen interest in professional development done well – not just to tick a box. I’m currently leading the Post-Award Research Support Team in the College Hub, which is an engaging role which sees my team support academic colleagues with some of the administrative and systems challenges and negotiations which may arise when conducting funded research.

Since joining the College, I have been attracted by the mix of networking, cultural and themed events on offer under the CoSS Birmingham Professional banner and I think it’s this mix that keeps the event portfolio fresh. There are times when a really engaging event, be it a lunchtime tour of the Barber or an inspirational talk about an interesting subject, can really make the difference in what might otherwise be a challenging day or week. I want to see the CoSS Birmingham Professional continue to devise and support these positive experiences, and I’m delighted to have the chance to contribute to the team.

David Duell

Event recaps and resources

After each Birmingham Professional event we will be producing reports that will provide a recap of the activity as well as sharing feedback and photography from the day. We will also make resources such as presentations available.

Birmingham Professional- Career Stories

By Katherine Burley, Deputy Learning and Teaching Manager

The good news about resilience...

With the steady welcome back to campus and the new term starting (how is it that time again already?) your career and your career development might start to take more of a priority as we allow ourselves to settle back into a new version of campus life.

Tips for developing your career in the new term

With the steady welcome back to campus and the new term starting (how is it that time again already?) your career and your career development might start to take more of a priority as we allow ourselves to settle back into a new version of campus life.

Getting Started with Microsoft Teams

Led by Alberto Guglielmi, Strategic Change Officer, and Mark Smith, Service Delivery Manager, the session looked at the functionality of Microsoft Teams and how to use it.

How to prepare for a virtual interview

This event was held online on 16 September, 13.00-14.00, with the Careers in Business Team.

Remote working reflections

In this latest post, Angela Storer shares some of the key themes that emerged from the recent remote working feedback sessions and next steps in developing our "Positive Working Environment" as a College.

Adapting to the new 'normal': reflections and aspirations from working for CoSS in the era of COVID-19

By Angela Storer – Head of Operations, School of Social Policy and CoSS Professional Services lead for People and Culture

Staff Benefits 30 September 2019

Head of HR Reward and Policy, Sally Ells highlighted information at a Staff Benefit session.

Having Difficult Conversations 12 August 2019

Session facilitated by James Cull (POD) to teach staff effective communication techniques when holding a difficult conversation.

Tour of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts 9 July 2019

Tour of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts which gave a brief history of the Barber Institute and introduced visitors to past and presents works to include: Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir and Rossetti.
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After each Birmingham Professional event we would really value your feedback and opinion and we will be asking you to complete a brief evaluation of the event. The feedback is used to help us plan future events and activities.

Since 2013 the rolling average for satisfaction for College Birmingham Professional events is 3.5/4.0 and it is only through your feedback that we’re able to continue to offer events which are interesting and relevant to the College’s professional services staff.