Jane Filby is Aston Business School’s Director of Planning and Resources and on Thursday 14 January she celebrated 30 years of employment with the University. Aspects caught up with Jane to talk about her time at Aston.
Jane started her career at Birmingham University. It was after hearing a friend speak so highly of Aston University that she was prompted to apply here. She joined as a Programme Manager in ABS, with responsibility for managing administrative support for undergraduate programmes. At that time her office was based in Maple House on Corporation Street and it was three years later that she moved on to campus. The 10 years that she held that position for she describes as ‘productive’ – she gave birth to two children, completed her Aston MBA and successfully led an ever-expanding administrative team!
A position of ‘Centre Secretary’ was advertised while Jane was still on maternity leave but she applied, was awarded the job after two days of interviews and psychometric tests, and returned to work to take up this position in 1990. This is actually the same position that she holds today although there’s been a few title changes and huge growth within the job itself. Jane now has responsibility for the administrative staff within ABS, finances, planning and space, and is a member of the Management Team.
‘At my first interview I was asked why I had applied to work at Aston University’, Jane says. ‘What I liked when I worked for Birmingham University was the campus culture and I knew that I wanted to continue working in a university environment for the rest of my career. What I enjoy is the culture, the humour and the belief I have in what we are doing. I’ve been fortunate to have had people who have believed in me and my potential at every step of my career too.’
Jane has obviously seen both ABS and the University go through periods of huge change. Student numbers on ABS programmes have more than trebled and she says that ‘reputation has gone from strength to strength and this has been shown in the quality of the students the University attracts and also in the teaching and research which has an ever-increasing international dimension to it.’ Physically Jane has seen the campus change dramatically, from lots of scattered huts, to the campus we know today.
When asked what has been her proudest achievement, Jane says, ‘being able to develop the administrative staff that I am responsible for and being able to put in place policies and procedures that support them in their roles. I really enjoy working with my team and many have become close friends over the years. I’m looking forward to the future and to sustaining the momentum I feel the University has at present and also to helping to preserve the culture that makes Aston so special.’
Words by Louise Russell