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Organisational and Professional Development

Mentor Profiles

The profiles below have been kindly provided by colleagues at Queen Mary and are published here with their permission.  Email addresses have been provided for those who have agreed to be contacted as potential mentors to University colleagues.

If you are, or would like to be, a mentor and would like to be included here, please complete the Mentoring Profile form!


Emanuela Nova

Industrial Experience & Study Abroad Manager at the School of Economics and Finance (SEF)

What do you do?

I manage the 'year in industry' and all study abroad related programmes (outgoing and incoming exchanges as well as partnerships) at the School. I also oversee the student-led programme qNomics and line manage the qNomics Coordinator. I will soon be line managing another Student Professional Development Coordinator. Outside of my job, I am also involved in organising wellbeing initiatives for students and staff at SEF, and I am part of the QMUL coaching network. 

How did you get to where you are now?

I moved to London right after graduation and I started working in business development for a startup, where I developed many transferable skills such as effective communication, negotiation, time management, and organisation. After 1.5 yearrs I realised I needed a career change, as I wasn't passionate about the role and the industry. I turned to higher education and landed a job as Placement Officer at SEF, which was a new role at the time and gave me the chance to apply my skills and was a perfect match to my interests and passions. After about 2.5 years the role was regraded to the current title.

Is there anything about your personal situation or home life which has had an impact on your professional life?

Living and working in the UK as a foreigner.

Are there any particular areas where you would feel particularly confident as a mentor?

Career development, problem-solving, goal setting, knowledge transfer, improving confidence

What have you found beneficial when it comes to developing yourself and your career?

Getting involved in different initiatives that aren't necessarily related to my work. This has given me the opportunity to develop new interests, learn new skills, meet new people and grow both professionally and personally.

Email contact: e.nova@qmul.ac.uk

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Rachael Parker

Deputy Institute Manager, Blizard Institute

What do you do?

With the Institute Manager, I am responsible for the management of the Institute. I line manage a team of 7 staff.

How did you get to where you are now?

I previously worked at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine for 15 years, over which time I progressed from Project Administrator to Department Manager. I moved to Queen Mary in 2020 as Deputy Institute Manager. I've previously been on many training courses, including the CMI certificate in leadership and management.

Are there any particular areas where you would feel particularly confident as a mentor?

Career development
    
What have you found beneficial when it comes to developing yourself and your career?

I have always found it beneficial to speak to others in similar roles to mine, and also in more senior roles along the same career path.

Email contact: rachael.parker@qmul.ac.uk

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Stefan Couch

Acting Team Manager and Careers Consultant in Careers and Enterprise

What do you do?

I have line management responsibility for 6 people and support their career development, as well as supporting the career development of my students in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science. I also have strategic and operations responsibility collaborating with various academic colleagues within the faculty of Science & Engineering.

How did you get to where you are now?

I gained a BSc Business Management degree at University of Surrey, and have worked as a teacher as well as having a graduate role as a Business Analyst/Graduate Consultant in the management consultancy industry. I have since had many different educational roles in further education and most recently (the past three years) in higher education. I gained another degree-level qualification in Careers Education and Development,     and have worked in the space of Careers for the last 6 years.

Are there any particular areas where you would feel particularly confident as a mentor?

Developing professional networks, career development, improving confidence, actively seeking opportunities to train and develop yourself and others, empowering/inspiring others.

What have you found beneficial when it comes to developing yourself and your career?

Networking! But most importantly creating a community of people/friends who can support you to get where you want to be. Whether it is my first ever mentor to inspire me to take the career path of working in careers, which I love, to the current leadership mentors who are supporting me to realise my potential as a future leader.

Email contact: stefan.couch@qmul.ac.uk 

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David Tomas-Merrills

Graduate Enterprise Advisor

What is your role and what do you do?

I provide coaching, mentoring, and advisory support to current University students and recent alumni with entrepreneurial ambitions, on setting up and developing a new business.

How did you get to where you are now?

I worked as a senior manager in a university, and in management roles in further education colleges; I also had my own business (a careers consultancy). I've become a qualified careers consultant, manager, and leader.  

Is there anything about your personal situation or home life which has had an impact on your professional life?

I'm a working parent. I've also faced compulsory redundancy  - 3 times  - and survived!

Are there any particular areas where you would feel particularly confident as a mentor?

Improving confidence. Assessment of skills. Developing professional network. Career development. 

What have you found beneficial when it comes to developing yourself and your career?

Cardinal Basil Cardinal Hume, former Archbishop of Westminster, once said when asked to describe his faith: "If necessary, use words".  Words are cheap. Behaviour is everything.  Create a supportive, encouraging world around you  - if not family, then selected friends, or like-minded entrepreneurs  - just a few is all that's needed.

Email contact: d.tomas-merrills@qmul.ac.uk

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Livia Carvalho

Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Precision Medicine

What do you do?

My current role is to identify molecular and cellular targets for prevention and treatment of stress-related illnesses such as depression. I support teaching and mentoring in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.

How did you get to where you are now?

I am a migrant and have worked for King's College London, University College London, and Queen Mary.  I have over 6 years' experience in mentoring junior colleagues and supporting them in their career choices. I am a Fellow of the Institute of Clinical Research and of the Higher Education Academy. 

Is there anything about your personal situation or home life which has had an impact on your professional life?

I have been through several home situations which has had an impact in my professional life and I have overcome successfully and thus feel that I will be able to support others' success. These include family with cancer and other family difficulties, immigration problems, financial difficulties, a difficult divorce, and caring for a young child.

