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Sian Hobday

Sian Hobday has been at the very core of the University of Worcester for the last 35 years – and 1 month to be precise.

Starting out fresh from Worcester Technical College (as it was then) having completed an RSA Diploma for Personal Assistants, Sian worked her way from a Clerk Typist to Secretary to the University Executive & Head of the Vice Chancellor’s Office. She is one of only a handful of remaining staff to have worked with the last three Principals/Vice Chancellors, David Shadbolt, Dorma Urwin and Professor David Green.

“I’ve been on a personal and professional journey,” she says. “I never imagined when I started out, on what was a temporary maternity cover post, all those years ago, that I would have come so far.”

Sian’s central position over so many years has seen her play pivotal roles in the development of the institution, something she is rightly very proud of.

“To know you have played a role in so many of the strategic decisions of the University and been so closely involved in its development and growth is very rewarding,” she said.

What many people might not know is that Sian is also a graduate of the University.

“I was given the opportunity to study for my undergraduate degree and graduated in 2004 with a BA (Hons) Psychology,” she said. “I studied part time while still working full time and raising a family. It was tough but I’m hugely grateful that I was given that opportunity. I would never have had that elsewhere.”

Sian’s degree clearly helped her to become an excellent judge of character and to allow her to work with a range of people both internally and externally. She was a key figure in the University’s success in gaining full university title and in its expansions both in terms of student numbers but also facilities and course development.

“I consider myself to have been really lucky to have spent my entire working life somewhere so wonderful,” she said. “And I know it sounds like a cliché but it is the people I have worked with over so many years that have really made it. We all talk about the University as a friendly and supportive community and that’s genuinely what it is.”

She added: “I’m hugely grateful to David for all his support and encouragement over the years. He really encouraged me to develop and grow in my role, to step outside my comfort zone and to see what I was really capable of.”

Sian is now looking forward to a well-earned rest, spending more time with her husband, children and grandchildren but will be keeping an interested eye on the University’s future developments.

“The University is like my second family,” she said. “And as you would want for your family, I want to see the University to continue to be successful, to flourish and to go from strength to strength. I look forward to seeing the Medical School come into being and the development of the Severn Campus. I’m going to miss it a lot.”

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