Today we meet Clare Sowney, Business Development Manager and talk collaboration with business, support for researchers and walking up Ben Nevis in the fog.
What led you to work at the University?
After working in the voluntary sector for 8 years I fancied a change. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but when I started looking it quickly became apparent that all the exciting and interesting jobs seemed to be based in universities. In particular Edinburgh University has so many exciting opportunities!
How long have you been at the University?
Since last November – quickest 9 months of my life!
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Constantly learning every day, and meeting so many interesting people.
Ask me about…
Using research to engage with business. I’ll tell you all about all the exciting research projects that are currently taking place in partnership with companies! People are always surprised at the variety of research that businesses are interested in, and just how beneficial these collaborations can be.
What are you working on just now?
We’re just in the process of launching our new Knowledge Exchange and Impact programme for the academic year, so I’ve spent a lot of time working with colleagues to develop business engagement events for researchers in the College. We had a great Learning Lunch this week with presentations from colleagues in Architecture, Psychology and History about their projects with a social enterprise, a start-up and small businesses.
Proudest moment at work?
When a research project with a company gets off the ground, it takes a lot of work and a lot of people so when that happens its definitely a proud moment.
What’s your favourite type of cake?
My friend makes raw vegan brownies, they’re amazing – and guilt free!
What do you like doing when you are not being a Business Development Adviser?
I love being outdoors and going for hikes with friends. Recently, I went up Ben Nevis which was great apart from the weather – we couldn’t see a thing! No lovely pictures to share as you can imagine.
Favourite thing to do in Edinburgh?
I am a Glasgow girl at heart but I do love Edinburgh, and I’ve particularly enjoyed working in the city during the festival. The buzz and the atmosphere is brilliant, we’re very lucky to have it on our doorstep.
Clare Sowney is Business Development Manager for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.