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Getting to know

Getting to know – Kevin Jones

3 December 2020

In the next of our series of getting to know the MAGMA team, please meet our project manager Kevin Jones.

What is your current role? Project Manager for MAGMA

What does it involve? A bit of everything really. Basically, I manage the day to day running of my project. During the last year this has involved everything from recruiting team members, writing progress reviews, creating project plans, buying equipment, creating a website and much more.

What are the biggest challenges? Some days everything can feel like a challenge. The things I find most challenging is when something is taken out of my hands and I have no way to personally get something done.

Where are you from? Worcester, England

How did you end up doing what you do? With a bit of a roundabout route. I studied History at University so nothing to do with Engineering. I then worked for the finance sector for 7 years before joining the University. I worked for the residences finance team for a while before joining the research department. I was responsible originally for the finances of around 250 projects before reducing this to 5 much larger projects until eventually managing the whole of 1 project.

What’s the best thing about your work? I wanted to use my skills to help make the world a better place. I have little to do with the day to day research for my project, however by assisting the academics and researchers I am making sure they can spend more of their time on research and teaching.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Music is my main passion. Last year I listened to over 250 new releases, went to 43 live shows and 6 festivals. 2020 has hit me hard. I also like travelling, live comedy, snowboarding and gaming.

Was there a particular moment or person that inspired you in your career path? I used to have a job where part of it was collecting money off people in financial difficulties. I came home from work every day unhappy about what I was doing. It was then I decided I wanted to work for an organisation that actually contributed to society and the University has been perfect in this regard.

What has your job taught you? What skills have you developed? Never to be afraid to try out an idea or make a suggestion. Never be afraid to try something new. In the past year I have written web content, participated in an outreach panel and designed a project banner. I could not have imagined doing any of these things a few years ago when I was primarily doing finance work.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to do something similar? If you can, always try and do tasks that are not part of your day to day work. You will learn a lot and add extra skills to what you can do. You will also grow in confidence. Always try and help your colleagues out in any way possible. If someone needs something urgently and you can help them out, you should do so.