Are there any particular areas where you would feel particularly confident as a mentor?

Improving confidence, developing professional networks, career development

What have you found beneficial when it comes to developing yourself and your career?

Having an intelligent and supportive role model.

Email contact: l.carvalho@qmul.ac.uk 

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Elena Moreira

Teaching and Learning Manager in the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

What do you do?

I oversee all areas of teaching and learning within the School. I manage a team of ten and work closely with academics across the School.

How did you get to where you are now?

I have worked at Queen Mary since I graduated, but have moved around. Working in both central roles and in different Schools has given me great experience; when I look at each role I have held, I know it has benefitted from my experience in previous roles. I have completed an MBA in Higher Education Management and take every opportunity for management training that Queen Mary offers.

Is there anything about your personal situation or home life which has had an impact on your professional life?

I am a mother of three, and have to manage working full-time with managing parenthood. 

Are there any particular areas where you would feel particularly confident as a mentor?

As a female, when I look back at my career I can see times when I have not stood up for myself and taken advantage of opportunities; learning from this puts me in a good position to help others. I have had positive experience from female colleagues I have supported in the past.

What have you found beneficial when it comes to developing yourself and your career?

It is important to set time aside to focus on my own career progression to make sure I getting everything out of a role that I need.

Email contact: elena.moreira@qmul.ac.uk

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Evie Edwards

SKETCH Coordinator, History & Social Sciences

What do you do?

I coordinate the SKETCH (Student Knowledge Exchange Through Community Hubs) programme within HSS. We connect students with organisations in the local community, be that charities, SMEs, large corporations or individual community groups, to work on projects where the students apply their learning to real-world situations or tasks.

How did you get to where you are now?

I've worked in this role at Queen Mary for 6 months. Previously I worked at UAL (University of the Arts London). I started there as a Team Assistant, I then did a secondment as a Digital Projects Coordinator, and was able to then get a permanent role as Knowledge Exchange Coordinator. This experience means I have a strong background in project management.  I've also completed Agile Project Management Foundation and Practitioner training. 

Is there anything about your personal situation or home life which has had an impact on your professional life?

I was the first person in my family to go to university, so I have had to navigate entering the working world as a young woman with little guidance or direction. 

Are there any particular areas where you would feel particularly confident as a mentor?

I would be interested to mentor young people in the early stages of their career - developing confidence and deciding what path they would like to take. I am happy to help with interview technique or drafting CVs and applications. 

What have you found beneficial when it comes to developing yourself and your career?

I had a mentor at UAL, which was really beneficial. They helped me reflect on what path I was taking and where I wanted to get to. I think reflection is good for development -  taking the time to stop and think in the long term about what you really want to do with your career. It can be difficult to carve out the time to do this, but with the help of a mentor it is made much easier. 

Email contact: evie.edwards@qmul.ac.uk 

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Christos Kotorenis

Library Assistant (Circulation Team), Library Services

What do you do?

I assist Queen Mary students and academic staff with everyday enquiries (in-person and online), such as access rights, locating academic research material, printing, finding study spaces suitable for their work, and liaising with other academic institutions.  I also assist in dealing with Interlibrary loans and provide essential support on research overall.

How did you get to where you are now?

I started working in Queen Mary's libraries in 2018, as a temporary Library Assistant. In 2019 I successfully interviewed for a permanent role and carried on working across the University libraries. I am now part of the Circulation team (Frontline Services). In addition to that, I am a certified professional tutor through the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.

Are there any particular areas where you would feel particularly confident as a mentor?

  • Setting and achieving goals
  • Improving confidence
  • Improvisation
  • Creating and maintaining new ways of balancing everyday life and tasks
  • Handling difficult situations at work
  • Caring for others' wellbeing, especially after a difficult day

What have you found beneficial when it comes to developing yourself and your career?

There is always a solution for a problem, and there is always a way out of the dark woods. Consistency is the key to everything.

Email contact: c.kotorenis@qmul.ac.uk 

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Kirti Bodhmage

Solution Designer (Enterprise Architecture Team), IT Services

What do you do?

I developing bespoke software solutions for the University used by staff and students, and support applications used for teaching and learning.

How did you get to where you are now?

I have always been a techie lady and have spent last 20 years in various roles in technology. I have experience in the HE and Telecom sector. Since last 10 years, I have been working at QMUL in IT Services. As a BAME female, I found myself struggling to get heard in a male-dominant team. A few years back, I joined the Springboard programme offered by QMUL which was a 'eureka' moment for me. Since then, I have had coaching and mentoring, which have helped me to become more confident. I applied for a promotion in 2022 and was offered a new role.

I have learned that sometimes, you need a second pair of eyes to see things clearly and this is what I would like to offer others. 

Is there anything about your personal situation or home life which has had an impact on your professional life?

Being a working mum of 2 children was a difficult task. I decided to cut down my hours to focus more on my family. When my children became independent, I decided to come back full time.

Are there any particular areas where you would feel particularly confident as a mentor?

I would like to mentor someone in career development, specifically BAME staff or women. 

What have you found beneficial when it comes to developing yourself and your career?

I found mentoring and coaching useful for my career progression. Liaising with the senior management team and building effective relationships was also important for my career progression. I do continuous learning from Coursera and LinkedIn Learning.  360 degree feedback from my team was very useful. 

Email contact: k.bodhmage@qmul.ac.uk

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