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Inside Working Lives

Time Out

David Giles explains how he came from New Zealand to Norfolk, and how life at UEA supports both his professional ambitions and his love of the outdoors.

David Giles

Head of Admissions

Joined UEA in 2009 Originally from New Zeland

I prefer to live outdoors, and Norfolk offers loads of great places for running, walking and cycling. I can reach the Broads and Thetford Forest in around 20 minutes, or the fantastically wild, diverse coastline in less than 40 minutes.

What do you do at UEA?

I'm responsible for managing UEA applications and admissions, delivering an excellent applicant experience and ensuring we hit our recruitment targets.

How did you get here?

After university in New Zealand I worked in various countries including the US and Namibia, came to the UK in 1999 and located in Norfolk in 2009. I was only planning to stay for six months, but found great opportunities that I wouldn't have found at home

Why UEA?

The role of Admissions Manager in the Faculty of Health at UEA came up and had the scale, scope and development opportunities I was looking for. I had no previous of higher education but brought general management experience and a fresh pair of eyes. In my current position there are opportunities to improve efficiencies and services to customers and gain new skills, which I really welcome in a role like this. Government legislation has a huge impact and the need to develop strategy is key, as well as balancing the needs of the institution and reaching consensus through liaison with academic colleagues. With the right approach you can accomplish an enormous amount in a place like UEA.

How's life outside work?

I've lived in many places in the UK and around the world and in terms of lifestyle few places in the UK can compete with Norfolk. Norwich has everything you need, it's easy to get in and out, there's a great arts scene and fantastic gig venues. Whatever I want to do I can be doing it in 15 minutes. I prefer to live outdoors and Norfolk offers loads of places for running, walking and cycling. I can reach the Broads in 30 minutes or the fantastically wild, diverse coastline within 40 minutes. The campus has great benefits other employers couldn't offer – access to the library, free lectures, the Sportspark and opportunities to create a great social network.

What about the future?

Right now I'm content with the role I have as there are constant challenges which keep it interesting. I'm studying for a postgraduate degree in management which is directly linked to the work I do so I will see where that takes me.

What would you say to someone thinking about coming here?

There's a lot of opportunities within higher education right now and within UEA administration specifically, so it's exciting from that perspective. In terms of location there's as much going on here as anywhere in the UK – it's what you make it!

Norfolk is a leading UK tourist centre, with a combination of city, coastline and countryside that attracts visitors from all over the country and beyond.

For those who live here, hundreds of wonderful attractions are just a short drive or ride away. Norfolk's coastline caters to every taste, from the traditional seaside fun of Great Yarmouth, Cromer and Hunstanton to the peaceful sandy expanses of Holkham and Thornham. Norwich residents can reach most of the coast in under an hour, by road or rail.

Further inland, the Norfolk Broads are known throughout the world as a tranquil retreat for boating, exploring and watching wildlife. The county offers plenty of delightful towns and villages to discover, many featuring fascinating historic monuments such as castles, churches and stately homes.

Norfolk is perfect for an active life. The North Norfolk coast is a popular spot for kitesurfers and windsurfers, and there are great opportunities for running, walking and cycling throughout the county.